GTO Wannabe: 1967 Pontiac Tempest

Sometimes the harsh reality is that the original classic car of our dreams is just beyond our financial means. That means that we can either face the fact that we will probably never park that car in our driveway, or we can compromise and look at a clone as a viable alternative. Barn Finder local_sheriff has spotted this 1967 Pontiac GTO clone project car for us to look at, so thank you so much for that. The Pontiac is located in Magna, Utah, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has now reached $3,500, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

The current owner of the Pontiac says that the car hails from Arizona and that it isn’t a rust-bucket. The previous owner started to whip the body back into shape and managed to get as far as replacing the hood, the rear window panel, and tail-light panel. The rest of the car looks quite solid, with a small rust spot partially repaired in the trunk lid. The owner doesn’t provide any information about the condition of the floors and frame, but if the Pontiac has spent so long in Arizona, then it would be reasonable to expect that these areas are quite solid. The exterior trim and chrome seem to be in good condition, but the owner does state that he doesn’t have any GTO badges for the car. Still, reproduction items are available if the next owner is going to continue down the path of creating a GTO clone.

How the next owner attacks the interior of the Tempest is really going to depend on whether they intend to create a faithful GTO clone, or whether they want to put their own stamp on the car. The dash pad is showing some of the expected damage that is part and parcel of exposure to the Arizona sun. A replacement will need to be sourced, along with a carpet set and a headliner. The owner has already fitted a GTO steering column and a Hurst floor shifter, along with some aftermarket gauges. The door trims look pretty good, with only a couple of small spots of stretching, while the majority of the seat upholstery is also in decent condition. There is an issue with the driver’s seat, but this appears a though it might be the only upholstered surface that would require a new cover.

Mechanically, the Pontiac should only require some tweaking and tuning, because the majority of the mechanical components have less than 100 miles on them since they underwent a complete rebuild. This isn’t a numbers-matching car, but what you get is a 1970-vintage 400ci V8 engine, a TH400 transmission, power steering, and power front disc brakes. The engine has been bored and rebuilt with a host of performance parts. It has also been fitted with a 2½” Flowmaster dual exhaust and a set of headers. The transmission has been rebuilt, while the rest of the car has also come in for plenty of attention. The front suspension features tubular A-Arms and a fresh set of brake discs and calipers. There is also a new master cylinder and booster, a new gas tank and sending unit, a new radiator, and a new heater core. All of the components for air conditioning are also present, but haven’t been fitted to the car at this point. The owner says that the entire drive-train has less than 100 miles on it, and while the car runs and drives, it will need some tweaking, with things like a wheel alignment being on the agenda.

With the 1967 Pontiac GTO being such a desirable classic, prices for decent examples can simply be beyond the reach of many people. Sometimes a clone is the best alternative in these cases, and if a clone is built properly, it will only be obvious to a really experienced eye. That’s where cars like this come into their own. It is possible to build a clone for a fraction of the cost of the real deal, and the driving and ownership experience can essentially be the same. Is this a project that you would like to take on?


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  1. Troy s

    Clones are neat as long as they are represented as such, but even just a worked Tempest like this is very nice. No need for GTO badges, just make it a fun driver/street machine.

    Like 28
    • PatrickM

      I’m a bit of a purest when it comes to this stuff. Leave as much original as possible. Upgrade/update as NEEDED. Changing things just to look like someone else doesn’t fly in my book. Get a 326….may be hard to find. No need for GTO badges, etc. Would really like to have this but, money, space…. You get the picture.

      Like 1
  2. local_sheriff

    Agree with Troy – using a ‘lesser’ model to build your own Goat, or a personal version of one, is great way to utilize such a Tempest.

    With that being said it’s one of – if not THE most common – vehicle to clone. Those of us that are way too young to have been around when ’67 models were commonplace have probably seen MORE GTOs (or clones) than Tempests!

    What I have never understood though is that builders absolutely need to alter the rear deck on the non-GTO ’66. The opposed Cs/’bananas’ tail light treatment is such a neat Pontiac design returning on several models between 62-66.IMHO the ’66 Le Mans ass is the best version of all the 66-67 Pontiac A-body variants and the opposed Cs fit so much better to the tail curvature and corresponding trim

    Like 5
  3. David

    I agree that cloning is a better way to create a worthwhile ride to be proud of. Too often many a car enthusiast starts a project and loses interest, it’s too costly, for whatever reason, the vehicle ends up a yard art rust bucket. As I previously commented,
    I am a fan of restoring vehicles not making them into something else.

    Like 1
  4. rpol35

    Interesting body style as it is a coupe (with a B pillar) instead of a hardtop but this is still correct for a ’67 GTO, though not very common.

    As other posters have noted, clones are a great option as long as they are represented as such. You can have a lot of fun with one as you’ll be less inclined to worry about breaking it and when you do, no big deal to put it back together again as you so choose – correctness doesn’t matter.

    This one looks like a good start but I’d get on that tape around the windshield/rear window issue and straighten that out, leaks can cause big problems downstream.

    Like 3
  5. Gaspumpchas

    Yea rpol35 i’d wonder if that tape around the windshield is covering rust, which is a bear to fix properly. lots of parts here, putter together and have some fun. Leave it a tempest or Lemons. Good luck to the new owner!

    Like 3
  6. Jimmy

    I would have bid if he hadn’t cloned it to a GTO, I like the Lemans and Tempest of 66/67 just as much as the GTO.

    Like 4
  7. Vin_in_NJ

    Why spend the time and money on GTO parts, when you can invest it into making the best Lemans/Tempest that you can.

    Check out the Lemanster created by Blue Sky performance

    Like 3
  8. Steven Ligac

    Making a Clone… Hmm… Representing something to be that which it is not is a lie. I’m not a liar.

  9. TimM

    I can’t understand why someone with a nice tempest or lemans what’s to clone there car to be a GTO!! There’s no shame in having ether one of those cars!! They looked the same drove the same but just lacked some bells and whistles!! I’d be proud to own that tempest!!!

  10. V

    why that car would make a beautiful 67 tempest. all you ever see are GTO’S

  11. Mark D

    I have a 70 tempest. I’ve owned it for 35 years it’s my go to car when I want to drive something cool. I changed it into a gto motor,tranny interior. except I never put the goat front end on it. I took off all the emblems of the t-37. I enjoy the hell out of it. I don’t have any gto emblems. I just have the Pontiac script on the trunk and grill. The best thing that I love about this ride is that it’s not a Chevelle. In my opinion it looks better than the Chevelle. Just more sexy line’s. O ya it’s painting raspberry Pearl with black seats,dash, center console, with white door panels and tilt wheel. Even though it’s a driver. (It’s not perfect) I received many many compliments when I have it out. U just don’t c many of these cars. But I c many more Chevelle’s. I like Pontiacs.

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