1965 Pontiac Tempest Custom Station Wagon

Steve Crowley
Westchester, IL
I retired from the insurance industry and needed a vehicle that could pull a trailer with my ‘68 Alfa Romeo on it. It was 2022 and difficult to get a new truck. Plus, the new truck prices were getting ridiculous. I found a 1965 Tempest Custom Wagon online. It was already restomodded with upgraded suspension, disc brakes, aluminum radiator with dual electric fans, aftermarket A/C, electronic ignition, one of the first MSD fuel injection units, a Pontiac 428 that needed some work, and a TREMEC 5-speed. We had to yank the motor to redo it. It’s a 428 with a stroker kit that brings it up to 461. We updated to a roller rocker set up, Holley Terminator injection unit, and an updated ignition system. We also had to redo the A/C and go through the electrical system. We added a Reese hitch that hides behind the rear plate and used the gas door from a 65 GTO to access it. There is an air bag assist for towing on the rear suspension, which has also been updated. The car originally came with a Muncie 4-speed which had a different shifter location than the TREMEC 5-speed. The conversion to the TREMEC was not the neatest, so I’m replacing the transmission tunnel to seal it up better. Once the transmission tunnel is fixed, we’re installing a console and buckets from a ‘65 GTO with matching rear fold down seat. We’re also doing new carpet, seat belts and door panels. We had to replace the radiator core support because it was rotting away. It was difficult to find because it’s a 1-year body style. I’m replacing messed up trim as I can find it. I call the car the great pumpkin. When I first got the car, my car club knew I was going to take it to the meeting all dressed in orange.