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A Rough Start For The Pontiac Freaks Among Us: A Trophy Four And A Whole Lot Of Work


A Rough Start For The Pontiac Freaks Among Us: A Trophy Four And A Whole Lot Of Work

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.

CraigsList: This 1962 Pontiac Tempest sports coupe is cool but definitely rough


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9 thoughts on “A Rough Start For The Pontiac Freaks Among Us: A Trophy Four And A Whole Lot Of Work

  1. ksj2

    Drove one my Sophomore year of high school.Red with a white painted top.Had a 100 yd race with a 1930 Model A and lost.One car I rarely talk about.

  2. Loren

    Not knowing anything about these cars then encountering one at the Pick-Your-Part (back when) was interesting, I’d assumed they were identical to the F-85 I’d had as an engine donor. The half-V8 was good for a chuckle if you’d never seen one…Flex driveshaft, IRS w/ swing-axle and five-lug wheels, too. I was like “WTH” for about a half-hour looking that thing over.

    1. ratpatrol66

      So I took my 62 LeMans in for new tires knowing it would freak everybody out when they lifted the car on the rack. First he couldn’t figure out where the shifter was? Then the look on the kids face when the car came of the ground was priceless. Everybody was out looking at my car. Lots of head scratching. None of the could understand how the torque converter would work being at the end of the drive train. More head scratching.

  3. ratpatrol66

    I’m going to try and buy back my 62 LeMans and build a salt flat car. Just bought a nice injected 4 banger from a friend that should get me going pretty good. Lohnes see you on the salt in a few days!!!

  4. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    Put a 3-71 blower and fuel injection on it and paint the body in Mickey Thompson’s trademark blue to create a tribute car to one of the best American kings of speed of all time!

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