Exclusive: 1961 Pontiac Tempest Station Wagon

I won’t lie, I’m a sucker for odd station wagons! Reader Ronnieboy has decided to let go of this Pontiac Tempest Wagon and it’s a little odd but a whole lot of cool. These first generation Tempests were quite advanced for their time, with a transaxle connected to the engine via a rope drive, independent suspension at all 4 wheels and a range of interesting engines.

While most people would want a V8, this one has a 4 cylinder, but this is the engine you really want in a wagon like this! It’s the high-performance Trophy 4, which was rated at 166 horsepower and 215-foot-pounds of torque, and just adds to the odd factor. If you’ve been on the hunt for a rare and unique wagon, you might want to contact Ronnieboy about buying his! You can contact him via the form below.

What Makes It Special? Rare 2 owner Colorado car, last woman owner for 34 years.

Body Condition: All glass is near perfect, windows crank smoothly, vent windows close & latch easily, key only- opens liftgate, radio buttons work easily & reset properly. Lower pass front fender rust & pass floor fist size is all. She’s a driver! Cruises at 65 mph no problem. Needs headliner & front seat cover. Discovery channel crew filmed her at a swap meet in Fort Worth.

Mechanical Condition: Rare 4cyl- 10:25.1 comp ratio, factory 4bbl, 166 hp, 3sp std on the floor, good clutch, Runs & drives out Very Well. Stops straight, new brakes, new radials, new front shocks, (saved original Delcos), new 2 core radiator, thermostat, sending unit, Very straight body. Survivor. Unmolested- everything works… Radio, heater, turn signals, gas gauge, wipers, high beam, low beam,

  • Asking Price: $21,500
  • Location: Dallas, Texas
  • Mileage: 33,440
  • Title Status: Clean
  • VIN: 161P51106

Contact The Seller

If you have an interesting survivor, a dusty barn find, or an old project that needs a new home, give listing it here on Barn Finds a try!


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  1. Michael

    Nice car. Photos wont load.
    Page Not Found – Error 404
    Sorry, but the page you are looking for no longer exists or has been moved.

    Try using the search form below to locate it:

    Read more at https://barnfinds.com/?attachment_id=209730#J0xxcRieo2yWUeZ6.99

    Like 2
  2. Mountainwoodie

    In the late sixties our neighbor had the exact wagon in I think it was a metallic red….at least it seemed metallic. I also had a ‘63 LeMans convertible with the rope drive. While I can appreciate the sellers pride in his vehicle as expressed by the asking price, it’s completely unreasonable. ( translation: crack pipe pricing )

    Like 14
    • nrg8

      Basically it was given a once over to make it start, stop, and give it a bit of road manners with new shocks and tires. I agree, too much! 2 owner little old lady something church blah blah blah last 34 years ….. Maybe go trade paint with one them Shelby cars.

      Like 3
    • Dovi65

      Not seeing $21K value here. Yes, it’s rare, unique, odd, etc, and you wont see another one at the local Cars & Coffee With all it’s neediness, seller needs to come back to earth, this is a sub-$10K car

      Like 5
  3. Jimmy

    If I had room for another car I would have to make a replica of Arnie The Farmer’s “Grocery Getter”.

    Like 3
    • Beatnik Bedouin

      My thoughts, exactly, Jimmy, but then I’ve been a big fan of Mr Beswick since I was a kid (and that was a very long time ago!).

      The hard part would be finding the right ‘compound’ transaxle for it. Still, a 421 and a beefed four-speed could be fun, assuming the axles would hold up under all that torque.

      Then again, one could just leave it stock, with the four-banger, or go wild with one of my old buddy’s, Mickey Thompson’s, Jimmy blower manifolds for the half-a-389.

      Like 4
  4. glen

    The asking price has 2 $ signs, I thought $521,000, WHAT????

    Like 2
  5. flmikey

    …what Mountainwoodie said…but it is a nice car, Ronnieboy…

  6. Fred W

    Maybe he accidentally added an extra zero. Found this one from a February BF post for just over 2K:


    Like 8
  7. Will Fox

    Not bad; body appears fairly solid. Interior is complete toast, and that will cost to replicate the original vinyl. Price is far too unrealistic for anyone who knows what this is. He’s gonna be stuck with this car for awhile at that figure I’m afraid.

    Like 2
  8. Pat

    None of the pics load….all the 404 error

    • Josh Mortensen Staff

      Try them now. We had some technical issues, but they should be fixed.

      • DPMarty

        Still no.

      • Josh Mortensen Staff

        Try it now

  9. Jim22

    Wow, I hope he gets that price. Should make my fully restored 67 Vista Cruiser worth near 100K.

    Like 3
  10. dweezilaz

    Love this. 50/50 weight balance.Styling. Odd pumped up 4 cyl.

    I’ve always wondered why a rear transaxle hasn’t been more common over the years.

    Power loss, complexity, packaging ?

    $21,000 seems a lot.

    • ACZ

      It has. Starting with the C5 Corvette. That has a transaxle. Better weight distribution.

  11. Rick Rothermel

    My dad’s ‘work car’ in ’68 was a ’63 that he bought from the trusted Pontiac store in town, and that really killed that relationship. Motor sounded like Final Exam day in typing class and the a/t leaked like a sieve. I hated the thing with a passion and yeah, I did help kill it.
    Solid body though, and a well-engineered ‘senior compact’ from the DeLorean crew, too bad my dad was too cheap to do it right.
    The 4-barrel, though, is neat and probably by itself worth what the rest of the car is. $21k divided by four, max.

  12. Wayne

    I really like it !
    I really hate the price!

  13. Graham Lloyd

    I wish the pricing on this was remotely close to market value.

    For personal reasons, I am reducing my collection, which includes a 1962 Tempest wagon. I guess I could say I am asking the same price, but I am throwing in a 62 Tempest coupe as well as a 62 Tempest convertible for the same money. Or, roughly $8000 US is what I want for my wagon.

    The early Tempests are fantastic cars. They are still affordable to buy and own. And more and more parts are being reproduced. Plus a dedicated group of enthusiasts in the “Little Indians” Tempest club.

    Personally, I would suggest not going the “Beswick Grocery Getter” clone routine. Leave it as the factory produced it. They are more unusual to see than the V8 converted cars.

    Like 1
  14. Graham Lloyd

    The convertible.

    Like 2
  15. Graham Lloyd

    The coupe

    Like 2
  16. Miguel

    When I see a price like this on a car that really nobody ever loved, I expect it to be in absolutely perfect condition.

    I don’t see that in the pictures.

  17. Maurader

    I’m just blown away by the fact that a 4 cylinder had a 4 bbl carb and produced as much HP as many V8s did at the time.

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