Everyone’s familiar with and has seen a bunch of Pontiac LeMans and Pontiac GTOs. At the bottom of the line: the Tempest, which was produced by Pontiac from 1960 to 1970 (and again from 1987 to 1991).
This sinister specimen sports a naturally aspirated 455 sourced out of a Pontiac Trans Am. It’s got a mild cam and Pontiacs 6X heads — ‘the’ cast iron heads to have which makes it a capable, and a quite fun cruiser — plus, it’s no stranger to auto-cross.
Now John is an IT guy, and he knew next to nothing about cars. But he could read books, research the Internet, and he could talk to people.
This is the Roadkiller he put together to enjoy with his sons…
More About the Pontiac Tempest
The Tempest was introduced as an entry-level compact in October 1960 at the Paris Auto Show for the 1961 model year. A highly innovative design, it shared the (then) new unibody Y platform, GM’s first, with the Buick Special/Skylark and Oldsmobile F-85/Cutlass, came with a standard four-cylinder engine and offered a two-speed rear-mounted transaxle automatic transmission.
The line offered the optional LeMans trim upgrade, beginning with a few 1961 LeMans coupes and adding a performance aspect in 1962.
In 1964, the Tempest was redesigned as a mid-size built on the new GM A-body platform, with its LeMans version spawning the industry-changing signature muscle car, the GTO. Originally options, both the LeMans and GTO were subsequently split off as their own model lines, the LeMans in 1969, and the GTO in 1965.