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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I am selling my 66 chevelle the deal comes with a partial trade for a 65 Tempest. I am having trouble trying to decide which way to go with the restoration. I want to do another ProTouring project but go all out not sure if this is the car for that though. I could go GTO clone but there seems to be a ton of those out there. Or I could go close to original?
A little background: The original owner passed about 2years ago and the son sprayed the places where the paint was thin from the California sun and parked it. It has original numbers matching everything. It does have a slight ding in the rear quarter panel (driver's side) where someone backed into something.
I am attaching some pics and would love some feedback on what route you guys think I should go.
Thanks
James in Georgia

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Hello James, I am new to the forum also and what you got there is a Tempest Custom my friend. Better than "just a Tempest" but not quite a Lemans. I should know because I have one myself, except its a drop-top. Now I will tell you this, they aren't worth a whole lot of money per say but, they are getting harder to find in original condition, like yours, because they have either been destroyed, parted out or cloned. I, personely, would like to see these types of cars brought back to their former glory. At one time, they were part of the back-bone of our great country. I have been to hundreds of car shows, seen thousands and thousands of cars, but I have yet to see another Tempest custom with my own eyes, and only one 65' lemans. I am very interested in your car and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me anything.
 

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If you haven't found this site on the net yet it is a good one. Go to www.oldride.com and at the top right click "library" then click the word "Pontiac" in bold letters then look for "1965 pontiac tempest" half way down the page in the third columnand click that, lots of good info about your car.
 

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Welcome to the contingent of Tempest/Lemans owners on the forum, it seems we are growing in numbers rapidly these days. Looks like you have a pretty good foundation to build on, don't recall ever seeing the two tone interior, is that original? I am in the camp of "build what will make you happy". i had the same predicament when i got mine...Clone, Resto-mod, Original? Well where i came down was somewhere between original and Resto, lost the 326 for a 463, any mods i make other than the motor will be able to be undone with a wrench and screwdriver in a weekend. As stated the changes will not effect value as much as if it was a 242 (GTO) so it gives us a little more wiggle room to play with them.....keep us posted and welcome to the herd...:cheers

heres my 66' Tempest Custom

http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/g372/instg8ter/1966 Tempest/

Brian
 

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You'll have to look it up, don't know what kind of carb. it has, go to www.caaarguide.com, that should tell you what you want to know. Click "car values" at the top, find "pontiac" next and click that, then "tempest" and then "1965"
 

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sad fact is if your talking "concourse" original, you will put more into it than what it will be worth. All the parts you will need are basically GTO parts and as such they carry steep price tags. Your car looks intact so to repair/re-man your existing parts and do a nice frame on resto and rebuild the 326 doing all or most of the work yourself you may have a little equity in it. Now, in terms of a sleeper car you have a great candidate, factory specs them out at 400 lbs lighter than a GTO so find a nice 389/400/421/428/455 and throw it in there, dress it like the 326 all the accessories will for the most part bolt right up as all the pontiac blocks are the same dimensions. Drop in a 4 speed shepards hook hurst shifter with the sweet two tone bench and go show a few of your Chevelle buddies what Pontiacs are all about....:D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
so I guess that a 468 bbc with 620hp and 600tq in the Pontiac would be frowned upon? Which is the engine I have been wanting for my next project ... before it was a Pontiac.
 

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although tempting for the WOW factor i would opt for a fresh pontiac block and keep it stealthy, dress it in factory colors down to the 326 stickers and air cleaner. If you drop a BBC like that in it you may as well go pro-tour. IMHO
 

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99.9% of people will just go wow when you open the hood and you have a BBC Chevy in it, the .1% on here may frown, but 99% on here will smile when you fire it up and they hear a BA car cackle.
That is a really nice car, I would try to use the good original parts and not chop it up. But, the car is worth more as a drivable bad ass car than a stock Tempest, so go for it and build it up. Just don't ruin it, no 24" rims, lol..
 

