Friday, July 25, 2014

10k: Repeat Offender: 1962 Pontiac Tempest Trophy 4

Update 7/25/2014: This 1962 Pontiac Tempest equipped with Trophy 4-banger is currently bidding for $4,049 reserve-not-met with a $9,900 buy-it-now, located in New Castle DE.

Originally posted 4/24/2014: In 1961 Pontiac engineers working to release the first generation Tempest under the guidance of John Z DeLorean wanted to offer a small displacement and frugal engine but did not have the budget for a full scale development effort.  What they did was hack half the cylinders off of a 389 V8 and create the 195 Trophy 4.  It was the first American built vehicle to have a 4-cylinder engine since the Kaiser Henry J went out of production and would rattle the fillings out of your teeth with vibration.  Find this 1962 Pontiac Tempest Trophy 4 currently bidding for $2,125 reserve-not-met and $11,500 buy-it-now on ebay, located in New Castle, DE.

The Trophy 4 was available in 115, 140, and 166 horsepower ratings, depending on which carb and compression ratio was used.   Interestingly enough, only a few Tempest left the factory with the optional 215 cubic inch V8 in 1961/1962 and most were powered by the 195 ci bucking bronco four. So why is it that people don't talk about the Trophy 4 Tempests very often?  'Cause it's like talking about an ugly sister that you want to get married off.  You know she needs a husband but you don't want your friend to be mad at you!

Under the hood is a misshapen lump that looks like a V8 that has been given a unilateral mastectomy...which is essentially what the Pontiac engineers did.  All the V8 smoothness was replaced with the inherent imbalance of a 3.2 liter inline-4 and power was transferred via Pontiac's rope drive to the rear mounted transaxle.  The fact that the Trophy 4 weighed 200 lbs more than the optional Buick 215 alloy V8 is truly ironic.  

This Tempest looks great inside and out, with perfect upholstery and nice carpets.  It is a shame the seller did not include a close up of the original lever-action automatic shifter.

You can read more about the Trophy 4 in this Hemmings article by David LaChance.  See another 4-cylinder powered ugly sister?


  1. What about the 1962 Chevy Nova 153 ci 4 cylinder ? Later to be come the Iron Duke ?

  2. Before that 1960 Scout 80 WITH 152 CI 4

    1. I did not know about the Scout, but I think the Tempest beat the Nova into production. Perhaps I need to write a 4-cylinder 60s American slugfest article....

    2. Yes that would be good also the Crosley was around (spl) and maybe more rare American micro cars ! lol

  3. The Nash Metropolitan had a 4cylinder (british engine) years before this. Technically, it's an American car.

    I wonder if this is the 1bbl low compression, 1bbl high compression or 4bbl high compression engine?

  4. I had the '63 Tempest LeMans in a convertible. The "rope drive" made it real interesting on acceleration. You culd feel the power transferance to the tranny in the rear end. Well balanced for flyine around corners. This seller needs to come to earh soon.This year and model is really th ugly sister.......and she's a stripper

  5. The IH Scout had two versions of a 4 cyl, 152 and 196. Both of which were 1/2 of a V-8. Nothing like slant 4 power hey ?


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