Monday, January 1, 2024

Watch: Rescue of Price Sisters' 1966 Pontiac Tempest, new home, cleanup

Rescue time! After decades locked away in a 10-foot-by-20-foot wooden garage, the Price sisters' 1966 Pontiac Tempest sees daylight when new owner tows the car home. Now you're gonna find out what ties me to the Price sisters' story. That new owner is my dad, Joe Potter, who found out that the Price sisters' property was being sold and jumped at the opportunity in 2014.

Moving time
Beating the brakes loose and airing up the ancient rubber was all it took to relocate the Pontiac. The super straight survivor was easy to roll to its new home in Pinson, Alabama. The ’66 Tempest was dusty and littered with mud dauber nests in the cracks and crevices but a sight to behold in the sunlight.

Price sisters' turquoise 1966 Pontiac Tempest is rolled out of wooden garage for first time in decades in Pinson, Alabama.

Two things
Loading the Pontiac onto the tow dolly and moving what was a significant element of the Price sisters' story hit me on two levels. I've been in the Pontiac camp since I learned to drive. My first car was a 1976 Pontiac Astre (you gotta start somewhere), but more importantly, this Tempest was the sisters' refuge from the storm. A part of my small-town story. Pinson, Alabama, a place full of history, colorful characters and caring individuals. It's where I've lived for more than four decades and have no plans of leaving. This car is part of that legacy. Now, back to moving that legacy to my dad’s house.

Damage assessment
The Tempest looked to be in great condition overall despite its non-running condition. Garage life did preserve this Pontiac in many ways but not everything is perfect. Axe marks on the trunk lock, which is now missing, indicate that the sisters improvised to gain access to the trunk. Maybe they lost the keys at one time? The driver's seat is demolished from years excessive use as the Price sisters took turns getting in and out to sleep and rest while the Pontiac was parked in the little garage. Under the hood, the core support suffered serious rust damage either from battery acid leak or rats nest yuck.

Rusty core support on the 1966 Pontiac Tempest. Probably combination of leaky battery acid an rats' nests.

What to do first?
After a thorough cleanup inside and out, I determined that the core support was the next step in the rehab.
 A new core support would allow the hood to be closed. As it sat, the hood would not latch because of the rust-damaged parts on the core support. My dad was less than enthused about spending any money on the Pontiac. He did not see the value in making a four door Tempest roadworthy. The meager investment was money in the bank to him. I had other projects to tend to but I kept watch for a replacement core support. As long as my dad owned it, it would be my back burner project as well. 

Emblem on red 1966 Pontiac Tempest that's been parked in the woods for decades. I've been trying to buy for 10 years.

I remember another Tempest
Years of hunting cars has provided many connections. I know of another 1966 Pontiac Tempest that has been sitting for decades outside next to some woods. I've been trying to buy it for ten years. Maybe they will sell it for our Price sisters project? Stay tuned!

Jody Potter
— Junkyard Life: The Story Beneath the Rust

Read more about the Price Sisters in our full Junkyard Life story.

Do you have a great story, a junkyard or a junky yard?
Send us details and we’re on the way!
Send emails to Jody Potter at

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