Home Car Stories Alley Finds 1966 PONTIAC Tempest- Oakland, CA
1966 PONTIAC Tempest- Oakland, CA PDF Print E-mail
Written by Double Dragon
Monday, 15 December 2014 22:43

1966 PONTIAC Tempest- Oakland, CA


Writing and photography copyright D. S. Brown

66 pontiac tempest oakland ca logo

The intermediate Pontiac Tempest model ran from 1964 to 1965 with fairly squared off lines and a large rear trunk. The Tempest most famously served as the basis for the GTO option which ripped through the nation and inaugurated the muscle car wars.

In 1965 the stacked headlight style that was so effective on the full size cars was applied to the Tempest. The stacked headlights were copied by other manufacturers and remained a staple of the front end of the Tempest through the 1967 model year. Sharp eyed readers will note that these photos were taken over a period of a year or two and that the headlights vanish and reappear from picture to picture.

66 pontiac tempest oakland ca front

For the 1966 model year the basic Tempest A body was jazzed up a bit with sloping rear window and 'coke bottle' flared rear quarters to place emphasis on the narrower 'wasp waist' effect. The proportion of hood to trunk was also altered to shift the lines to the ponycar ideal of long hood short rear deck. The rear trunk was still large, but definitely a bit shorter than the 1964-5 versions of the Tempest.

1966 PONTIAC Tempest- Oakland, CA front

This Tempest is mostly stock even having some of the original hubcaps. It mercifully retains the original size 14 inch black steelies instead of being subjected to inane 20-22 inch modern wheels. The design of that original hubcap perfectly suits the car which is no surprise since even the wheelcovers were designed to tie into the cars design themes. The balance of the lines on this car shine through the worn paint.

1966 PONTIAC Tempest- Oakland, CA pass side

Cruising around in the California sun in an old classic is the way to live. Nowadays everyone is hunched over texting something to someone. The latest gadget is considered to convey some kind of status but it doesn't propel you down a sunny street at speed. The car is the only status symbol that actually takes you places whenever you want.

66 pontiac tempest oakland ca driver side

The 4 door and 2 door intermediate body share the same dimensions. The distance between front wheels and other visual landmarks occur at the same point making the profile very similar between the coupe and the sedan. A hardtop 4 door hides it's four door utilitarian nature fairly effectively with an unbroken line of side glass devoid of the 'post'.

1966 PONTIAC Tempest- Oakland, CA steering wheel

At some point in the history of this car someone switched out the original steering wheel for a strange hideous neon green shiny aftermarket thing. The chrome drilled out spokes set the era around the 1970s or early 1980s. Other than this 'Day 2' touch the car is largely original with the factory bench seat and column shift still in place.

1966 PONTIAC Tempest- Oakland, CA side

The passenger rear window has a 'Summit' sticker so there is a possibility that this car has some chrome underhood or perhaps a Thrush muffler. The vent window has some of that strange purple window tint used to break down the broiling sun in California. This view here shows clearly the hardtop effect where the 4 door format of this car is not so obvious at a casual glance. Note that the Tempest still has its original 'black plate'.

1966 PONTIAC Tempest- Oakland, CA rear

The back of the car has some bondo that is showing through probably from a 'quickie' fix following a rear impact.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 03 March 2016 14:54 )