At first glance the car looks like engine junker -- a car barely worth keeping out of the scrapyard: a badly beat-up 1963 Pontiac LeMans Tempest with faded white paint, sagging and tired.
But in this case, first impressions would be wrong. In a big way.
The forlorn-looking Tempest, was apparently listed by an owner unaware of the significance of the car, is actually a 1-of-6 quarter-mile drag car 3,165 miles on the speedometer. Sharp-eyed car enthusiasts were onto it immediately, and bidding soared to an astonishing $226,521.63 before the dust settled.
The text in the ad gives no indication that the seller knew he had a car worth fighting over:
"1963 PONTIAC LeMANS TEMPEST.
WAS MANUFACTURED IN 63 AND ON A 1/4 MILE TRACK IN 64.
I KNOW LITTLE ABOUT THIS VEHICLE FOR THE OWNER PASSED AWAY LAST YEAR.
THERE IS NO MOTOR,TRANSMISSION,OR KEYS FOR IT.
APPEARS TO HAVE ORIGIONAL WINDSHIELD,SIDE GLASS COMES WITH IT BUT APPEARS TO HAVE PLEXIGLASS IN IT'S PLACE.
HAS A 63 PLATE ON IT,BUT I DO NOT BELIEVE IT WAS EVER LEGALLY PLATED.
HAS SOME SORT OF LONG TORTION BARS FROM REAREND UP TO DRIVERS AREA (PROBABLY TO KEEP THE CAR FROM TWISTING OR WHEELHOPPING)
I BELIEVE THE SEATS ARE GREEN WITH A LITTLE DUST.THEY DO NOT APPEAR RIPPED.
ONLY RUST I FIND IS PASSENGER SIDE FRONT QUARTER (SEE PICTURE)
HAS TOW BAR =ATTACHMENTS ARE ON CAR.
TIRES ARE WEATHERCHECKED BUT HOLD AIR
BOTH BUMPERS HAVE DENTS IN THEM.
DO NOT KNOW HOW MANY YEARS IT WAS RACED, BUT HAS HAD INDOOR STORAGE SINCE IT RETIRED FROM THE TRACK.
I'M SURE THE REAREND IS NOT STOCK,MOTOR WAS PROBABLY A BIGBLOCK.
THERE IS STUFF IN THE TRUNK (I PEEKED FROM BACK SEAT)LOOKS LIKE UNDERHOOD PARTS (HOPE IT'S NOT HOFFA)
NOT SURE ABOUT SHIFTER,DRIVESHAFT,RADIATOR,AND SUCH. SOME MAY BE IN TRUNK (NO KEYS)
SQUARE HOLE IN FLOORBOARD WAS CUT FOR SHIFTER.
I PREFER YOU PICK IT UP BUT WILL DELIVER ANYWHERE THIS SIDE OF THE MISSISSIPPI.
IF YOU WANT TO SEE IT,GIVE US A CALL. (NORTH END OF HARRISON MI)
( 989 ) 539-9507 = 539-4344 = 709-9017 = 429-9921
I'M SURE I DIDN'T TELL IT ALL, SO I WILL POST AS I FIND OUT OR AS YOU ASK.
PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF THERE IS A WAY TO UNLOCK TRUNK OR IGNITION WITHOUT DESTRUCTION."
The bidding started out Nov. 1 at just $500.
The car still has plexiglass windows, a special suspension setup and a dash plate
with the name of a racetrack. It appears to be one of only six 1963 Pontiac LeMans Tempest Super Duty coupes ever made.
At one point in the auction, the seller turned down an offer of $160,000 to end the sale early. With only seven minutes remaining, the highest offer was still only $95,000, but a bidder with the eBay handle ccsi2000 upped the ante for the historic Pontiac and the final price tag rose to $226,521.