The "PRE" GTO the 1963 Lemans - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
 
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The "PRE" GTO the 1963 Lemans

Hi all, new here to the forums. I have a couple of 63 Lemans convertibles with the 326 (336) one year engines. Very interesting car, with a transaxle in the rear. Car was talked about in My Cousin Vinny by beautiful Marisa Tomei. I have a 3rd one that I'm parting out due to major rust in the body.

Member of the Little Indians club, a club just for the 1961-63 Pontiac Tempest/Lemans with the "ropeshaft" drivetrains.

www.littleindians.com
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 10:25 AM
 
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I don't know much about the rope Tempests but I do know that I agree about Marisa.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 02:13 PM
 
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The factory built several of those early Tempests & Lemans, as drag cars, with the 421 SD engine, and a regular type rear end, which was probably the big car 9.3 type.

Most of these cars were maintained, modified, & raced by some of the biggest names in drag racing. Mickey Thompson had several. One of his cars won the A/FX class at the '62 Winternationals & US Nationals, with different drivers. Arnie Beswick also had at least one coupe & one wagon.

https://www.hagerty.com/articles-vid...per-duty-quick

https://www.hotrod.com/articles/mick...ntiac-tempest/

https://www.dragzine.com/news/drag-r...ac-lemans-afx/

https://www.hemmings.com/blog/articl...-duty-tempest/

http://racersreunion.com/tim-frederi...st#gallery_img

Pontiac sold the 421 SD parts out the back door, to quite a few drag & circle track racers. Pontiac ruled NASCAR for a few years, with the SD engines. One famous NASCAR driver said that the Pontiacs were so much faster than his Chevy that the only way he could keep up was to draft. He was drafting the lead Pontiac, near the end of the '60 Daytona 500. The rear windshield blew out of the Pontiac, causing the car to spin out. That put the Chevy in the lead, & nobody had enuff time left to pass hit.

But, Pontiac won the '61 & '62 Daytona 500, as well as the July race at Daytona in '62. During this period Pontiac won lots of polls & lots of races. There were lots of races in which Pontiacs made up the large majority of the first several rows, at the big races. In '63, GM pulled the plug on factory racing support for Pontiac. But, the NASCAR champ in '63 won most of his races in a Pontiac.

Here's a cool story about a bad '63 Tempest.

https://bangshift.com/bangshiftapex/...t-sports-cars/

http://www.superchevy.com/features/1...corvette-1963/

Hey, it's just a little Pontiac history, for the younger guys who may not know.
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Last edited by bigD; 09-18-2019 at 08:53 PM.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 03:17 PM
 
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Now that brings back some memories! I grew up in Pomona Ca. in the 1960s. We lived about 2 miles from the Auto Club Raceway At Pomona. It was just the Pomona drag strip back in those days. Couple of those pictures appear to have been taken there lie the one that shows Hayden Proffitt beating who I believe is Bill Thomas in a Nova. I spent a lot of time there with my older brother Richard (rest his soul) and remember seeing every one of those drag cars run. My stepmom still owns and lives in that house. We might have also seen the 2 stock cars shown race at the old Riverside Raceway.

Last edited by Stephen Blakeney; 09-18-2019 at 03:31 PM.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 07:56 PM
 
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Welcome Welcome Welcome... Great little cars, Always been drawn to Pontiac's oddities

GTO Jr. - A.K.A. SPRINT 6
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