Bryan's Wheels

1963 Pontiac Tempest Station Wagon 421 Super Duty

[Total: 8    Average: 5/5]

,Fellow gearheads, I know, I know, this is a station wagon. We do not usually like to even acknowledge station wagons or SUVs exist, but this one is an exception. There is no need to burn me at the stake – put down your torch and check this out. This is a super rare and unique DRAG RACING wagon! This is not a soccer mom wagon. This one is a 1963 Pontiac Tempest Station Wagon 421 Super Duty Big Block Draggin’ Wagon!

Rare Racing Station Wagon

In 1963, buyers could opt to purchase a really interesting option package to add to the usually mundane Pontiac Tempest. The Tempest was the base model for the family sedan and station wagon, which were great daily drivers, but not very exciting. As regular readers of this blog know, the Pontiac Tempest also became the base for the fabled 1970 GTO Judge Convertible we covered not long ago.  The Super Duty package gave buyers the ability to turn that mundane Tempest into an absolute snarling beast. This option let people buy a drag car right from the factory.

The options list included with the 421 Super Duty package were astounding, and made for an exceptional car:

  • 421 Super Duty Big Block V8 with Bathtub Ram Intake, Dual 4 bbl carbs,  and 12::1 compression
  • 4 speed rear-mounted Powershift transaxle
  • All- aluminum front end to save weight
  • Rear tire delete/replaced with Slicks
  • Tube headers
  • Hurst shifter
  • White paint with blue bucket seats
  • 3,308 lbs curb weight
  • Snorkel scoop hood

This may sound like an aftermarket setup, but it was the actual Super Duty package that could be bought from the factory. The setup was made for speed, and was able to produce great horsepower and torque in what would otherwise be a rather mundane family car. I do not know how fast it was in the quarter mile, but I can only imagine how much fun it would be to drive this around town! I have to admit that this is a station wagon I would drive every single day, and be happy about it!

Drag Racing Wagon?

This is clearly a drag racer’s car, without a doubt. The question often asked is – why buy this option package in a station wagon?. The answer is simple. The Tempest Wagon with the 421 Super Duty package was known for having a nearly perfect 50/50 weight distribution, which is really hard to do in a big car like this. This is partly due to the factory rear-mount trans-axle, which is something seen today in Corvettes. Remember that this setup is from the factory, delivered at the dealership! I assure you, the buyer of this car was not intending it to be used as a grocery getter – this fire-breathing big block behemoth was made to race. I know the face of this car looks innocent, but there is evil lurking beneath that hood.

If you look at the photo near the top of this article, you can see the open headers peeking out below the front fenders. This bad boy must have made some sweet music going down the track with the back barrels open on those dual quads! Another reason racers liked this car was the weight.  Despite it being a 4 door wagon, the car was very light. The all-aluminum front end helped a lot, to counter the weight of the cast iron big block that lived under the hood. It weighed only 3.308 pounds curb weight. To put that in perspective, a fully loaded 2018 Honda Accord weighs 3,428 pounds! This car is much bigger than an Accord, and has a huge engine, yet it weighs less!

 

Rarest Pontiac In Existence

If you notice the above photo, that is not a bench seat. This one came with bucket seats, which was practically unheard of in a station wagon in 1963. Combine that with the 421 Super Duty package, and you have a car that is rare beyond belief. Not long ago, we discussed the Rarest Plymouth ever. Today, we just saw the Rarest Pontiac known to exist. If you are saying to yourself “I have never seen a 1963 Pontiac Tempest Station Wagon 421 Super Duty”, there is a reason for that. There were only 6 of these ever made, and 5 of them were raced to death. This is the only one left, so you cannot get more rare than that! This car is an amazing piece of automotive history, and is preserved for the future.  It recently sold at auction for an astounding $450,000 USD!

 

2 Comments on “1963 Pontiac Tempest Station Wagon 421 Super Duty

  1. My brother had a regular body Tempest and it was even lighter. He went through high water over the road once and the back tranny assy floated and caused the rear of the car to float. He was able to maneuver the car to safety because it floated! I thought it was a cool looking car. He had the small 305 CI V8.

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