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1966 Pontiac Tempest Custom Coupe
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
...with the 326 2BBL, 3-speed on the floor).

All indications are that it's all original, unrestored, except a repaint in the early '90s.

I'm quite happy with it. The odometer reads 70K miles and I'd bet it hasn't turned over.

Lots of questions, but I suppose a couple on the top of my mind are whether the 250 hp 326 will respond to a 4BBL carb and other basic mods. Cam, headers?

Also...Wikipedia says 3 trannies were available - the Powerglide, 3-speed manual on the column or a 4-speed on the floor. It came with the original window sticker, consistent with what it actually has...a 3-speed manual on the floor, which the seller told me has the Hurst shifter. The window sticker says "3 speed-floor-fully synchronized". Is Wiki wrong in stating that the 3-speed manual was on the tree (no mention of floor shifter)?

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Hi TK,

Nice car! Don’t see many Tempest’s nowadays! Looks very clean and original, exception being the front upholstery.

In terms of the 3 speed manual that was standard on the floor. I may be mistaken but I don’t believe a manual column shift was offered. The 4 speed was optional, as was the automatic.

Welcome and Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi TK,

Nice car! Don’t see many Tempest’s nowadays! Looks very clean and original, exception being the front upholstery.

In terms of the 3 speed manual that was standard on the floor. I may be mistaken but I don’t believe a manual column shift was offered. The 4 speed was optional, as was the automatic.

Welcome and Enjoy!
Thanks GTOTIGR. Agreed...I temporarily forgot the Tempest was the base model (my friend had a '69 or '70 Tempest (6-cyl, no pwr steering) in the '80s, probably bought it for <$1K back then...fair price considering its condition), being I've seen so few of them throughout the years.

And right...I didn't find any indication fabric upholstery was OEM style (obviously replaced...looks like it was installed last week), but I suppose I don't mind it) during a browsing of classic parts vendors (OPGI and YearOne).

I've since done a search on this site re: modding the 326 2BBL. Some are saying one would see an improvement with a 4BBL, but that it's best realized with the higher compression heads of the HO 326. That hadn't occurred to me. I assumed the higher compression of the HO motor was attributable to a different crank or pistons.

Preliminary indication is that the motor is healthy. Doesn't smoke and pulls very well with the stock 333 lb/ft of torque. Just runs great. I'm in Colorado, and we just had a cold wave (-17 degrees according to my phone at 5 am last Monday) and was very impressed it started (with only a few initial crank-over attempts) in that brainium-freezing cold. Once it's warmed, it's running within milliseconds of starter engagement. Normally, I'm a big fan of HP modding, but in coming to see how much integrity it has in stock form, might keep it as is in appreciation of its overall original condition.

At the moment, the repairs needed list is only fixing a small exhaust leak between either the manifold & exhaust (or possibly exhaust manifold at the head), a bit whiny rear end (Saf-T-Track), no heat (vent fan works), and no window washer fluid. The rest of the electrical and exterior/interior lighting is working. And cig lighter doesn't appear to work.

The link here suggests it's a "2d coupe" based off the VIN. Since it's not a vinyl top, I would think it'd be a "2d hardtop". Are the 2d coupes vinyl tops? What's the difference, if not?

Also...the 3-speed on the floor is shown as an option on the sticker ($83.65 adder). Or maybe it's fully synchronized that made it cost more?

It still has the front drum brakes (non-pwr), but the brakes are in excellent condition...stops evenly and confidently with minimal effort (considering they're not power). So again...I'm growingly undecided as to whether to upgrade this, this or that (including swapping in an LS motor & 6-speed). I almost feel like I'd be the big a-hole at this point, being it's gone so many years in original form. It does have a newer dual exhaust in place, which I don't mind one bit. Did the 2BBL 326 have single or dual exhaust from the factory?

