Long before he made a gullwinged car from a pizza oven. Before he tried to become a cocaine cowboy and even before he became the Father Of The Pontiac GTO John Z DeLorean marched to a different drummer.
In the early 60's GM needed a compact line of cars to fight rising import sales and the Ford Falcon. Introduced in late 1960 the GM Y Body was that answer. Consisting of compact vehicles for Buick, Oldsmobile and Pontiac ..The Pontiac version known as the Tempest because of John DeLorean was a little different than its GM siblings.
Johnny D and his team of young engineers decided to give the Tempest a rear mounted transaxle. This set up gave the light on its feet Tempest and almost perfect 50/50 weight distribution. Borrowing from a long gone Motorama show car the 1951 Buick Le Sabre the Tempest used Torque Shaft or Rope Drive to connect engine in the front to transaxle in the rear. Quite the innovation for stoggy no risk GM of the time.
Another perk of this set up was the Tempest had a rear independent suspension. All the other Y-Body GM cars of the day used a straight rear axle. The only other USA built car in the day to have independent rear suspension would be the Nader hating Corvair and the Corvette in 1963.
Even the wheels were different. Other GM Y-Bodies used 14 inch wheels with a 4 lug pattern. The Tempest had 15 inch wheels with a 5 bolt pattern.
Engines ranged from the 110 Horsepower Trophy 4 (the Trophy 4 was a 389 V8 cut in half) A 215 cubic inch aluminum V8 (that would eventually find duty in Range Rovers). Two V8's, a 326 and 389. Transmissions ranged from a 2 Speed Power-Slush automatic, 3 and 4 speed manuals and 3 speed automatic. The Tempest sold well and the odd rear transaxle proved to be durable and thrifty.
Our feature 1962 Pontiac Tempest Convertible has the Trophy 4 and 2 Speed Auto Transmission. It has power steering and no power brakes. Restored aprox 5 years ago it still shows well and makes for an excellent summer driver. WHAT'S IT WORTH?
Special Thanks go ut to Barry Maloney Towmaster Supreme and owner of Northeast Recovery and Towing in Mount Sinai New York for suggesting this story..