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Thread: Pontiac Tempest (3rd gen) 1968-1970

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    Pontiac Tempest (3rd gen) 1968-1970

    The Pontiac Tempest is an automobile that was produced by Pontiac from 1960 to 1970, and again from 1987 to 1991.

    The Tempest was introduced as an entry-level compact in October 1960 at the Paris Auto Show for the 1961 model year. A highly innovative design, it shared the new unibody Y platform, GM's first, with the Buick Special/Skylark and Oldsmobile F-85/Cutlass, came with a standard four-cylinder engine, and offered a two-speed rear-mounted transaxle automatic transmission.
    The line offered the optional LeMans trim upgrade, beginning with a few 1961 LeMans coupes and adding a performance aspect in 1962. In 1964, the Tempest was redesigned as a mid-size built on the new GM A-body platform, with its LeMans version spawning the industry-changing signature muscle car, the GTO. Originally options, both the LeMans and GTO were subsequently split off as their own model lines, the LeMans in 1969 and the GTO in 1965.

    In Canada, Pontiac also marketed a rebadged version of the compact L-body Chevrolet Corsica under the name Tempest from 1987 to 1991.

    Third generation (1968-1970)
    A completely restyled Tempest was introduced for 1968 with streamlined Coke bottle styling, concealed windshield wipers, and a return to horizontal headlights. Two door models rode on 112 in (2,800 mm) wheelbases and four-door on 116 in (2,900 mm). The 230 cu. in. overhead cam sixes were enlarged to 250 cu. in., with horsepower ratings unchanged while the 326 V8 was replaced by a new 350 in³ V8 with horsepower ratings of 250 with two-barrel or 320 with four-barrel carb. The same lineup of models including the base Tempest, Tempest Custom and Le Mans continued as in previous years.

    Other than elimination of vent windows on hardtop coupes, styling only received minor revisions for 1969, when the Tempest Custom was renamed the Custom S for this one year. However model offerings were the same as 1968. A new three-speed Turbo Hydra-matic 350 automatic transmission was introduced and available with all engines as an alternative to the older two-speed. Engine offerings were the same as before except for the 350 HO V8 engine gaining five-horsepower to 325. A new locking steering column with relocated ignition switch was introduced and front seat headrests became standard equipment. A new GTO option became available, The Judge. Featuring special decals, two Ram Air versions of Pontiac's 400 engine, and a rear spoiler, The Judge was originally conceived as a barebones muscle car based on the Tempest to compete with the new sub-$3,000 Plymouth Roadrunner; however, the plans for a new model fell through and Pontiac division head John DeLorean opted to create a GTO variant instead.

    Minor styling revisions, that included a new front grille treatment, highlighted the 1970 Tempest, which would be the final year for the nameplate in the U.S. Initially, the line was down to just two- and four-door sedans but expanded at mid-year with the introduction of the low-priced T-37 hardtop coupe, billed as GM's lowest-priced hardtop coupe. The Custom S became the Le Mans this year and the previous Le Mans series was renamed the Le Mans Sport. The Pontiac-built OHC six-cylinder engine was replaced by a Chevy-built 250 in³ inline six while the 350 V8 was down to a two-barrel 255 hp (190 kW; 259 PS) version. New engine offerings included 400 in³ V8s rated at 265 hp (198 kW; 269 PS) with two-barrel carburetor and 8.6:1 compression ratio or 330 with four-barrel and 10.25:1 compression.

    The Tempest nameplate was phased out after the 1970 model year. For 1971, it would be replaced by a new T-37 series that included each of the three bodystyles offered on the 1970 Tempest and T-37. After this year, the T-37 would be dropped and for 1972 all Pontiac intermediates took the Le Mans nameplate except the GTO.

    Source: Wikipedia

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