HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1963 Pontiac Tempest with factory V8 and loads...

Pick of the Day: 1963 Pontiac Tempest with factory V8 and loads of style

The sporty compact has been restored and sympathetically upgraded


The Pick of the Day is a 1963 Pontiac Tempest convertible, one of the sweetest compact cars of the early ‘60s, especially when paired with the factory 326cid V8. 

This Tempest looks to be a super-nice example, with some period-appropriate upgrades for added performance and appearance.  While this was still one year prior to the Tempest GTO option that arguably launched the muscle-car era, this sharp-looking droptop should provide plenty of go as well as show.

“With only 5,012 Tempest convertibles produced in 1963, this is not a car you see at every show!” notes the Palmetto, Florida, seller advertising the Tempest on ClassicCars.com. “These cars have so much character, they really stand out from the crowd. Add to that the V8 powerplant under the hood and you could argue that this was really one of the first muscle cars.

“The Pontiac 326 V8 engine has been topped off with a Holley Performance carburetor and upgraded coil for a sure spark. Dual exhaust gives it a nice muscle car sound that is unmistakable.”


The Burgundy paint is fairly recent, the seller adds, and contrasts nicely with the beige interior and power-operated fabric top.  The Tempest rides on a set of Eagle Alloy wheels shod with BF Goodrich Radial TA tires.

This Pontiac looks very sporty in the gallery of photos with the ad, showing off a nice stance along with its sharp original styling.  The car has been driven fewer than 68,000 miles, according to the ad.

“The interior has been restored and shows very well,” the dealer says. “The dash mounted shifter is very unique and makes for a good conversation piece at car shows.”

The Tempest has been provided with an aftermarket audio system and speakers, including a subwoofer mounted in the trunk. 


This tempting Tempest is priced at $33,995, which is reasonable for a car as nice as this one seems.

To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


  1. Hello…I just want to say without being critical at all…These were really nice pontiacs…but certain cars deserve certain paint jobs…and I just don’t think this color does this car justice…These particular cars deserve a lighter color to bring out their lines…just my opinion…but a real clean car…thanks for posting it…

  2. Real nice but way over priced for a non stock, modified, non restored Tempest. This would be more in line with a $19,900 price.

  3. In addition to the color choice, the car is missing the chrome trim piece that extends from the front quarter panels half way across the doors. These trim pieces help define the lines and break up the expanse of paint across the side of the car. With the chrome trim matching up with the side molding on the rear quarter panels, the car would appear sleeker and better defined.

  4. Body gaps at doors concern me and the initial photo of driver’s door/fender shows poorly in light, i.e. not a straight reflection. Could be just an odd angle.

  5. i bought one new in 63 , had less miles on it in 65 than yours, the right front A frame collapsed making a left turn
    going less than 10 MPH, towed it to Stephens Pontiac in Daytona, and waited for S.E. reg. factory rep., looked fresh out of college, to look at it ,He said it wasn’t Pontiac’s responsibility. I told him it would be my LAST Pontiac i ever bought, he walked away. I’ve never bought one either. I traded it for a 65 Chevrolet at Spence Chevrolet almost across the street
    in Daytona. I still liked Jim Stephens sponsored Pontiac’s, Fireball drove and others

  6. I like it ! It looks much better then what is produced today ! Every car regardless of make looks exactly the same and you cannot tell the difference! I have seen a few on the road that were not convertibles

    • I love it!!!! You used a neat article about a neat automobile to whine about today’s cars!

      You must be a real pleasure to be around.


  7. As I recall, that 326″ V8 John Delorean sneaked in there to stay under Chevy’s 327″ and GM’s 330″ limits actually had 336″… and the later 350 was a 354″… Back in the day my Friend had one that he hopped up to run like an early GTO… but the drivetrain in ’61 – ’63 Tempests was always henky and so I would avoid them… proprietary flexible driveshafts, super long sloppy shifter linkages, rear transmissions, swing axle IRS…

  8. Dang you people sure are critical of the man’s car, probably most of the comments are from jealousy. Just my opinion. I do believe it is a nice clean example of older vehicles in the day.

  9. I had a Tempest with the 326 and swapped shifter to a Hurst shifter, Left front end collapsed so put a GM Holden independant front end in, much better handling. It was a good car but with only 3 in NZ parts were hard to get and parts from US to NZ were very expensive

  10. In 2001 I bought a survivor hardtop coupe ’63 LeMans, 326 (NOT 336ci, myths & bench racing be d**mned), 2bbl with a rear PowerGlide based transaxle. Was what Chevy called Anniversary Gold/gold vinyl interior.
    Catenary driveshaft, could see the torque converter spinning from the rear. Neat t-handle dashboard shifter, linear taillights reminiscent of the ’64 GTO, not the Tempest dots. Spiffy, no race car, swingaxle evil handling near the limits.
    Changed over to 2.5 inch dual exhaust with period correct turbo muffs- driveshaft broke.
    Welded professionally. Put on a late ’60’s Pontiac 400 4bbl intake & period QuadraJet carb- driveshaft broke.
    Bought, at heinous expense, a NOS replacement driveshaft. Replaced the stock steelies and weenie tires with 15×7 AR Torq Thrust rims and BFG T/A 60 series rubber.
    Driveshaft broke. No burnouts, no hammering, just normal city driving.
    Sold the car. New owner tubbed the rear, added a fourlink and GM 12bolt axle, put in a trans tunnel from a ’63 Buick, and a TH350 from a late ’60’s Nova with a custom normal(!) driveshaft.
    Car runs mid-15’s with the original motor, as I sold it, handles like an early Nova, and gets more attention than my built ’04 Holden made GTO.
    Curses. Such a sweet looking package, hamstrung by GM’s “high” tech driveline experiment. Wish I still had it.

  11. I had one exactly like this, except it wasn’t a convertible, had two more doors and was brown, and was made by Rambler. Other than that, it was identical!

  12. In 1966 my dad bought me a1963 Pontiac Tempest! 4 cylinder/automatic on dash! Maroon with maroon interior and white stripes on seats! It was fantastic!!! Black convertible top. 1st car! Wow! But always need ed work for inspection. Mechanic called the 4 cyl. an eggbeater! Ha! What is your best price?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent Posts