Originally Posted by dango
I'm thinking the 1964 Tempest was a rear mounted engine.? Not sure though.!
Sort a like Chevy Corvair , but a little larger , not much..!
Dango, my friend! Your confused! Not accustomed to seeing you confused!
The 64 Tempest was the midsize body that the first GTO was built on. A 64 Tempest and a 64 GTO (the first GTO) were the same car - but with engine difference and trim differences. The engine, of course, in the GTO was the 389.
You're thinking about the earlier series of Tempests. The Pontiac Tempest began with the 61, as Pontiac's answer to the sudden "compact car" push - competing with Ford's Falcon and Chevy's Corvair. All brought on by the onslought from Europe - the VW Beetle mostly - but Renault Dauphine and the Saab, etc.
The Tempest was a 4 cylinder (half of a 389 @194 1/2, really - slanted, even - from cutting the V8 block). The transmission was in the rear - called a "transaxle" because it had the rear axle gears in the case, too - and it had a "flexible drive" from the clutch back... It was considered a remarkable feat of engineering in it's day. That engine and body continued in 1962.
In 63, they grew the body somewhat (it looked nicer, more modern) and kept the four cylinder but gave you an option of a 326 V8 in a normal front transmission and rear end configuration. This was a nice engine package in that light car.
Then they grew the body even farther for the 64 Tempest and gave you the choice of the typical family style or the new AMAZING GTO version! Which of course, was the start of the muscle car thing.
I owned one of the early four cylinder transaxle Tempests. It went through a lot of throw-out bearings...(manual- it was)
And now you know way more than you ever wanted to know about the beginnings of the Pontiac Tempest.
They kept growing them unfortunately - and they got kind of huge (and heavy) - lost the real GTO performance thing they originally had going.