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Tempest kit


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Several cars over the decades have had similar setups, though the Tempest kits I've seen have the typical blobular chassis.

Cheap sources for a similar setup are Plymouth Prowler and Corvette C5 and C6 kits. There are more, but those two are probably the cheapest.

Revell's Sting Ray III is another one.

Typically, any of these kits can be had for well under $10 plus shipping.

A lot depends on exactly what you want to represent. More info, please.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
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Really nothing much else of that era.

It's a big, ugly lump, and not visually similar to anything else.

image.png.78e1051093c55fd898e7d3b99875150d.png     image.png.79cc18e443ddca5549a1117bec4f9d39.png

BUT... Carroll Shelby used a ZF transaxle in the rear of his front-engined Series I. The gearbox itself had been around since the early '60s, and is available configured for what you want in the Revell Shelby Series I kit.

It COULD have been set up like that in '63.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
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And just FYI...The Corvair manual transaxle could be configured with a different mainshaft. This was done when building mid-engined Corvairs with V8s. By fabricating a torque-tube arrangement, and mating it to a bellhousing, a front-engined, rear-transaxle car COULD have been built in the early '60s as well.

Both Porsche and VW gearboxes from the period could be used in mid-engined cars as well, turned around (with the ring-gear swapped side-to-side), and sometimes upside-down. Again, a torque-tube, driveshaft and conventional bellhousing setup COULD have been built in the period.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
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Another FYI...Good Corvair gearboxes are in the Revell Road Agent kit and some others. The Corvair gearbox is "related" to the Tempest unit, though they're very different.

To see what the gearbox looked like set up for mid-engine use, google Crown Manufacturing Corvair, or Corv-8, or similar. (Crown made the engine adapter and the internal parts that made the swap practical)

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
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One more FYI...I just dug out the Revell Road Agent. I'd forgotten that it was built mid-engined, and used a rear crossmember and suspension that are visually similar to the Tempest manual gearbox / suspension shot I posted above (the black-and-white one).

So there you go.  B)

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
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My older brother had a '62 Tempest that he shoved a 455/4-speed/9" Ford rear axle into.  Before the original stuff went across the scale at the scrap yard, I looked over the transaxle...it had "Powerglide" lettering on the main casting, plain as day.  It's an early Corvair unit. 

The Revell Road Agent should have one, as Ace says.  Some accounts (Roth included) stated that the Agent had the transaxle turned upside down, to give three forward speeds with the engine/trans reversed from the Corvair positioning.  More likely the ring gear was installed on the opposite side of the pinion: it would accomplish the same thing without having to turn the thing upside down and re-adapt it to the engine.  Not having a kit in front of me, I'd make sure it is installed correctly in the Tempest.

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36 minutes ago, Mark said:

... It's an early Corvair unit....

I beg to differ. Though the Tempest and Corvair transaxles have some similarities, and though both the automatic versions share the 2-speed Powerglide architechiture and share a few internal parts, they are NOT the same.

 

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1 hour ago, Mark said:

...Some accounts (Roth included) stated that the Agent had the transaxle turned upside down, to give three forward speeds with the engine/trans reversed from the Corvair positioning.  More likely the ring gear was installed on the opposite side of the pinion: it would accomplish the same thing without having to turn the thing upside down and re-adapt it to the engine. 

To the best of my recollection (from actually working on the cars) the Corvair ring gear can not be "installed on the opposite side of the pinion". That trick is common for reverse-rotation setups that use early VW gearboxes. I've done a bunch, but it doesn't work on everything because of physical limitations, like internal clearances, etc.

The manual-shift transaxle CAN be turned upside-down, however. IIRC, the Kelmark kit-car (mid-engined configuration) suggested just that for the budget builder who couldn't spring for a big ZF or Hewland.

There's also the possibility Roth used a relatively common reverse-rotation cam on his Corvair engine, or used the Crown Manufacturing mod that used a different mainshaft to place the engine ahead of the gearbox.

In the end, the Corvair parts in the Road Agent will give a reasonable approximation of the early Tempest parts, good enough to get by anybody but real die-hard under-car guys.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
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AND...The Road Agent, at least as modeled by Revell, uses an auto-box and does NOT use the transaxle inverted. The automatic gearbox pan is shown in the conventional position, which it would absolutely positively HAVE TO BE. So...if the real Road Agent used an automatic gearbox, just about the only way the rig could work with the engine forward of the gearbox is with a reverse-rotation cam. Again, these were fairly common and are still available.

image.thumb.png.9a564864304a958f4e48e151ea3b607b.png

Compare the rear suspension though, and you'll see the visual similarity to the Tempest assembly... 

image.thumb.png.eb79f0857b487b30882368c4a01639b6.pngimage.png.d1267061b5f8870f9257352cbd31eb64.png

 

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
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And just for grins, and to showcase the point that "you can put anything in anything if you want to bad enough"...here's a Corvair with a Jaguar V-12 in front, driving through a modified Tempest gearbox. One has to ask "why?"

http://corvaircorsa.com/V-12-01.html

 

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
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10 hours ago, Ace-Garageguy said:

And just for grins, and to showcase the point that "you can put anything in anything if you want to bad enough"...here's a Corvair with a Jaguar V-12 in front, driving through a modified Tempest gearbox. One has to ask "why?"

http://corvaircorsa.com/V-12-01.html

 

That's kind of what I had in mind except with a Model A and a Lincoln V-12. That Road Agent kit might just do the trick. 