At the moment, while the ride is like butter, it's also boat-like. It's got Gabriel shocks with a wee smidge of rust on them, indicating they've been on for many years. So I'm planning on either 2" drop spindles or front coil springs. That should get the stance just the way I like it. Normally, I'd go with Bilsteins, but in spirit of the cruiser mobile that it is...maybe just KYBs. And surely wouldn't mind at least 7" wide rear rallies, otherwise matching the existing style.

The power steering is as power assisted as I've ever felt...could steer with my pinky finger if the ultra-skinny (and hard) steering wheel was moist (for a bit of grip).
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NICE SCORE! That Bench seat shifter looks 100% OE to me.
Here is a clip from the Accessory Booklet showing the trans options for the '66 models.

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Just for clarity, A 3-speed Column shift was Standard in '66.
I had a '66 Tempest convertible with a 3 on the tree as some call it.
Here is a clip from the Deluxe Dealer Brochure;
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Discussion Starter #13
NICE SCORE! That Bench seat shifter looks 100% OE to me.
Here is a clip from the Accessory Booklet showing the trans options for the '66 models.

View attachment 140757
Thanks for these options images...dig this stuff. I'm humbled, having just learned that Pontiac only had medium blocks. I've been a casual classic car enthusiast since I bought a '68 Chevelle SS at 23 y.o. (now 56). How I could go all these years just learning about the unique Pontiac blocks.

Fortunately, my mind is still an (hopefully non-smelly) ol' sponge. So it may be appropriate to call me Grasshopper in the Pontiac world. :geek:
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Just an FYI on the DECOR opt. Here is a breakdown of items included in this group;
View attachment 140760
Does this generation of models have the RPO codes label somewhere on the vehicle? The window sticker says the decor group ("064" on the sticker for $35.55...must be the 23507-17 in this table) consists of "mouldings-decor" and "wheel discs-dlx". But is there somewhere that gives more detail on that? I couple of photos from what I believe to be the early '90s show it during the repaint and how it looked after. I'm thinking the wheel discs-dlx are the hubcaps? Interested to know the specifics on the mouldings. Maybe it once had the chrome strips running along the floor board?
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Sigh...I see it actually has the floorboard moulding, along with the upper side trim. I also see the trim running along the middle of the sides is now gone (fine...not a huge fan of that trim). Here's one of the photos that came with the car (w/the what I'm guessing are the original "wheel discs-dlx".
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Discussion Starter #16
Seldom ordered/seen '66 GTO with 3 on column;

View attachment 140759
Craziness...but like that its rarity.

Back when I owned my '68 Chevelle SS, was jazzed to know (or believe, just because the seller said) it was 1 of 243 made with factory cruise control (never worked). I've owned six '86-'87 Turbo Regals (4 GNs & 2 TRs). My first had 13K miles...and virtually no options; including no power doors or locks.
 
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Great old photo of her. You are correct on the Deluxe Wheel Disc aka HUBCAPS.
I see the Deluxe steering wheel is still in place and looks good.
The Decor molding package was the brightwork around the window frames.
Most base model Tempest had painted metal trim/covers.
The rocker molding was standard on all models.

My Lemans had the deluxe wheel covers and steering wheel when I bought it in the '80s
I found an NOS set after the restoration and ran with them for a few more years but they just seem to scream old man on board :LOL:
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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Great old photo of her. You are correct on the Deluxe Wheel Disc aka HUBCAPS.
I see the Deluxe steering wheel is still in place and looks good.
The Decor molding package was the brightwork around the window frames.
Most base model Tempest had painted metal trim/covers.
The rocker molding was standard on all models.

My Lemans had the deluxe wheel covers and steering wheel when I bought it in the '80s
I found an NOS set after the restoration and ran with them for a few more years but they just seem to scream old man on board :LOL: View attachment 140770
For hubcaps, they're pretty sweet. But that's what I thought when I saw the old photos of mine...grandpa (with a Hurst shifter).
 
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