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Is it wrong to want this car for a winter beater?


XP715

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1961 Pontiac Tempest

Well, winter beater/daily driver. It's such a departure from the land barges I'm into, but I've been looking to get into something old for a daily driver and the little four-banger might be a fun alternative to having a modern gas sipper. Seems cheap for what it is if the description is accurate, too. Any thoughts?

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Well it's a unibody, and unfortunately one of the Big Fat Cons of a UB is rot repair- do a thorough check on the undercarriage.

Indy 4 packs a whopping 110 or 120 HP (depending on trans attachment), but ironically vs. the description, the Tempest was available with the compact Buick 215 V-8 from the start, tho only about 2% got one for '61.

Don't have much to add- haven't encountered many 1st gen Tempests. Haven't heard anything bad about them.... no '61-63 owner's reports or the like in my files. If you get it- I have a steering shaft & box spare for it.

Go for it.

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I'd LOVE that about a beater... or to restore, or to just stare at in my driveway. 8)

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I'd LOVE that about a beater... or to restore, or to just stare at in my driveway. 8)

Good to know, because your driveway's about the only place it'll fit if I buy it :P

But seriously, can anybody (balthazar, I'm looking at you here) get me the overall length on the little guy so I can see if maybe it's possible to push her into my storage unit sideways on wheel dollies till I'm ready for it. That'd be neat to have under a cover.

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Dude, you've never seen a '61 Tempest?

Your '67 Razorback is only 1 foot too long to fit in your storage unit at a 90* angle,

a 1961 Tempest is AT LEAST two feet shorter thasn the Razorback. Remember

that 1962 Oldsmobile F85 wagon at Holland's? Picture the same car but even a few

inches shorter than that... Or an inch shorter, whatever. I want one if only to be

able to say in the future that I had a cable for a driveshaft in an old Poncho.

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Dude, you've never seen a '61 Tempest?

Your '67 Razorback is only 1 foot too long to fit in your storage unit at a 90* angle,

a 1961 Tempest is AT LEAST two feet shorter thasn the Razorback. Remember

that 1962 Oldsmobile F85 wagon at Holland's? Picture the same car but even a few

inches shorter than that... Or an inch shorter, whatever. I want one if only to be

able to say in the future that I had a cable for a driveshaft in an old Poncho.

You bring up a good point and remind me of something at the same time. There's a '61 F-85 in the tent at my dad's right now. It's more or less the same car. Perhaps I'll go measure the baby Rocket sometime soon and we'll have to take yet another trip out west.

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Let's do it. I'll plop down a lunch box full of $10 & $20 bills on Mr. Laurence's

1959 Buick LeSabre (4411) Two Door Post Sedan and on the way home we

can buy your '61 Tempest. I'm sure the '59 can tow that little toy car. :spin:

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Even though you're likely stuck with the four due to this sad stat:

This is NOT a car you can convert to a V8 (unless you are a SUPER fabricator or have big money to spend).

I would still slap you if you subjected it to those winters you guys have.

I would like to see a Rover V8 (pre-Ford acquisition) thrown in there though.

Or an Atlas four or five maybe?

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Hahaha how ironic if yu threw in a Britisified BOP 215. :P

L.A. the overall height of the Atlas 5 makes that idea unrealistic.

You'd have to install a shallow oil pan and do some major

reworking and I think a cowl induction hood on this little tempest

wolud look like A$$.

Edited by Sixty8panther
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Another question I have about the adorable little Pontiac (once again, balthazar, I'm looking at you here): now this is only hypothetical since I'm about 99% sure that if I get the car all I'd do is freshen it up and run it stock, but since the Indy Four is quite literally a 389 cut in half, would it be possible to make some sort of high performance version of it using one high compression head, different pistons, etc.? I know an Edelbrock dual carb intake for this motor exists for this reason. Now I know that the Indy Four is prone to engine shake because it's so damn big for a four and all Pontiac really did about it was to basically give it extra squishy thick rubber engine mounts to try and isolate the vibration from the rest of the car. So my question is that would said performance buildup, if it can in fact be done, give the motor enough sack to either shake the motor violently enough to rip it from its mounts, or snap the rope drive? Anybody know of any documented attempts at this and what successes and failures they may have had?

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I hope there's a better aftermarket for that car than there is for the F-85 Cutlass of the same vintage. I once contemplated a '63 Cutty vert with rusted out quarters, but gave up on it when I found there was no replacement panels available for it at all. If you get this Tempest, give it the restoration it deserves, because it its panels start to go, you might not be able to do anything about it. There are plenty of $500 mid-80s Camries out there that deserve to have their bodies rotted out from salt, plowed throw snowbanks, and slid into parking lot light poles. Use one of those instead.

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XP:

I know for a fact that the 0.5 SD389 thing has been done.

Someday I'll make one myself for a 1968 GTO clone w/

a 6-speed and call it a "super-economical commuter car"!

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>>"would it be possible...."<<

Pontiac built at least 1 SC Indy 4 in the Tempest Monte Carlo, but how hard it was pressed or what the specs/ modifications were, I don't know offhand.

Hi CR head? No: the auto trans Tempest is already at 10.25:1- I believe it's the same head as on the V-8s. 10.25 is on the very high side for an iron street head with today's turtle-piss gasoline. Pistons, again are standard V-8 units. I'm sure the general formula for carb'd I-4 performance builds could be followed: better breathing from top to bottom, a good ignition system and clean everything up. This should make the engine run smoother, not rougher. As far as mounts go, there are aftermarket V-8 'interlocking' mounts for Pontiacs that ride on rubber but limit travel with steel internals; maybe they could be fit to the Tempest.

