Mike Kern


My name is Mike Kern and I have been interested in cars and motorcycles since I was very young. I purchased my first Pontiac, a 1968 Firebird in 1976 while I was in high school. I had the car for about a year and totaled it out at the intersection of Kempwood and Gessner. I was hit by a 2-ton meat packing truck. I was not hurt but the car was history. After that I had a chance to buy my second Pontiac as my second car, a 1969 Grand Prix from the same owner that I bought my current car from. He wanted $800 for it and it was perfect, I said NO. I thought it was too much like an old mans car. After that I have had Mercurys, Chevrolets, Volkswagens and even a Import truck. Most of these vehicles were modified from mild to a couple of full blown Pro Street cars. I was born in New Jersey in August 1958, my dad was working for Shell Oil Company. In the fall of that same year my dad trained a new employee named Ron Boffa and they became good friends. They are still good friends and that's who I purchased my current Pontiac from. It feels like the car has stayed in the family instead of being sold to a stranger. The Pontiac that I'm going to tell you about is not a high performance model or a very rare model. It's a basic 1967 Red Tempest Custom Convertible with 133,000 + miles on it that was used as everyday transportation for most of its life. Ron was in the market for a new family car in 1967 and had made a deal for a red 1967 Mustang Convertible. Ron and his family went to the Ford dealership to buy it and got upset with the salesman. They went across the street to Walter H. Kollmar Pontiac in Heightstown, New Jersey and spotted this red 1967 Tempest Custom Convertible on the lot that his wife fell in love with. She thought it was a better choice then the smaller Mustang since they had two small children. A deal was made that day and they purchased the car on May 11, 1967. They traded in a 1961 Pontiac Catalina 4 door sedan, they also received more for the trade-in. The car was used as an everyday car for years even in the New Jersey winters. Ron and his family were transferred to Texas two years after us in 1973 where the car has stayed ever since. What is neat about this car is that it spent 98% of its life with the same owner and never has been restored. The car has original paint, interior, convertible top, plastic back window, 326 two-barrel motor, two speed transmission and all of the chrome. 14" Rally II wheels were added in 1968 from a wrecked GTO. After being in Texas for a short time Ron added a under dash air conditioner unit from Sears. The only time parts were replaced was when they wore out, such as the carburetor and master cylinder. Ron would keep the old parts. I'm planing on rebuilding these number matching parts and putting them back on. The starter, power brake booster, power steering and alternator have never been rebuilt or replaced. The car still has a very good shine, but it does show its age. I'm very surprised how nice this car runs for never being rebuilt. Since I purchased the car in July 2005, I have detailed the motor and undercarriage. I also have rebuilt the cooling system and added 15" Rally II wheels with radial tires to make it more road worthy. Ron gave me all the sales paper work, window sticker, warranty book with plate, salesman business card, tax receipt, bill of sale receipt and service manual that was bought at the time of car purchase. I have taken this car to many local and out of state shows and I'm very surprised how this basic car is received. Ron saw the car for the first time after I bought it at the Goodguys show in Dallas last summer and was very surprised at how nice the car looks. A lot of survivor cars only saw minimum use, but mine was used as a car and not just parked in a garage for it lifetime. I consider this car a Survivor Driver and plan on driving this car to the POCI Nationals this summer in Tulsa, Ok.. I will be showing it in the survivor class against all the low mileage cars that were never used. I hope mine will be excepted with the repairs that have been done to keep it on the road for all these years? I have enjoyed showing and driving this car since I purchased it. I'm also very happy to have become a member of the American Pontiac Association. They are a great group of people and I want to thank them for honoring me with the Tom Broaddus award at the January 2006 banquet. I hope you have enjoyed hearing the story about my car and I want to thank everyone again for opening their arms and making my dad and I feel like part of the APA family from the start. Mike Kern A proud owner of a original 1967 Tempest and member of the APA.