|Owners Report —Tempest|
(Continued from page 224)
Naturally, every pro has its con. Here are numbers six through ten, in order of frequency, of Tempest owner complaints:
"Doors squeak —apparently very poor factory inspection." —W. Virginia attorney.
"I think it was beautifully designed by geniuses, but assembled by idiots." —California estimator.
Wonder if he ever watched an assembly line. Sometimes the geniuses who plan it all don't give workers time to do a complete job.
"Too many defects in equipment: light switch, voltage regulator, etc." —Utah government worker.
"I've had trouble with turn signals, also courtesy lights."—Michigan salesman.
"I've had trouble with a defective carburetor." —New York nurse.
"The body of the car is too noisy; it's beginning to sound as if it's had it!" —California bookkeeper.
"I feel a bobbing sensation at 40 miles per hour." —Texas student.
What he feels, we think, is the heavy engine-driveshaft-transaxle unit responding to road vibration and vibrating within the car (on its rubber mounts) like a tuning fork. It's a unique sensation, but not dangerous.
"At slower speeds, transmission changes from high to low and vice versa for no apparent reason." —Michigan dentist.
The automatics on PM's test Tempests did seem to up and downshift frequently when moving along in thick traffic at about 15 to 20 m.p.h. But this was at less than quarter throttle and did not seem jerky. Proper adjustment is probably critical here.
"The transmission shifts when I don't want it to, especially in slow city traffic." —Maine retiree.
Listed according to the frequency with which owners mentioned them, here are the numbers 11 through 16 of the Tempest features owners liked:
"Easy to park." —California lobbyist.
"Very good on snow and icy roads." —West Virginia teamster.
They must have stickier snow in West Virginia than in Connecticut, where PM's test sedan spun wheels until weight was added to rear seat.
"I like the handling qualities and the easy way it steers." —California actor.
"Fairly responsive steering for an American family car." —New York key punch operator.
We'll agree, you really don't miss power steering until you try to turn front wheels to get out of a parking space.
"It's small, but really feels like a big car." —Illinois student.
"I like its large trunk capacity." —New York banker.
It would be really big if they found someplace else to stow that pesky spare.
"The interior feature I like most is the minimum hump in the floor." —Connecticut realtor.
"I like those foam-rubber bucket seats." —Florida student.
To wrap up the negative side, here are numbers 11 through 16 of the features Tempest owners believe deserve brickbats:
"About the only complaint is that my Tempest does not hold the road as well as my other car." —Minnesota clerk
"Sways on fast curves —rear end breaks out." —Illinois housewife.
This can happen when you enter a tight curve in a hurry even on dry pavement, The '63 shows much improvement in this area over the '61 and '62 Tempests, but Pontiac is still off base in naming its coupe after a sports car race.
"Very hard to manage on slippery roads." —Pennsylvania trucker.
"Too much horsepower for the light body (V8). When road is wet, car fishtails at any speed above 20 miles per hour." —Virginia office worker.
Sad but true. Forward weight bias, slow steering and swing axle independent rear suspension make Tempest a handful when cornering under conditions of poor traction.
"I had a burned out motor on windshield wipers." —Michigan machinist.
"Not enough headroom; head bumps sun-visor when wearing hat." —Pennsylvania tool and die maker.
Tempest's body, shared with Olds F-85 and Buick Special, offers about average seat-to-rooflining measurements which are not always adequate for those who sit tall.
"Too small dimensions between seat and wheel." —Virginia businessman.
"I had engine oil leaks at pan and valve gaskets." —California logician. * * *