Friday, July 29, 2016

Your Own Beat-up: 1987 Ford Tempo AWD


By Matt -- In the 1980’s, Ford USA was in the process of putting together an FIA Group B rally program to rival the RS2000 project from across the Atlantic. With an all-iron single-turbo 2.8 liter V6, four driven wheels, and a tufted velour front bench, the homologation Tempo was planned for a limited production run of 500. Ford, not able to make the close ratio dog-leg 5 speed transaxle and locking center differential live in rally conditions, abandoned all but the homologation special, with all performance-oriented features deleted except the AWD system. I hope you’ve enjoyed this completely falsified, revisionist history. Find this 1987 Ford Tempo AWD with absolutely no racing pedigree, for sale in Denver, CO for $750.



 The Tempo pictured here is awaiting purchase by its final owner. The ad says “needs nothing to start driving” but he never finished the sentence. The rest of it surely was meant to read “sideways over the top of rocks and saplings at your friends farm while doing triple downshift kickdowns” but he must’ve accidentally left that part off. That would’ve been a major selling point for anyone searching either ‘Tempo’ or ‘AWD’ on craigslist. The Tempo was available with a few different methods of turning fuel into sadness and noise. In this case, the car was optioned with the 2.3 Pinto four and a slushbox.


Unfortunately, there are no engine or interior shots included but what’s the purpose at this price point? To confirm that indeed the interior has been completely shredded by a pack of wild toddlers and the oil and dung-caked motor looks like a gigantic burnt rump roast sitting beneath its faded bonnet?



See a better way to march to your own beat-to-hell? tips@dailyturismo.com

Matt, a self-proclaimed bottom-feeder of the classic car market, spends half of his time buying cars, half of his time retrieving them, and the remaining third on keeping them on the road.

13 comments:

  1. It's just like an Audi, just more reliable.

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    1. Sean Scott drops mic......walks off stage....crowd erupts

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    2. Sean Scott drops mic......walks off stage....crowd erupts

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    3. Haha, I sold my 98 A8 for the same price... It was running a little rough, but was obviously in much better condition...

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  2. Nice write up, Matt! You have outdone yourself on this one. I especially liked:
    "available with a few different methods of turning fuel into sadness and noise" - that describes the Tempo perfectly.

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    1. Cheers! I had to dig deep for that one.

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  3. I agree with Bobinott, my brother had one and that quote describes it perfectly!

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  4. Agree with Bobinott, Matt. Love your turn of a phrase.

    Love reading your stuff.

    -Stan (the *other* Stan...)

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  5. The Tempo was the ultimate in phoned-in engineering. Take Escort, cut into quarters, pull all the pieces apart three inches, stitch-weld in patches. Raid parts bins for the cheapest powertrain the company builds. Done.

    They did, however, outsell their Contour/Mystique successors for one reason: you could just about put four 95th-percentile adults in a Tempo. The Mondeo/Contour design was apparently approved for production at a point when Ford executive management was occupied by the Seven Dwarfs.

    As for this example, I'd suggest it's got fabulous Lemons Class C potential but I'm also guessing you might want to bring along a spare transaxle or two.



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    1. Or nine. With the understanding that, if you have any self respect at all, you will promptly 86 the AWD after you've turned 2 laps in 13 hours on track and JUST CANT TAKE IT anymore.

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  6. Theses were terrible cars! My mother owned a big V6 powered one that drank fuel at an alarming rate yet never did anything well other than start up after sitting for 6 months. It was her second car in BC and whenever we came to visit it was ours to use. Fun things like the rear view mirror falling off, a door window falling into the door, a gas tank that bwgan to leak while driving through a forest fire, and that @&$%#^+^&@@-/ 'mouse seat belt thing that drove us nuts. My daughters called it 'The White Trash Mobile' and we loved it...and hated it!!!!

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  7. That's no Pinto engine! It's a pushrod mill called the HSC. Fear the HSC! Or ignore it. That's the smarter course of action.

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