The continuing story of my 1964 Pontiac Tempest Custom...
Timmy the Tempest

After completing the purchase of my car, I loaded it on a U-Haul trailer and drove to Austell, GA to spend some time with my mother and take the kids to Six Flags. Since I had never pulled a trailer with a loaded car, I was hesitant to hop on Atlanta interstates during rush hour. In a fit of wisdom, I decided to go to Austell the back way, which had me driving down Peachtree Industrial Blvd. and Peachtree Road. Now I can add pulling a car-laden trailer down narrow, crowded, urban streets to my list of things to never do again.

During the journey to Mom’s house, I asked Pierce and Hays if they had any suggestions for names for the car. As we were talking about the car, somehow “Timmy the Tempest” came up, and the name has stuck. Now, Pierce asks me if I have been working on Timmy when he sees me outside. Sarah has also picked up on the name, as she told me one day that she was beginning to resent Timmy, as he was keeping me from helping in the kitchen. Not wanting to give the car a bad name, I immediately stopped what I was doing and started what I SHOULD have been doing in the kitchen. Lesson learned.

The Tempest now resides in our carport, having displaced my Vibe, which now sleeps forlornly in the driveway. Oh, well – it’s not a real Pontiac, anyway. I realize that the Tempest has probably spent most of its life outdoors, but I don’t want to add to any existing rust problems by leaving it out in the elements. Besides, if it were in the driveway, a neighbor might report it as an abandoned car. One of the first things I did after getting the car home was to clean the engine compartment. There was a good deal of grime on the top end of the motor and primer overspray all over everything.  Some degreaser and a stiff brush removed most of the crud, but it still needs a lot of work to become presentable.

Some of the problems (opportunities, if you are an optimist) discovered so far are: 

The headers have numerous holes and are missing several bolts on each side. They will be replaced with a set of cast iron exhaust manifolds; 

The harmonic balancer needs to be replaced. This may or may not be the reason the pulleys are out of alignment; 

I can’t determine if the timing is set correctly, as the timing tab (for lack of a better term) was apparently flattened against the engine at some point in time and can’t be seen.

The aftermarket A/C bracket also blocks my view of the timing marks. I was in the process of removing the compressor and brackets when I discovered that two main bolts holding the bracket (they pass thru the water pump and into the block) are seized. Now, one is rounded off. Hopefully, the penetrating spray I used before I went out of town will work its magic and allow me to remove the bolts. If not, I have two choices: Leave the bracket on the engine and not worry about it, or take a torch after the offending fasteners, catch something on fire (like the car and house), blow myself to bits and leave my children fatherless.

“Here lies Lou, a crispy char; Killed himself while working on his car”

I would list the other “opportunities” presented by the car now, but I’m afraid I’ll cry.

Saddled up and ready for the ride back home.

Kinda cruddy under the hood...

A little cleaning goes a long way!

Timmy's first day at his new home!

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