1963 Pontiac Tempest

The #50 Tempest

The #50 Pontiac Tempest becomes a project that’s also a 50th-anniversary celebration. This car has a very interesting background & is outfitted with a 421 SD engine trans axel and the first unibody that GM produced. This project started with 12 junkyard bodies that has been transformed into a very cool race car to be debuted in 2020 More to come. . .

Steve Snyder

For those who do not know Steve, he was the man that sold me 11 – 1963 Tempest’s that were in his yard in Muncie Indiana. The 50 car would not be possible without Steve’s help.

Early Build

After finding eleven 1963 Pontiac Tempests at Indiana Pontiac in Muncie we started to move them one at a time to Michigan. The construction started when Troy our body shop man started to disassemble the fleet of cars to cherry-pick the best parts for the # 50 project car. Power blasted the full car, worked the body panels, spliced the rear section, & spray primer finish in white epoxy. After the bodywork with mostly finished we loaded in our trailer and showed the unfinished project at the Tri-Power Nationals in Norwalk Ohio.

Engine Build

Talk about luck the engine build started with Keith & Jeff Dorton from Concord, North Carolina Automotive Specialists Machine Shop. Being blessed a 2nd time Mark Porch at Robert George just up the street from Keith’s shop sold us a late 1962 421 SD short block that was stuffed in Roberts garage. Looking for an upgrade we had Keith use a better connecting rod and a lightweight Diamond Piston to spiff up the short block. Jeff started in on the alloy cylinder heads that we purchased from Edelbrock for more durability and a tick up in power. This combo required a bit of retrofitting when used on a 1962 SD block, Keith & Jeff made this work perfectly. The oil pan was hand-built as it would have been done back in the day, the kick-out is set up so the motor will not run dry on the tall banks of Daytona. Dyno results were 519 HP @ 6000 RPM, just enough to make this Hot Rod fly.

Roll Cage

Working with Steve Leavett, Nascar legend chassis builder has been nothing less than a blast. We asked Steve to build this in a period-correct way with some safety upgrades. The connectors from front to rear were welded into place, the roll cage is fit and set up inside the cabin & the structure is solid. The engineered rear end assembly is being set in place for a creative solution by Steve. Believe me when I say its a one-off masterpiece. Stay tuned for more details.

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