My pal and fellow NHRA announcing cohort Alan Reinhart sent me this listing for a 1962 Pontiac Tempest sport coupe the other day for consideration as a Rough Start. This is proof that (a) AR reads the website on a daily basis and sees the stuff that McTaggart posts and (b) is as ate up with the game of searching up cool cars on the internet as the rest of us. He’s a heavy duty car guy with a mechanical background so all of this makes sense and the one thing that does not is my open lust for the lump of a car he sent over for me to check out. I’ve always wanted one of these things but I am not sure this is the one that is meant to fulfill my destiny. Hmmm.
I actually got hip to these cars and the Trophy Four engine’s potential a few years ago when I found a guy on YouTube who had a machine similar to this with a single turbocharged four banger. These are the famed “half a 389” engines that use the same head as the vaunted V8 engine on them. Mickey Thompson used them to set records and guys still beat them to the heavens at places like Bonneville. This guy with the light, kind of ratty boosted Tempest is a hero and this car would be a seemingly decent start to replicate that build if you were so inclined.
The good stuff is that this thing has a four speed and does not appear to be rotted to the ends of the Earth. The rough part is that every inch of the car is in need of attention. The true Pontiac lovers out there may jump at the chance to get (mostly) clean metal for $2,000 but its a little much for this guy.