MARCH 27, 2013 (APRIL 2013): A 1962 PONTIAC LE MANS CONVERTIBLE: “LOOKING FOR SOMETHING UNIQUE”

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Carol and John Meyer own a 1962 Pontiac Le Mans convertible for two very good reasons:

 

They wanted something a little different from the mainstream collector car market and they wanted something from 1962 because they were married in 1962.

 

The fact that their 1962 Poncho drop top was one of the most gawked-at cars at a large show was just an added bonus.

 

John was happy to fill in the blanks on the Le Mans because it was an unusual model from the General in 1962.

 

 

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Legendary GM designer John Delorean was the man behind this compact car from Pontiac and he dreamed up some interesting design features for his project. Even the power-train is unusual because it is a four-banger that is essentially ½ of the legendary 389 V-8 that ignited the muscle car movement for Pontiac when they launched the GTO in 1964.

 

The 1962 Le Mans was a pretty nimble little car because the smaller four cylinder version of the 389 provided enough horsepower/weight balance to push this Poncho around the roads in a very surprising sporty manner.

 

 

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The car also featured a unique drive line that became known as the rope drive because it delivered the horsepower to the rear wheels via a long and flexible line of steel that was similar to a torsion bar if you apply the principles of physics to the equation.

 

 

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The little Pontiac’s torque convertor was positioned at the rear of the car in conjunction with a trans-axle system that was similar to the Corvair’s; a rear-engine and air cooled newcomer from the boys at Chevrolet. This drive line engineering plan meant that the Le Mans has virtually no transmission hump, despite the fact that it is essentially a traditional front engine and rear wheel drive car.

 

 

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Actually, the Pontiac Le Mans borrowed most of its basic chassis components from the Corvair, with the exception of the front engine placement and front steering system in the Le Mans. Those two components were all Pontiac.

 

John and Carol’s Le Mans has the shifter on the dash that sends instructions through a cable to the transmission and the feature is yet another unusual part of the Le Mans convertible.

 

They call the Pontiac their “golfing car” because it is meant to be driven on a sunny day with the top down on the way to a golf course. Both the car and the golf course are enjoyed more when the sun is out and the weather is pleasant.

 

 

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We ran into John and Carol at a show that took place late in the 2012 season. 2012 was a year when they celebrated their 50th year of wedded bliss and the Le Mans marked its 50th year since it left the Pontiac assembly line.

 

 

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Somehow a beautiful red Le Mans built during the same year John and Carol were married seems very appropriate for this couple. The Meyers clearly enjoy their time together and the Le Mans is a great reminder of a time when they were young newlyweds.

 

 

It does not get any better than that in car world.

 

Jim Sutherland

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