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Thread: Pontiac LeMans (1st gen) 1961-1963

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    The Netherlands

    Pontiac LeMans (1st gen) 1961-1963

    The Pontiac LeMans was a model name that was applied to subcompact- and intermediate-sized automobiles marketed by Pontiac from 1962 to 1981 (1983 in Canada). Originally a trim upgrade based on the Tempest, it spawned the industry changing signature muscle car, the GTO, in 1964. Manufactured in five generations in the 1960s and '70s, it was replaced by the downsized Pontiac Bonneville for the 1982 model year. From 1988 to 1993 the name was resurrected for a badge-engineered version of the Daewoo LeMans manufactured by Daewoo in South Korea.

    First generation (1961-1963)
    The LeMans was introduced as the top-of-the-line version of the compact-sized Pontiac Tempest toward the end of the 1961 model year on GM's new Y body platform. The Tempest LeMans was a trim package featuring sportier and more luxurious trim than the Tempest, including different badging and bucket seats. The trim option was available only on the two-door sedan (pillared coupe) body style.

    For the 1962 model year, the LeMans was still a trim package, but now also available in the convertible body style, as well as with the I4 4-bbl carbureted engine. There was also no pillarless hardtop body style available in either the Tempest and LeMans versions.

    For 1963, the LeMans name was still used only on two-door coupes and convertibles, but now was designated as a separate model in the Pontiac compact car lineup. This would last for just one year. Optional was a high-performance "326 CID V8" engine (actually displacing 336 cu in (5.5 L) during the 1963 model year).

    Source: Wikipedia

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    The Netherlands
    Last edited by Man of Steel; 08-10-2022 at 01:29 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    └A & Connecticlump
    These "Rope Drive" Tempests are part of my favorite cohort of GM compacts; their stablemates include the (in)famous Corvair (though I prefer the second generation), the later-turbocharged Olds F-85 JetFire, and the Buick Special for which the famous 215cid aluminum V8 (Rover 3.5) was developed. Of the Y-bodies, I think the '61 Poncho and Olds are the nicest designs and I would struggle to say no to the rope drive/transaxle combination in the Tempest, in particular.
    "Kimi, can you improve on your [race] finish?"
    "No. My Finnish is fine; I am from Finland. Do you have any water?"

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