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Home/News and Feature Articles/*Featured Cars and Trucks/Pontiac Featured Cars/ 1960s Cars/


Don't let those Tempest emblems fool you. There's a Tiger under that hood!

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1966 Pontiac Tempest Custom - Brian Brosowski found a real diamond in the rough - in Idaho - the Gem State!
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By Society Staff – reprint with permission only

There was a lot was going on back in 1975. The Watergate conspirators were found guilty, an ambitious young computer geek named Bill Gates started a small business called Microsoft, the first episode of "Saturday Night Live" made its debut and a film about a man-eating shark frightened movie goers so intensely, many were too terrified to ever swim in the ocean again. But something else happened that year. In 1975, a 9 year-old Pontiac Tempest went into a coma.

This car, a victim of a seized 326 engine, then sat dormant for 35 years, waiting for the chance to roam the streets once again. That chance became a reality when Brian Brozowski, on the hunt for a good candidate for a GTO clone project, stumbled upon a certain, slumbering 1966 Pontiac.

Brian jumped in with both feet and quickly found that this car had all of its original components and was only missing the battery tray and the ashtray. Other than that, it was all there. He could also see that this car had been dealer-
maintained and undercoated at the factory. Given the originality of this Tempest, Brian decided rather than creating a GTO-clone as planned, he would keep it a Tempest, but it was to become a Tempest with a twist!

Over the next 10 months, Brian repaired or rebuilt what he could and replaced what he couldn't. Because the body panels were in such good condition, bodywork required straightening out the small dings and dents that occur when a car is used as a storage shelf for more than 3 decades. When all the body panels were straight and flat, Brian applied 3 coats of GM "Bahama Blue" (a color nearly identical to the cars original "Barrier Blue"), topped with 4 coats of clear. The results speak for themselves.

The interior suffered the most noticable damage, requiring complete replacement. Brian chose to use the door panels from a '66 GTO and the bucket seats and console from a '65. The dash pad was renewed with fresh vinyl and Brian modified the instrument panel to add more modern, reliable gauges. Preventive medicine to keep the new engine from suffering the same fate as the original.

And what did Brian use to power his new toy? How about a 1972-vintage 455, bored .030 over? Throw in forged pistons, Harland Sharp roller rockers and a Lunati bumpstick and you've got a real herd of ponies under the hood. Shift duties are handled by a modified Turbo 350 packing a Stage Two shift kit coupled to a 2400 RPM stall converter. All this power is used to turn the original 2.56 ratio Saf-T-Track gears. Brian plans on changing that ratio, but with the price of fuel these days, he just might reconsider that decision.

Readers should note that, with the exception of the machine work required for the engine rebuild, Brian performed all of the work himself. "Doctor" Brosowski might've started out with a comatose kitty, but his skilled hands changed that cat into a real Tiger!

Note - These are just a few of the hundreds of pictures Brian shot to document the entire restoration process. To see them all, click here.

'66 A-Body Pontiacs are sharp looking vehicles.

Especially from the nose!

Sweet interior - beautifully finished!

One sick engine compartment - with an Olds style ram-air system.

Brian and his baby