CC BS Buster: “My Cousin Vinny” Courtroom Scene – The 1963 Tempest Actually Did Not Have A Limited Slip Differential and The ’64 Skylark Did

This clip from “My Cousin Vinny” was posted in the comments recently, and it reminded me that I’ve long wanted to debunk its key element—one that has been held in high esteem by car guys—that the ’63 Pontiac Tempest had a limited slip differential along with independent rear suspension, thus being able to make tire marks that a ’64 Buick Skylark could not have made with its solid rear axle and non-limited slip differential.

Here’s why:

The 1963 Tempest did not offer a limited slip differential as an option; there’s no mention of it in the brochure. Ate Up With Motor sent me more evidence: a factory repair manual for the rear transaxle with lots of details but no mention of an LSD. And then he sent me a Car Life review of a ’63 Tempest with the V8, and it clearly states that the car struggled with traction and that a limited slip differential was not available.

Meanwhile, contrary to Lisa’s assertion, a limited slip differential called “Positive Traction” was available on the ’64 Buick Skylark. Neither Pontiac or Buick were allowed to use the term “Positraction” as that belonged to was Chevy.

The other mistake is that she says that the ’63 Tempest and ’64 Skylark had the same wheelbase; wrong. The ’63 Tempest’s was 112″ and the new larger 1964 GM A-Bodies all had a 115″ wheelbase.

For that matter, the ’63 Tempest (top) and ’64 Skylark are of two totally different generation of cars, and they don’t really look all that similar. All the dimensions are different, as well as how they look. As to the “Metallic Mint Green” paint they both allegedly have, I see two greens that are somewhat similar, but don’t look the same to me. But maybe someone has better eyes than mine.

Marisa Tomei gave a great and convincing performance that won her an Oscar, but it was all BS. Which of course is utterly appropriate for making the men all look dumb. As well as for making a great movie scene.