Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sold on Ebay for $226,521

No engine or transmission. Rusted. Dented. The opening bid was $500. The seller didn't realize it was "one of only six 1963 Pontiac LeMans Tempest Super Duty coupes ever made."

UPDATE: Linked by Dad 29 , Common Sense Political Thought, and Gold-Plated Witch On Wheels, so I did some scouting around and learned that this car was apparently first purchased by professional drag racer Stan Antlocer and turned the quarter-mile in under 13 seconds in NRHA competition. Back in the day, Detroit automakers built small batches of custom race machines that could be purchased through regular dealers, a practice that GM was preparing to ban in 1963. Hemmings Motor News explains:
Pontiac engineers grabbed 12 1963 Tempests--six four-door station wagons and six Le Mans two-door coupes--and spent their 1962 Christmas break preparing all 12 cars for drag race duty. . . . .
Pontiac had already made extensive changes to the Tempest for the 1963 model year. They chucked the Buick 215 and added the two-barrel 260hp Pontiac V-8 to the option sheet. . . .
To prep the Tempests for race duty, Pontiac's engineers first replaced the 326 with the notoriously underrated 405hp Super Duty version of the 421. . . . While the Catalina Super Duty 421s used cast-aluminum long-branch exhaust manifolds, the Tempest Super Duty 421s used unique stainless steel headers. . . . The downpipes then dumped out just behind the front tires, but not before a crossover pipe connected each side and provided a 1¾-inch stub to attach the stock exhaust, should a track or sanctioning body ever require a stock exhaust system. . . .
Neither seam sealer nor sound deadener made it into the 12 cars. . . . Heater delete and radio delete, of course, and they even went so far as to have Harrison stamp unique aluminum radiators. All 12 left Pontiac painted Cameo White and with 326 badges in their grilles.
For the sake of brevity, I've skipped over lots of the technical details, including the unusual "semi-automatic" flex-drive transmission, but you understand how much this rare Pontiac differed from its standard-issue cousins. From zero to 110 mph in 12.75 seconds? They don't build 'em like that any more.
UPDATE II: Minor correction: Top ET for the 1/4 mile was 12.42, with a top speed of 113 mph -- and that was the station wagon version!


  1. Muscle car prices are insane. When I was a teenager, I had the opportunity to buy a 1970 4-4-2 W-30 for $1500. Try to find that car today for that price. i didn't have the money then, although I could afford that price now, but not what they are going for now. Oh well.

  2. Right Guy: Tell me about it. I had a 1970 Roadrunner Superbird that I sold when I went away to college. The engine needed some work, but today the thing would be worth more than my retirement account.