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tempest custom here also. i was lucky enough to get a hardtop. im in favor of doing whatever makes you happy if you own it.
mine was as cherry as yours when i got it from my grandmother in 1986. its not that far away now....... except for the CHEVY ENGINE. but you are right most people here dont go for that kind of stuff.
 

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so I guess that a 468 bbc with 620hp and 600tq in the Pontiac would be frowned upon? Which is the engine I have been wanting for my next project ... before it was a Pontiac.
Well, I always tell people that "it's your car and your cash, do whatever pleases you and forget what everyone else thinks."

However, don't count the Pontiac out. If you're interested in stealth power, it's very possible to build a Pontiac that will make those same numbers, if not better, and be much more streetable to boot. The expert on that topic around here is Jim Lehart (Mr. P-Body on here) of Central Virginia Machine Service.

Here's a photo of my numbers-matching "400" :D I've built for my 69 GTO, and as you can see it looks about as stock as you can get, with factory cast iron heads, intake, and "factory" carburetor.



It runs just fine on 93-octane pump gas, here's a link to the dyno sheet.
Notice not only that fat torque curve, but where it is in the rpm range. I 'bleeve I'll be giving them bowtie boys all they can handle, if I can get the car to hook... :D

Bear
 

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If you already have the engine, then why not? Is this a drag car? If it is a street car for the most part. The Pontiac engine's are going to run very well and are a ton easier to get bolted in and running with every thing. Not that the BBC can't be done. I have both a 67 Camaro with a 560hp 427 and several Pontiac with 400's and 455's. I have had a few Old's also, and have several friends with all the above. HP is HP, it is where that HP is coming in at and where you are at when it is being applied. Street light to street light, that Ponco is going to stand right up to anything out there. If it is 4.88 gears and 9000 rpm launches at the track, well you better build a small block Chevy. Don't get my wrong here. I am a way bigger BBC fan then Pontiac, but it just comes down to what makes the most sense for me, and how much work I am willing to put into it. I mean If I was to buy an AC Cobra (I have this dream) It would have to be a boss 429 that was over 500CI but that is a ton of money. So I would have no trouble putting a 572 BBC right in there. Do what you like no one is going to kick you out. It is super cool that this car being loved and can be on the road soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Update

Looks like the deal is falling through after a week of planning when and where the guy suddenly had a change of heart
So this Tempest will not be mine. :confused

Oh well guess it wasn't meant to be
 

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if you are able to get it later id keep it original down to the 326, the engine is the heart of a car and if you put a chevy engine or even another pontiac engine in it you killed its soil, its soil is not a drag car, its soil is a strong running v8 that can keep up with 90% of cars on the highway today with decent mpg. finding stock tempest is like trying to find a cheap hemi, its rare so id say predurve a car thats mostly stock and look for a 6 cylinder or a car with no motor to do the streedrod thing. however if you decided to do a sleeper why not put a built 4 speed auto in it wit ha shift kit so knowbody will notice the od logo on the shift indicator and hey a 326 has the same stroke has a 389, why not keep the 326 but bore it out to a 389 and use gto heads and came with a carter 4v, then it look like a stock 4v 326 but would be putting out around 325 hp!
 

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What they said...

James,
Welcome to the forum. As you've already seen, there
are a lot of knowledgeable guys here that are glad to help
out.
I am in the same camp as the other guys, ultimately,
do what will make you happy.
I am in the process of a frame off on a 65 GTO.
I'm doing my best to make it as close to factory as
possible.
The pics make your car look like it's in real good shape,
whichever way you go, it looks like you have a good foundation
to build on.
I hope you restore it to its original glory, one of my neigbors is
restoring a 66 Tempest custom, and it looks awesome.
I really like Ingstig8or's idea of the engine choices to make
it a real sleeper to go kick some Chevy a$$!
Keep us posted, and best of luck with it!
 
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