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Wide Track Warrior

1967 Tempest

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Sure, it’s not terribly difficult to build a fast car, provided you have a blank check in your pocket and a Summit catalog in your hands. Jeff Puckett tossed the catalogs aside and set a more ambitious goal: Getting a stock-type engine to run wickedly quick times in a stock-bodied car. We found Jeff and his super-clean Nostalgia Super Stock ’67 Tempest at the 2001 NMCA opener. The car is a gorgeous example of the Coke-bottle Pontiacs, but its clean appearance belies the fact that it’s capable of clicking off a 10.86 e.t. at 125 mph. Even more impressive is Jeff’s total investment of around $10,000 to get the Tempest into its current state. By now you’re pondering the question, “How does one build a show-worthy 10-second car on such a conservative budget?” In Jeff’s case, the answer is “patience and luck.” He sold the car and bought it back (for the original selling price!) after the owner installed a new motor, interior, and wheels. We could use friends like that.

Like most of our cars, Jeff’s Tempest will never truly be “finished” because he’s having too much fun perfecting it. The Tempest was purely a street car until three years ago, when he decided to go all out and build the car for NMCA Nostalgia Super Stock competition. A brutal 500hp 455 was installed and coupled to a built TH400 via an ATI converter. A Chevy 12-bolt with mild 3.73 gears complements the torquey drivetrain. He credits his wife, Jessica, for her support, since staying competitive mandates an enormous amount of time tuning and racing the car. Jeff is counting on a successful race season—after all, he told us, “Some guys race here for fun; I want to win the money.” Competition aside, we’re sure Jeff’s still having plenty of fun racing his Wide Track Warrior.

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