The question is- does the Indy 4 use a V-8 cam?? If not- you'll not find an on-shelf performance grind, and you'll be incapable of making great gains in HP/TRQ without one.

Edited by balthazar
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There are plenty of $500 mid-80s Camries out there that deserve to have their bodies rotted out from salt, plowed throw snowbanks, and slid into parking lot light poles. Use one of those instead.

I agree that it might be a shame to subject this car to salt but that's

why they make Ford cars, that ugly old LTD B.V. posted would be a

great candidate. I know X.P. pretty well and I'll tell you right now

he's no sell out. I think he'd rather jump off the Zachim Bridge and

into the icey waters of Charles River than drive some Camry. You

only live once and I'm getting to the point where I myself want to

be selfish and drive a beater 1960s car in the winter & have a few

1950s and 1930s cars for toys.

Everywhere I look there's people who are cutting up, "kustomizing"

and beating on classic cars. Worse still plenty sit in people's back

yards and rot away and then get crushed in local junkyards.

To hell with it, I might pick up a rotted '60s beater too after I get

my '59 Buick. Too bad the guy with the 1968 LeSabre 4dr hardtop

thinks his rotted, bondoifie car is worth $4000.

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I agree that it might be a shame to subject this car to salt but that's

why they make Ford cars, that ugly old LTD B.V. posted would be a

great candidate. I know X.P. pretty well and I'll tell you right now

he's no sell out. I think he'd rather jump off the Zachim Bridge and

into the icey waters of Charles River than drive some Camry. You

only live once and I'm getting to the point where I myself want to

be selfish and drive a beater 1960s car in the winter & have a few

1950s and 1930s cars for toys.

Everywhere I look there's people who are cutting up, "kustomizing"

and beating on classic cars. Worse still plenty sit in people's back

yards and rot away and then get crushed in local junkyards.

To hell with it, I might pick up a rotted '60s beater too after I get

my '59 Buick. Too bad the guy with the 1968 LeSabre 4dr hardtop

thinks his rotted, bondoifie car is worth $4000.

You said it, dude. I've got my eye on a '69 Delta 88 four door post with a 455 and 67,000 original miles that I could have for probably a grand but I just do not have any more room for any more cars unless I sell something, which I don't want to do, or it's small enough to be pushed into storage sideways like this cute little Pontiac. And you're absolutely right about Bob. He's the nicest guy you'll ever want to meet, but he's got his head in the clouds asking 4K for that LeSabre. You'd think after driving around with the sign on it for three years he'd drop his price a little but that's the figure he has in his mind and that's all he'll take, apparently. Meanwhile the mileage keeps going up and the car is stored outside regardless of the weather. I pass the ugly green Buick every morning on my way to school and wish I could be driving it if he'd ever get real about the price. I also drive by a '71 Thunderturd on the way to school that clearly hasn't been registered any time recently and hasn't moved from its spot in the five or so months since it suddenly appeared one day that'd be perfect for a winter beater, especially because I hate Fords and especially hate Thunderturds. I don't think I'd even bother to kick the salt off of it. But, once again, I ran out of space two and a half cars ago. It's times like these that makes me wish I had a warehouse.....

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Im looking for a 76 Omega 4 cylinder as a beater i loved my omega but they don't exist any more i guess.

Sir, my Dad had one of these as an "extra car" in addition to the Cutlass Supreme.

In that model year as well as 1975, this sled came with the following: 250 L-6 (Chevy), 260 V8 (Olds) and 350 V8 (Olds)

Four bangers became available when it went to X-body (2.5 Iron Duke L-4 (Pontiac))

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Surbridge has been the location for several historic Tight Whips events

of epic proportions. It's one of those strange places where nothing

happens but you keep traveling out there over and over for all manner

of strange reasons.

In 2004 I bought my '86 Fleetwood Brougham in "Wales" (just outside of Sturbrigde)

In 2005 I went to go take a look at some rotted out old demolition derby candidate down

there and I got pretty lost.

In 2006 me and XP were in my Q45 on a roadtrip back from CT & I got pulled over for

speeding. My ticket was for 99mph in a 65 but the cop said I had really good reflexes

because I slowd down awful quick. It was 1:00am and I had been doing about 125 when

XP started screaming "COP! COP!! COP!!! COP!!!" like it meant life or death. I pulled over

and stopped before the cop even put his lights on. He was super nice about the whole

incident since I think even he knew that the conditions were such that there was NO ONE

else on the road and I probably could have made a run for it. Not that I ever would but

It takes an awful long time for a Crown Vic. to get up to 125mph just to keep up, and you

are still not even over-taking the speeder by much as the Crown Vics top out at 130.

A few weeks prior to this ticket I had a blowout in the Q45. It was the right-rear tire.

I slowed down from 75, took an off ramp & drove over about 100' of groved pavement

when the tire blew appart like someone took a 12-gauge shotgun to the sidewall.

This also happened a few miles south of Sturbridge, on the CT side of I84.

My last demolition derby car I got in Oct. 2006, (1986 Mercury Topaz GS 5-spd) came

from a small town just north of Sturbridge.

And now in 2007, just last week I looked at that '59 LeSabre on the border of

Sturbridge Mass & CT.

Here's a quick map:

Posted Image

So there's a good chance when I eventually get a 1930s car it will probably be some

beat up 1934 chevy that was daily driven untill 1976 and then parked in some barn

that has its foundation half in Conn. & half in Sturbridge.

And this is why Sturbridge is semi-famous.

http://www.osv.org/

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