Image credits: © Pontiac. GM Corp

1964 Pontiac Tempest

Up to this point in history, powerful mid-size cars had been primarily been a means to get a car on the racetrack, and to satisfy homologation requirements. Practicality and comfort were not their strong suite. The GTO changed this paradigm, boosted sales, and stimulated enthusiasm with the automotive community.

In the late 1950s, Pontiac's 'Wide-Track' improved styling and offered better handling, a combination that helped the company's reassurance in the market and improved its performance image. Although it had a successful factory racing program, Pontiac Motor Division was forced to comply with GM's infamous corporate racing ban of 1963. Pontiac found a way around the ban by refocusing their attention on performance cars for the road that could also, with preparation and the right parts, translate effectively to the racetrack.

The second-generation Tempest was launched for 1964, and would form the basis for Pontiac's future. The intermediate-sized Tempest rested on a 115-inch wheelbase platform and had an engine bay which could accommodate any available Pontiac engine, with power delivered to the road by a wide range of transmissions and driveline combinations. The Tempest LeMans was an upscale trim level that came with deluxe trim and sporty features including bucket seats. Adding to the versatility, a convertible body style was also available. The Tempest Le Mans also formed the core of the GTO high-performance option package.

A veritable multitude of appearance, comfort, convenience, and performance options made it possible for buyers to order a Tempest to suit their individual needs with judicious selection of factory-available items.

The base trim level was the Series 20 Tempest that came with a six-cylinder engine and had triple windsplits behind the front wheel openings, no upper belt line moldings, and small hubcaps. Bodystyles included a sedan, hardtop, and a station wagon. The cars fitted with the optional V-8 engines were given front fender badges.

The 215 cubic-inch overhead valve six-cylinder engine had a Rochester one-barrel carburetor and delivered 140 horsepower. The 326 cubic-inch V8 engine had a two-barrel carburetor and was rated at 250 horsepower. A four-barrel carburetor brought horsepower to 280 hp. The GTO came standard with a 389 CID that had 325 horsepower. An optional three two-barrel version brought horsepower to 348 hp. A three-speed manual was standard, a four-speed manual with floor shift was optional, as was the HydraMatic.

The Tempest Custom trim level, Series 21, were distinguished by the bright upper beltline moldings, Tempest Custom nameplates on the rear fender, and a more luxurious interior that included courtesy lamps on the convertibles, carpeting, and Deluxe steering wheel. Bodystyles included the sedan, hardtop, station wagon, and convertible.

The Tempest Le Mans had LeMans nameplates on the rear fenders, model badges on the deck lid, and LeMans script plates for the dashboard. They were also given ribbed décor plates for the deck lid latch panel, and simulated slanting louvers in front of the rear wheel cutouts. They could be purchased with the Grand Turismo Omologato (GTO) option package which added the 389 CID V8 and special appearance items. Both the Tempest LeMans and GTO were available as a coupe, hardtop, and convertible.


by Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2019

Related Reading : Pontiac GTO History

The Pontiac GTO, in all respects a muscle car, debuted in 1964 and continued until 1974. John Zachary DeLorean, best known for the Delorean automobiles, was the individual who forced the development of the legendary GTO. The vehicle was very successful because it was able to capitalize on a segment of the market that had not been fully realized. Most of the muscle cars during this time were full-size....
Continue Reading >>

1964 Vehicle Profiles

1964 Pontiac Tempest vehicle information

LeMans Convertible

The 1964 GTO option package for the new intermediate-size Pontiac Tempest LeMans started the muscle-car era in the automobile industry.....[continue reading]

1964 Pontiac Tempest vehicle information

LeMans Convertible

Chassis Num: 824F4123

1964 was the second year for the LeMans variation of Pontiac's Tempest. As with the Grand Prix and the GTO, the LeMans name reflected the company's efforts to foster a sporting image. ....[continue reading]

1964 Pontiac Tempest vehicle information

LeMans Coupe

The Trans-Am Series is an automobile racing series created in 1966 by the Sports Car Club of America. Originally known as the Trans-American Sedan Championship it has evolved over time from its original format as a manufacturer's championship for mod....[continue reading]

