1961 tempest - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-12-2006, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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1961 tempest

i have some questions i am lookin at getting a tempest from my buddy who just bough a bunch of cars at first he said it was a 64 so i was going to jump all over it intill i seen it it is not it looks to me like a 61-63 but can not tell i am leaning more towards a 61. i have been told befor that they have the corvairs suspension in the back with the tranny? but the motor was in the front inline 4 with a manuel?if this is so how hard would it be to convet to a v8 car? and could you put alot of power going to the back. im looking to so somthing different with this car looking to keep the body stock but make it a prow-touring sleeper? im not use the the pontiacs im a chevy guy but like the gtos and what not and though this car has nice lines. so let me know all the info you have in theses and lets see some pics of them if you have any i will have pics of the car up eather later on or tomarrow.
thanks
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-12-2006, 11:34 PM
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The 63 tempest had an option of an aluminum Buick-built 215 CID V8, so you should be able to mount a small V8 into the car. This is the same engine used in the 61 - 63 Skylark.

I don't know if the flexible drive-shaft could handle much more than the 185 to 200 hp. Please post some pics of that transaxel and rope drive.

Here is a 61;


Randy


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-13-2006, 01:51 AM Thread Starter
 
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so they did come with a transaxle? would it be possible to take that out and replace with a solid axle? if not looks like i might just build me a nice small block and cruz it sence i can not seem to find a good selection of them for sale. thanks for the pic i found that one. nice cars. i will post the pics when my buddy send them to me. i think it is a 61 by the body has that high fin body line. the car has been sitting a long time and the hood is no good and same with the hings so i might have a hard time finding that. well see if it is worth building after have it blasted im only paying 850 for the car. so well see thanks alot for the info.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-13-2006, 10:35 PM
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Here is an April 8, 2005 story on the 62 Tempest from Canadian Driver;

Quote:
Motoring Memories:
Pontiac Tempest, 1961-1964

Story and photo by Bill Vance


1962 Pontiac Tempest.

In 1960 the American Big Three of GM, Ford and Chrysler brought out compact cars to counter the increasing market penetration of the small imports. Ford's was the straightforward Falcon; Chrysler's was the Valiant with its unusual slant-six engine. Chevrolet's Corvair was the most daring, with an air-cooled, flat-six engine in the rear.

Other GM divisions also wanted to get in on the small-car movement, and so they borrowed some of the Corvair's internal sheet metal body pieces to develop their slightly larger "senior compacts."

The results were the Buick Special, Oldsmobile F-85, and Pontiac Tempest that appeared for 1961. They were similar, but all had their divisional styling cues. The most technically interesting was the Tempest.

Pontiac developed a four-cylinder engine by simply cutting one bank off its 6.4-litre (389 cu. in.) overhead-valve V8. The resulting large 3.2-litre (194.5 cu. in.) slant four was the first American four-cylinder since the Henry J and Crosley of the early 1950s. To counteract the big four's rough-running performance, Pontiac resorted to extra-soft engine mounts, reminiscent of Plymouth's 1931 "Floating Power."

Pontiac's half-an-eight reduced engine development costs considerably. Production costs were also lower because the four could pass down the same engine assembly line as the eight.

Pontiac's innovations didn't stop under the hood. The driveline was also unusual in that, although the engine was in the front, the transmission was in unit with the differential in the rear.

Power went to the rear via an unorthodox, one-piece, 2133 mm long, flexible 16 mm steel drive-shaft that sagged in the middle, soon earning the Tempest the nickname "Rope-Drive Pontiac."

This shaft was supported by two steady-bearings, and because it ran in a constantly curved condition, no universal joints were required. It was to act like a torsion bar to dampen out some of the vibration of the big four. The rear suspension was independent, using a swing axle design similar to early Corvairs.

The Tempest came with a three-speed manual transmission or a two-speed "Tempestorque" automatic with a torque converter. The automatic had a novel feature: when the transmission was in high gear, 60 per cent of the power was routed through the torque converter, and the other 40 per cent through regular non-slip mechanical gears. This split-torque power delivery eliminated some of the slippage inherent in automatics, contributing to better fuel economy.

