12. Pontiac Tempest
In the early ’60s, all major US carmakers introduced compact models. Pontiac presented the Tempest. In most cases, these compact models were only smaller versions of bigger cars, sharing design cues and mechanicals, but Pontiac went a different route and presented one of the most advanced and interesting American cars of the era. The Tempest didn’t have a conventional drive shaft but instead used a torque tube with the cable inside.
This layout gave the Tempest almost ideal weight distribution, perfect handling, and enough room for six passengers since there wasn’t any transmission tunnel in the cabin. During its lifespan, Pontiac sold over 200,000 making this model a solid success. But in 1964, the company introduced a bigger Tempest. Despite its revolutionary mechanics and perfect driving dynamics, the first-generation Tempest was soon forgotten. Today, it’s only remembered by diehard Pontiac fans. It is rarely seen on car shows and the parts are scarce.