1964 Pontiac Tempest vehicle information

LeMans Convertible

There is no doubt that the Pontiac GTO started an entirely new market for the domestic auto industry. Although there were numerous cars that offered high performance drive-trains, the GTO was the first to put a large cubic-inch engine into a smaller,....[continue reading]

1964 Pontiac Tempest vehicle information

LeMans Hardtop

Chassis Num: 824P66350

The GTO is credited with starting the Muscle Car Era. 1964 was the first year for the GTO. The offering was repeated in 1965 and in 1966 Tempest GTO became a separate series. There were 6,644 convertibles produced in 1964, with a sticker price betwee....[continue reading]

1964 Pontiac Tempest vehicle information

LeMans Hardtop

Chassis Num: 824F26633

This 1964 Pontiac GTO is finished in Medium Red with a Black interior and is powered by a 389 cubic-inch V8. It has been upgraded with period correct GTO tri-power induction system and is backed from the factory with the M20 wide ratio 4-speed manual....[continue reading]

1964 Pontiac Tempest vehicle information

LeMans Convertible

Chassis Num: 824F38361

This Pontiac GTO was constructed at Pontiac's assembly plant in Fremont, California on June 24, 1964. It was originally ordered by the Dallas Pontiac Zone and generously equipped with several extremely rare factory options. It has a four-speed M20 wi....[continue reading]

1964 Pontiac Tempest vehicle information

Station Wagon

Chassis Num: 804F11173

The Pontiac Tempest was introduced in 1961. It experienced unprecedented sales during 1964 with the introduction of a new version (the Tempest LeMans GTO). The Pontiac Tempest was a very diverse model offered in several different bodystyles with a va....[continue reading]

1964 Pontiac Tempest vehicle information

GTO LeMans Coupe

Chassis Num: 824F30946

This Pontiac GTO is powered by a 389 CID with a Tri-Power setup and mated to a 4-speed transmission. It is black with a red interior.....[continue reading]

1964 Pontiac Tempest vehicle information

GTO LeMans Convertible

'Grand Turismo Homologato' the name, which is credited to John DeLorean and inspired by the Ferrari 250 GTO. It is an Italian abbreviation for Tran Turismo Omologato, which means officially certified for racing in the grand tourer circuit. Of ....[continue reading]

1964 Pontiac Tempest vehicle information

LeMans Coupe

Chassis Num: 624B5555

This 1964 Pontiac LeMans is mostly original as it came from the factory. Currently it has a mere 15,232 miles on its odometer. It has a light blue exterior and a six-cylinder engine.....[continue reading]

LeMans Convertible
 
LeMans Convertible
Chassis #: 824F4123 
LeMans Coupe
 
LeMans Convertible
 
LeMans Hardtop
Chassis #: 824P66350 
LeMans Hardtop
Chassis #: 824F26633 
LeMans Convertible
Chassis #: 824F38361 
Station Wagon
Chassis #: 804F11173 
GTO LeMans Coupe
Chassis #: 824F30946 
GTO LeMans Convertible
 
LeMans Coupe
Chassis #: 624B5555 

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1964 Tempest
$3,080-$17,800
1964 Pontiac Tempest Price Range: $2,260 - $3,080

$2,740 - $3,310

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Pontiac
1969Chevrolet (2,092,947)Ford (1,826,777)Volkswagen (1,241,580)870,081
1968Chevrolet (2,139,290)Ford (1,753,334)Volkswagen (1,191,854)910,977
1967Chevrolet (2,206,639)Ford (1,730,224)Toyota (1,068,321)782,734
1966Ford (2,212,415)Chevrolet (2,206,639)Volkswagen (1,168,146)831,331
1965Chevrolet (2,375,118)Ford (2,170,795)Volkswagen (1,174,687)802,000
1964Chevrolet (2,318,619)Ford (1,594,053)Toyota (1,068,321)715,261
1963Chevrolet (2,237,201)Ford (1,525,404)Fiat (957,941)590,071
1962Chevrolet (2,061,677)Ford (1,476,031)Fiat (957,941)521,933
1961Ford (1,338,790)Chevrolet (1,318,014)Volkswagen (807,488)340,635
1960Chevrolet (1,653,168)Ford (1,439,370)Toyota (1,068,321)396,716
1959Chevrolet (1,462,140)Ford (1,450,953)Volkswagen (575,407)383,320

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