Monday, November 25, 2013

San Ramon Street Sighting - 1967 Pontiac Tempest Custom

I'm a big fan of the Pontiac brand, so this week I'm doing a Pontiac theme.

The Pontiac GTO has garnered almost universal respect in the muscle car community as a strong performer and a very collectible vehicle. But there is a double standard, as the GTO was really a higher trim level and performance package based on the mainstream Tempest. Despite these humble roots, the GTO is considered a collector's item and the Tempest is a used car. If either is less than pristine, the GTO is a restoration project and the Tempest is its parts donor.

While the Tempest is perhaps not as cool or valuable a car as the sporty GTO, it's not a total junker. This 1967 Tempest Custom coupe has the optional 326 cubic inch V8 and a nice red color that sets off its Coke-bottle shape nicely with black interior. The 1966-1967 Pontiac midsize models are some of my favorite cars of the decade. The Tempests could be had as slick four-door pillarless hardtops and two-door hardtop coupes like the GTO. In my opinion, the GTO-only styling touches fixed whatever was a little awkward on the regular Tempest, like the delicate-looking grille and generic taillight design (1967 GTOs had a completely different taillight panel with 8 small rectangular lenses and the reverse lights set into the rear bumper). Note the GTO-inspired (albeit non-functional) hood scoop and the cool Rallye II wheels. I love those wheels on most Pontiacs from this era through the 1970s.

Condition on this car is pretty good. The body is nice and straight and it looks like it just needs a new coat of paint and polished chrome to really look nice. We can't all have a GTO, but this one looks about 80% the part for a lot less money.

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