From John Gunnell’s book “75 Years of Pontiac Oakland“:
“By 1961, the transformation of PMD was virtually complete. In five short years “Bunkie” Knutsen had converted a dull Chieftain into a good-looking, power-packed “Poncho”. This would be a good season for Pontiac to hit the warpath in terms of racing and sales.”
“Four main factors influenced 1961 Pontiac history, First, a line of down-sized standard models offered new styling and chassis engineering. Second, lighted weight, but increased horsepower engines helped Ponchos dominate both road and track. Third, came an innovative Tempest compact, generating excitement and plus sales while many other makers declined. Relative improvement of market position was, in fact, Pontiacs’ fourth claim to fame for the year.”
“In terms of total numbers, production volume for the season dropped to 340, 635 cars, while market share dipped to 6.3 percent.”
“A product of John Z. DeLorean’s thinking, Tempests were innovative machines with front mounted engines, flexible “rope” driveshafts and a transaxle at the back supported by swing-axle type independent rear suspension.”
Visit POCI’s “Little Indians Chapter” web site, devoted the the ’61-’63 Tempest and LeMans models.