1963 Tempest

I had an owner ask me recently what colors were available on a 1963 Pontiac Tempest. He has a Le Mans Convertible that he is restoring and is considering changing the color. His convertible was originally manufactured in Saddle Bronze Metallic. That was a very popular color that year and in that era. Even the 1963 factory Le Mans Convertible promotional photo featured a car in that color.

After a little digging I discovered that all 1963 Pontiacs were offered in 14 colors, with even the big cars receiving the same color choices. That seems pretty remarkable in this day and age when each GM brand literally has a different color palette for every vehicle line within their brand.

Of the 14 1963 colors only four are non-metallics. I would break the colors down into the following primary families: 1 Black, 1 Green, 2 Blue, 2 Aqua, 2 Gold, 3 Red, 2 White, and 1 Gray. What an abundance of color families to choose from when compared to the “Fifty Shades of Gray” that today’s cars seem to come in.

For the record these are the 14 1963 Pontiac color choices:

1963 Pontiac Tempest Paint Colors

1963 Pontiac Tempest Paint Colors

  • Starlight Black
  • Silverleaf Green Metallic
  • Yorktown Blue Metallic
  • Nocturne Blue Metallic
  • Aquamarine Metallic
  • Marlin Aqua Metallic
  • Caravan Gold Metallic
  • Grenadier Red
  • Saddle Bronze Metallic
  • Cordovan Metallic
  • Cameo Ivory
  • Yuma Beige
  • Silvermist Gray Metallic
  • Marimba Red Metallic


Sometimes it can be hard to find a color that was popular 50 years ago that is still popular today. But there are a couple of colors that will always stand the test of time and those would be your basic red, black, or white.

My advice to the inquiring owner was short and sweet. You can’t do better than Resale (Grenadier) Red, especially on a convertible.

By Jim Luikens