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Ride Of The Week 02/19/2024: The Tirabassi Family’s 1965 Tempest


I spotted this Pontiac at the 2023 Wheel Craft K9 Heroes for Heroes charity car show in Mentor, OH back in August of 2023. This car looked just like 1/24 scale models I built in the early 90s with its “dip painted” trim and neon pastel graphics.

Nicolas and Angela Tirabassi of Euclid, OH are the custodians of this car for their late brother, Michael, who passed away in 2009. They say he bought it in the early 2000s. Though it wears GTO badges it is not an original GTO Trimmed Tempest.

It’s powered by a 389 with tri-power, backed by a 4-speed and a posi-traction rear. Among its period customizations are body-colored bumpers and trim and these vintage American Racing 5 Star Spoke wheels. “Michael had Ferrari side mirrors on it, but they were awful, so we changed them out for regular side mirror that you can actually see out of.” As Steve Magnate would say, “No harm, no foul.”

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