Car: Pontiac Tempest Lemans Convertible
What makes it special: Pontiac’s Tempest was the entry level compact that was introduced in September of 1960 for the 1961 model year. With it’s very innovative design, it also shared its new unibody Y-Platform with Buick’s Special/Skylark and Oldsmobile’s F-85/Cutlass models. These all came standard with a 4 four cylinder engine and a two-speed rear-mounted automatic transmission, a first for General Motors Corporation.
What made it famous: The Tempest line offered the optional LeMans trim upgrade for the 1961 model year, and a performance aspect beginning in 1962. The Trophy 4 four cylinder engine was designed for economy, and was based on the right-hand cylinder bank of Pontiac’s 389 V8 engine. Trophy 4’s came in a low-compression model with a single-barrel carburetor, a hotter version with a higher compression with single-barrel carburetor, and the highest compression version equipped with a four-barrel carburetor, producing 166 hp.
Why I would want one: I love the style and its innovative features. It’s a great looking 60’s economy car.
Fun fact: Another optional engine for the Tempest was the innovative aluminum 215 cu in V8, which first debuted on the Buick LeSabre model.
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