64tempest.com
The continuing story of my 1964 Pontiac Tempest Custom...
Family cars
This is the tribute page to the various cars in the life of my family.  Most of them were scanned from photographs, so the picture quality isn't that great.



The above picture is of my maternal grandfather and a group of friends frolicking in the Georgia countryside.  He's the dapper gent in the white shirt munching on a slice of watermelon.



This is my paternal grandfather's company car.  He was a salesman all of his life, and worked until his late 70's - in the 1970's.  This picture was taken in Jacksonville, FL where the family lived for a while.  My father told me that he was so embarrassed by this vehicle that he made my grandfather drop him off a block from school so his friends wouldn't see him arriving in it.  I can't imagine an adolescent boy being ashamed of a car with "Lux Toilet Soap" emblazoned on both sides.  It would be a pretty cool ride to have now, though...




I'm not sure when or where this picture was taken.  On the back, it shows that it was developed in Atlanta, GA.  I think it probably came from my Mom's side of the family.  It is a race car of unknown type on a dirt track somewhere in Georgia.  I wish the detail was a little better...




Here's yours truly standing in front of Dad's 1958 Fairlane 500.  It was green with a white (almost cream) lower accent.  They traded it in on a red 1968 Falcon wagon with a 289.  Black vinyl interior with an AM radio.  I can remember the new car pulling up in the driveway like it was yesterday.  Well, almost 40 yesterdays ago...



1966 yas the year, and my brother and I are posing in front of my Dad's 1964 Opel Kadett Caravan.  I learned how to drive in this car - not in 1966, though.  It had a 1 litre (actually 995 cc) four cylinder with a 4-speed transmission.  The tires were 13' in diameter and I remember Dad having a time in the 80's finding rubber for it.  The electrical system was 6 volts and was equipped with a high-tech Sears AM radio he installed in it after it was purchased.  He commuted in this car for years and years.  I treated it like a sports car - a very anemic sports car.  It was a lot of fun to drive.  It was also a lot of fun to pretend to drive - I probably drove around the US while sitting in the driveway before I actually was old enough to drive.  Dad traded this car and my grandmother's 64 Impala in for a 86 Taurus wagon.  It might have been the Fairmont wagon, though.  Memory's a little shaky on this detail.

Below you see my 1964 Chevrolet Bel Air.  It was a Christmas present from my grandmother in 1977.  It had a 283 and poverty caps (this picture shows Impala hubcaps).  I also received a Realistic 8-track deck that year, which was promptly installed so I could enjoy the latest KISS tapes.  I installed dual exhaust (Thrush glasspacks) and eventually put headers on it.  I really enjoyed (and abused) this car.  My parents gave me some money to replace it - due to reliability problems.  I have the letter they sent me with the check that told me the money was to be used to buy another vehicle, and not to repair this one!  I purchased a 72 Impala coupe, which lasted me for several years.



The picture below is my car (on the right) parked next to my grandparents' Impala.  I really wanted their car, but they weren't ready to give up the keys, so they bought mine from a little old lady that lived two houses up from them.  She never drove it like I did...



This is one of the Toyota Corolla coupes that my brother owned back when he was a young lad.  Actually, Dad owned them, and he drove them.  Drove the snot out of both, actually.  He was taking this car through the twisties near Black Mountain, NC when it developed what they call in NASCAR a bit of a “push.”  Unfortunately, a truck was coming in the opposite direction and they met.  That’s what you get when you are rushing to the library to study.  He vowed not to ever let that happen again.  Studying, that is.



My brother scolded me over the Thanksgiving holiday for posting a picture of his wrecked car.  Here's the unmolested version.  he also had a copy of the classified ad.  The asking price was $1995 and it had fewer than 40k on the odometer.  He made up for the low miles with spirited driving.



Here’s my first project vehicle, a dilapidated old F-150 I talked my former employer out of years ago.  It was in Charleston, SC and at one time was the yard truck for the truck stop owned by the company.  It was all but abandoned and I think some homeless person was sleeping in it every night.  To break it in properly on its first night at my house, my brother and I split a bottle of Mad Dog while sitting in it, in honor of its previous occupants.  There’s nothing like cheap wine to christen a new project.


It didn’t (or wouldn’t) run, so I paid the local wrecker company 75 bills to drag it home.  It was an ill-fated project to begin with.  I didn’t have anywhere to work on it, other than in the yard, I had no idea what I was doing and I had no money.  The perfect recipe for a disaster, actually.  Fortunately, we were able to trade it and a 74 Toyota sedan in on a Bronco, so the wife was happy.  I’m really fortunate that she’s an understanding woman, because the memory of this fiasco didn't keep her from letting me take on my current project.  Well, there was about a 15-year gap between the truck and the Pontiac, so perhaps time DOES heal all wounds.









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