But General Motors' marketing plans for the compact trio put these cars in such different places, well in line with each division's purview, that you could be forgiven for not realizing they were basically the same car underneath. Initially, Pontiac's ads for its four-cylinder Tempest focused on combining small-car economy with big-car room, while mentioning—but not particularly focusing on—its innovative rear transaxle. (As time went on, Pontiac assumed a more aggressive, sporting posture thanks to its new-for-1963 326-cu.in. V-8.)
Oldsmobile, with its F-85 and Cutlass models, gave little, if any, lip service to the cars' relatively compact dimensions, instead emphasizing high-tech aluminum V-8 power and driving comfort. The higher the price tag, it appears, the less GM thought its customers wanted to think about the reasons for buying a smaller car in the first place.
Were buyers convinced? Possibly, but not enough of them: For 1964, all of the former compact model lines were enlarged, and became midsized models. Compact cars within the lineups of GM's middle divisions would have to wait another decade to emerge. Ultimately, compacts infiltrating GM's lineup were the right idea—just a decade too early.