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This is an interesting thread! I bought myself a VERY nice Christmas present this past one which was a pristine AMT '63 Pontiac Lemans convertible kit in its original box. It was a pretty penny, but like others have said, the chassis leaves much to be desired. IMO this is a unique rear end setup especially for a car like this back in those days, so I appreciate the leads as to where to find something proper to represent it.

Yeah, it would require some hacking and cutting of the chassis, but that doesn't bother me as I'm foremost a builder.......not so much a collector even though I have my share of "rare" stuff.

I REALLY appreciate the pics of the bare rear suspension setup. Those will come in mighty handy! ?

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12 hours ago, Ace-Garageguy said:

 

image.thumb.png.9a564864304a958f4e48e151ea3b607b.png

Note that the above is a Revell-Monogram era instruction sheet, and represents the restored/re-created Road Agent kit, which differs significantly from the original:

RevEdRothRoadAgent2.jpg

 

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1 hour ago, MrObsessive said:

...I REALLY appreciate the pics of the bare rear suspension setup. Those will come in mighty handy! ?

A couple more points...

1) The black-and-white photo on the left of the 4th post from the top shows a manual floor-shifted transaxle, THE transaxle that came out of the brand new '63 Tempest that was rebuilt as Mickey Thompson's famous A/FX car.

2) The color shot next to it shows an automatic transaxle from the same vehicle line. Note the completely exposed torque-converter on the left end. That was exposed, at the rear of the unit as-installed. Seeing one of these things running on a lift, and the famous "rope" driveshaft, gave me perhaps my first "WTF were they thinking??" moment in the car biz. Keep your hands away from the crazy thing.

3) The manual and auto boxes used different crossmembers, IIRC. Seems the wagons were different too.

4) Nobody in the hot-rod community ever understood why GM chose to build two very similar but almost totally different transaxles for two contemporary cars, as a little more homework could have made one unit that would have worked equally well in both. All I can offer is that GM divisions operated with more autonomy in those days. Engineering departments from different divisions definitely influenced each other, but apparently, wringing every last nickel out of every product by cross-platform component sharing wasn't as prevalent as it later became.

5) Image-search "Tempest transaxle". Lotsa pix of the things installed, assembled in their suspension carriers, and sitting on the shop floor nekkid.  :D

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
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19 minutes ago, Casey said:

Note that the above is a Revell-Monogram era instruction sheet, and represents the restored/re-created Road Agent kit, which differs significantly from the original:

Yes, but both kits depict the identical Corvair 2-speed automatic transaxle.

BUT...because the Corvair runs its torque-converter within the bellhousing, where any sane engineering department would put it, the Road Agent kit is a better visual likeness for the manual Tempest transmission.

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58 minutes ago, Ace-Garageguy said:

Yes, but both kits depict the identical Corvair 2-speed automatic transaxle.

True, but one version does it with more detailed and considerably more parts. Which version is preferable is up to the end user to decide. but it's always good to know your options.

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17 minutes ago, Casey said:

True, but one version does it with more detailed and considerably more parts. Which version is preferable is up to the end user to decide. but it's always good to know your options.

Good point. The early version is the typical jewel-like (but criticized as being "fiddly') Revell assembly of the period.

The later one is OK, but requires some knowledgeable hacking up to use as a Tempest stand-in. Actually, to be reasonably accurate, the early one requires mods too, but as more of the components are separate, it's possibly more straightforward.

Speaking of old vs. new...do you or anyone else, maybe Mark or Tim Boyd, know what happened to the original tooling?

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One more FYI...and this pretty much seals the deal, logically anyway, why Roth would have used a reverse-rotation cam to get the Road Agent to work with the entire drivetrain package installed backwards, with the 2-speed automatic.

I'd forgotten why the Corvair reverse-rotation cams were so readily available way back when; then the AHA!! of ancient memories snicking back into gear hit me.

Corvair engines, being air-cooled, were a natural big-power swap into VWs. Except for one small problem...the engines rotated in opposite directions.

To avoid the necessity for swapping the ring gear from side to side, as mentioned above (and just not possible on ALL VW gearboxes anyway), reverse-rotation cams made the Corvair spin in the same direction as the Bug engine. Pretty spiffy.  B)

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20 hours ago, Richard Bartrop said:

The Tempest is one I would like to see get the Moebius treatment.  Too bad they've been told by their new owner to get out of the model car business.

Interesting. Where did you get wind of this?

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