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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale January 15th – 19th, 2014 at Russo and Steele’s 14th Annual Scottsdale Arizona Auction. Please contact us for more information.
This 1963 Pontiac Tempest Le Mans 421 Super Duty Factory Experimental Lightweight is 1 of the 6 examples produced and it is one of only two remaining. After Mickey Thompson and Royal Pontiac dominated Super Stock and A/FX in 1962 with their own specially-prepared Tempest racers, GM’s Pontiac Motor Division took aim at the NHRA’s Factory Experimental class, building 14 special lightweight Tempest racers – six Le Mans coupes, six station wagons, and two standard coupes. Built on December 12th 1962 at the Pontiac, MI assembly plant, the purpose-built Le Mans coupes were all painted white and given blue interiors with bucket seats. Following in Thompson’s footsteps, Pontiac Engineering endowed the cars with high-compression dual-quad 421 Super Duty engines connected to unique rear-mounted 4-speed automatic transmissions. All used aluminum front sheet metal and brake drums, acid-dipped bumpers and mounting brackets and lightweight windshield glass, resulting in almost perfect 48/52 weight distribution while keeping the cars in line with the NHRA’s 7.5 pounds-per-cubic-inch A/FX class weight limit.
One of the six built, this Tempest Le Mans coupe was delivered to Stan Long Pontiac on Grand River Road in Detroit. Driver Stan Antlocer campaigned the car through a busy and successful 1963 season that included the all-important Indy Nationals. Along the way he made an important change to the car. Since the 4-speed transaxle accommodated only up to a 3.90:1 final-drive ratio and was somewhat prone to breaking under the 421’s explosive power, Antlocer replaced the factory driveline with a heavy-duty Borg-Warner 3-speed manual transmission and a full-size Pontiac rear end with a 4.30:1 gear set. The change paid off in spades, earning Antlocer the title of “World’s Fastest Tempest” after tearing off an 11.93 ET at 123.95 mph at U.S. 131 Dragway in Martin, MI. This record-setting Pontiac factory lightweight Tempest was restored by Scott Teimann’s renowned Super Car Specialties in Portland, MI to the configuration as originally raced by Stan Antlocer, including the 421 Super Duty engine with dual inline Carter 4-bbl carbs.