The engine came with horsepower ratings ranging from 110 to as high as 166 in an optional high performance version. The aluminum 3.5-litre (215 cu. in.) 185 hp Oldsmobile V8 engine was also available.

Placing the transmission in the rear eliminated the large transmission hump, although it sacrificed 14 litres of trunk space. It also brought the front/rear weight distribution of the car to almost 50/50.

Pontiac claimed a number of engineering firsts for the Tempest. It was the first U.S. four-cylinder since the Crosley and Henry J; the first U.S. forward-engined car with rear automatic transmission; the first with a curved propeller shaft; and the first to use a split-torque automatic transmission with torque converter.

In performance, the four-cylinder Tempest was the slowest of GM's new senior compacts. A December 1961 Car Life magazine's comparison test of the three 1962 cars indicated that the 140 hp Tempest took 15.9 seconds to accelerate from zero to 96 km/hr (60 mph), whereas the 135 hp V6 Buick took 14.8, and the 155 hp Olds V8 only 14.

The Tempest's top speed was also the lowest at 142 km/hr (88 mph) compared with 153 km/hr (95) for the Buick and 161 km/hr (100) for the Oldsmobile. It was, however, slightly better in fuel economy.

The motoring press was generally impressed with the Tempest, no doubt captured by its technical novelty. Motor Trend magazine gave Pontiac its Car Of The Year award for it.

Alas, the Tempest's technological promise proved more seductive than its real world performance. The drive-shaft had a tendency to vibrate and rattle, and the swing axles were prone to the same handling deficiencies as those in the Corvair, with a tendency to tuck under and oversteer. And that big four was a rough runner.

In spite of its shortcomings, the Tempest initially outsold its two corporate stablemates, surpassing 100,000 sales in both 1961 and 1962. Then in 1963 the Buick and Oldsmobile models both topped 100,000 sales, while the Tempest slipped to fewer than 70,000, in spite of the availability of a 5.3-litre (326 cu. in.) V8.

For 1964, Pontiac abandoned the curved driveshaft and rear transaxle and reverted to a conventional driveline.

That early Pontiac Tempest was an effort to appeal to those interested in an unconventional and innovative driveline layout, and the increased interior space it provided. Its shortcomings outweighed its advantages, however, and it soon faded into oblivion.

The conventional Tempest did leave us one lasting legacy, though. Its 1964 LeMans GTO light-car-with-a-big-engine option would spawn the Muscle Car era that lasted from 1964 to the early 1970s.

Randy


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-14-2006, 12:01 PM
 
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Although the collectible value of the 61 doesn't seem to be great, I've always had the desire to modify a car like this to something pretty radical. Mainly fill it up with enough of todays technologies that would make it "Old School" looking, and run and ride like today's cars. I would even go so far as, I know, I know, how could I even think of bastardizing a Pontiac, but, I would even think of using some type of import drivetrain and suspension. Now it's just a thought, but there are a lot of import cars, Toyota, Nissan, Honda,that may be able to supply a lot of parts for real cheap after doing a lot of research and measuring. All you need is a wrecked donar car. But can you imagine driving up to your local car show with your very stock looking 61, and popping the hood and there's this tricked out rice burner stuffed in there? You would definetly be talked to all day long.

Now I love my 70, and I would never do it, But when I drive my wife's Cadillac with her Northstar engine, and feel the ride, I would love to have the GTO ride like that. I'm sure that with my stock engine in the GTO, her Seville can kick my butt, and it handles so much better. I would love to stick her suspension and engine into a car like mine. 24 miles to the gallon also.

So all that being said, buy the 61, research the rice burners of the world, buy a wrecked one and build a really cool car. IMHO>
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-14-2006, 09:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 05GTO View Post
The 63 tempest had an option of an aluminum Buick-built 215 CID V8, so you should be able to mount a small V8 into the car. This is the same engine used in the 61 - 63 Skylark.
Just to be accurate, the 61-62 Tempest/Lemans was available with the 215 CID V8, the 63's dropped this option in favor of the Pontiac 326 CID V8.

Chris
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-14-2006, 10:01 PM
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Thanks Chris,

I stand corrected,
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Randy


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  Pontiac GTO Forum > The 1964-1974 Pontiac Tempest, Lemans & GTO > 1964-1974 Tempest, Lemans & GTO General Discussion

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