Picture Perfect: 1965 Pontiac Tempest Convertible

1965 Pontiac Tempest Convertible

Whether the car hiding in this barn is your dream car or not, there is no denying that this is the kind of find we all dream of! Who doesn’t dream of finding a drop top classic in a barn that is not only ready to be driven, but looks great? Anytime you come across a barn find where even the barn it’s housed in has been well cared for, you know you’re in for a treat. Well this 1965 Pontiac Tempest Convertible is in immaculate condition and the seller claims it to be a true survivor. One glance and you know it has been babied since new. It could use a good cleaning, but other than that it’s ready to be enjoyed! Be sure to take a closer look at it here on eBay.

Pontiac Tempest in front of barn

We have to confess, we doubt this one came out of the barn in the background, but truth is we don’t really care whether it came out of a barn or a garage. All that really matters to us is the current condition and the amount of attention it has been given over the years. To be in this kind of shape, someone obviously cared for it on a somewhat regular basis. That little extra attention is the difference between an original car that is ready to be driven and one that needs a complete restoration.

1965 Pontiac Tempest interior

We have seen a lot of drop top barn finds over the years and typically their interiors are in terrible shape. The lack of protection and easy access for rodents and other destructive creatures, typically leaves the insides in need of serious attention. If this one is original as the seller claims, it is in absolutely amazing condition. We can’t help but notice that the door panels and the seats are slightly different colors, but that could simply be the result of aging or even lighting conditions. Whether it has been updated or not, it is ready to be enjoyed right now. We wouldn’t mind going out on a summer evening cruise in it with the top down.

1965 Pontiac Tempest engine

While this tempest’s 326 might not be the powerhouse found in a GTO, it should provide more than plenty of power for those summer cruises we were just day dreaming about. The seller claims that the engine runs great as is. They did have to replace the radiator and hoses, but that is a good idea for any car this age. Overall it looks highly original to us and could only benefit from a good detailing. We would be a little tempted to add a few upgrades, but we wouldn’t want to risk losing any of that originality. Perhaps a GTO spec 389 could be installed and the original motor put into storage for safe keeping?

1965 Pontiac Tempest

We wish every barn find we came across looked like this, granted it would take away the fun that comes along with resurrecting an old car. If we had to choose between this one and a cheaper rusted out one, we would much rather spend the extra to get this one. Sure, the greatest reward comes from restoring and saving a car, but every once in a while it’s nice to be able to climb into a perfectly preserved car and drive down the road. What do you think – spend more for a car like this or save a little on a wreck?

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Comments

  1. Kenny

    Isn’t that a rust hole through the trunk?

  2. Rick

    I’d put all the GTO parts on it, hood, grill, & emblems etc., throw on a decent quickie repaint and have my clone GTO Convert for half price or less of the real thing to pose in that 99% of the population would think came that way

  3. Chris

    Replace what you have to for reliability. Disc brakes & a set of Rally I or II wheels.
    That & a detail. Maybe some decent shocks, sway bars. Tall upper ball joints & offset
    upper control arm shafts to make it corner better.

    No need to turn it into a GTO clone. There’s plenty of them already.

  4. Gerardo Mascorro

    Those are great pictures. So great that I would trade my left nut for that Pontiac only to say my car is the one in them.
    Then I would drop a Chevrolet straight six in it and take it to the 24 hours of Lemons.

    Joke, really I’d lift it and make it a Monster Truck.

  5. paul

    Nice car, I don’t recall ever seeing the seats in two tone blue/ black, but most had the upgrade buckets & console, which I would change & move the column shift to the floor. The 326 was ample for these cars you could lay down rubber with these motors, no need to make the front end any heavier with a fat motor, these handled better with the smaller motor.

    • paul

      Looked at the listing & l see the seats as well as the door panels are lighter blue/ dark blue, this must have been the standard bench interior while all the Lemans cars from that era that I ever saw had buckets , some with a console some without, I wasn’t aware until today that these ever had bench seats, the interior door trim was also different.

      • paul

        Duh should have read the title Tempest got the low line interior.

  6. geomechs geomechs Member

    All said and done, this is a car that would be welcome at my place. I’d drive it as is. Looks like a lot of fun in one relatively small package. Clone it into a ‘Goat?’ No chance.

  7. Alan (Michigan)

    One very similar to this was in my neighborhood when I was much younger than today….
    Nice car. Classic styling, and I think that the designers got the proportions so very correct. I have always been a fan of the stacked headlights that Pontiac and Ford got for a while, it just makes for a clean and defined fender line and grille merge.

    There is bound to be rust in places, and the hole in the trunk edge at the rear wheel well does not surprise me. Looks like water got held under the plastic trunk mat for a while. That does not mean a body-off restoration is needed! Keep the car dry, and drive it, I say.
    The 326/Powerglide is fully capable for any kind of cruising you might want to do, short of the stoplight GP. Regarding the door panel vs. seat color mismatch: That happens over time a lot, unfortunately. Seems to me that one of the issues with the doors is the tar-infused paper liners used to repel water behind the panels. I think that there was a long-term chemical thing going on between that and the vinyl.

    So yea, there was a clone to this at the far end of our double cul-de-sac. On our end, a couple of years later, there came a ’67 GTO convertible: Buckets. 4-speed. RED! White in, and up. Still in my mind, one of the most beautiful cars I have ever seen, at or near the pinnacle of over a decade of muscle car offerings. *sigh* Those were the days….

  8. Jim-Bob

    It’s a really nice car the way it sits, which is why I could never own it. I don’t like leaving well enough alone and so the car would wind up with a Pontiac 400 and a 5 speed transmission before long (well…at least some sort of manual. I HATE!!! Automatic transmissions!). Then I would possibly change it cosmetically too, and the whole reason for paying the nice, clean, original car premium would be lost. I don’t believe in chopping up originals to make my own creation, so I would probably rescue a nice, rust free car that needs everything instead. That way, I can modify it without guilt.

  9. Chris in WNC

    ALWAYS buy the best condition car you can afford.
    the money saved buying a beater or a major project will come back to haunt you repeatedly.
    and keep this as a LeMans.

  10. 59FORDfan

    Great-now, I’ve got the theme, to ‘I Dream of Jeannie’, stuck, in my head! Very nice Pontiac!

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