I was wondering where to get advice for a free car I’m about to acquire …
The car in question: a 1991 Ford Tempo LX with a four-banger and automatic transmission — not exactly a racer or show car. My dad used it as a work beater for the last 13 years so he didn’t have to drive his garage queen Cadillac. Now that he’s about to retire, he no longer needs it and has decided to give it to me to do with as I please.
To gather the photographs for the Junkyard Find series, I do a lot of walking around self-service wrecking yards, and mostly I’m just tuning out the common cars as background noise. You know, the 15-to-20-year-old Detroit stuff that won’t have any collector value until almost all are gone (as happened with the Pinto and Vega). The chaff. Right now, the Taurus/Sable is king of the Ford sections of these yards (I counted 188 of them in a 300-car section in a California yard not long ago), but you also see large numbers of Tempos and Topazes. Once I decided to pay attention to the lowly Tempo, I was surprised by the number of not-particularly-trashed examples I found at my local yard. Today, and just today, let’s pay attention to one of the most common vehicles in American self-serve junkyards today: the Tempo. (Read More…)
From the blooming tree in the photo, it’s obvious that I didn’t just shoot this Tempo recently. But then it wasn’t just this past spring either; it was a year and a half ago. Why have I been temporizing? Few cars leave me feeling more conflicted than the Tempo: is it a Deadly Sin or a Greatest Hit? But I find myself in a temporary state of equanimity today, so let’s see if we can’t put the Tempo into proper perspective. Tempus fugit; it’s now or never. (Read More…)