7th Sep 2008, 14:36

Before you laugh too much at my original post, I suggest you do a little research.

First, check out professional driver Sabine Schmitz taking on the famous Nuerburgring race track... in a diesel Ford Transit van. She passed all kinds of supercars during this wild ride, demonstrating (as ever) that the DRIVER is more important than the car. Similarly, attend some racing events where supercars compete against lesser cars (i.e autocross, hillclimbs, etc.) and note how many times supercars lose against more ordinary cars depending, again, entirely on the driver.

Second, actually drive an older 911 Porsche and an older Ford Tempo around some corners, really pushing both cars (please, on a track). You will be surprised. The Porsche will spin out. The Tempo will not.

To drive a 911 effectively, you need to learn how to cope with its overweight and outhanging back end. This involves slowing right down at corners, and then using the cars excellent traction (weight over rear wheels) and power to cut the corner and accelerate. Again, this takes instruction, track time, and practice. The vast majority of 911 drivers are fine on the road (do not spin out) only because they never push the car.

My Tempo suspension is not stock, and at low to moderate speeds, the car performs fairly well. For 99% of the drivers out there, it is much safer and more stable than a Porsche when things get hairy. An inexperienced driver would have a better lap time with it than a Porsche 911.

On the other hand, the Porsche is better for high speed running (Tempo tops out at 100 MPH) and better for track work with a highly trained driver. It also has better brakes.

The cool factor is all in your mind, and wears off over time. It costs $15,000 to rebuild a Porsche engine. For this reason, Porsches average many owners over their life span.

Last point: my bro got into a course race with his highly modified Firebird against a woman with an old Tercel 4WD sedan. It was funny, but she really knew how to drive.

He lost.

8th Sep 2008, 08:54

Well using the above reasoning, I guess the 50cc motor scooter that I rent every summer in Bermuda is better than a Porsche or a Tempo then.

After-all, it is far easier to drive than either of them, plus it gets about 80 mpg.

Who would've thought that!

8th Sep 2008, 10:42

My point in saying that the Tempo might be a better car for some people and for some uses was just that - sure, it cannot go fast, or around corners quickly, but many of us have no need to ever do those things.

However I for one often have a need to carry 4 persons, and to avoid spending tens of thousands on expensive cars and repairs. So obviously the the Tempo is a better car for me, and probably for a lot of normal working class people. Things like Porsches are essentially just toys for the rich.

16th Nov 2008, 04:37

Anyone who has driven a Tempo knows they are great little cars.

Jackie Stewart even endorsed them back in the day, calling them a "drivers car", and there is a video of him bombing around a race track with one on YOUTUBE.

As for the Porsche comment, he is correct that the driver is 90% of racing. Jackie Stewart with a Tempo would beat any amateur driver in a Porsche.

Most hot cars are sold on myth. Lamborghini for example, is often compared to Ferarri, but the former was never a racing car, just an expensive sports car.

Shelby is the same. The Camaros were actually king in the day, and even the Cougars almost ran them off the road in 1967. Bud Moore is the one who should be remembered, but Shelby was a wise businessman...

Drive a Tempo and enjoy its unique features... no rubber timing belt to ever replace (yes it has a chain), fully independent rear suspension (Mustangs still have solid axels), a 2.3 four pushrod engine chopped from the old 1960s Falcon straight 6 (bulletproof cast iron overbuilt block), and the best heater system ever made (cold to warm in one mile due to a small volume radiator).

Parts are cheap, interior is roomy, repairs infrequent, and the design has aged well too. 30 mpg at most any speed (unless you push it hard).

The only issue I have had is that, like all front wheel drives, it is tight to work on.

(If you have one and it starts making a rattling noise at idle by the way, it is just the harmonic balancer. Drop the engine 8" and you can change it yourself for about $40 with a cheap made in China junk part, or $150 with the Ford decent part. If the valve cover gasket starts to leak, buy a new Feldpro gasket and use grey permatex to seal it. That is cheaper than buying the whole valve cover assembly as required by Ford.

Otherwise, these cars have no real issues.

29th Nov 2008, 04:00

Hold your heads high, Tempo owners! The marque lives on...

(Actually, the Tempo really is a great little car. We have had a few, and they have at least been more reliable than anything else we have owned). And they are fun to drive too. A sporty little commuter car for sure. I like the '93.

12th Dec 2008, 02:06

Tempo racing?

Anyone who wants to see famous Jackie Stewart driving the living stuffing out of a Tempo on a race track, just use this link:


These little cars top out at about 100 mph, and he must be close to that speed in the video!

14th Dec 2008, 22:44

Tempos forever!!

2nd Oct 2010, 14:32

While it is debatable which year of the Tempo marque is the finest, the 1993 model year shines for reliability and performance. (We have had several).

My own example has 215,000 and is still going strong.

I have replaced all struts, the water pump and radiator, the transmission filter and harmonic balancer, and the valve cover gasket.

Considering the age of this automobile, this is hardly anything more than basic maintenance.

The car still hungers for the daily drive, and the car's performance is nearly the same as when it was new.

Those who may question a comparison with more expensive cars have never driven one. It has fine rack and pinion steering, excellent brakes, and predictable road manners. The fuel mileage is not as good as some newer cars, but 28 mpg is respectable. It the best car in snow that you can buy, even outperforming some 4wd vehicles.

(The performance in snow is astounding. During a very deep snowfall, this car with its narrow tires was able to walk out of our driveway and down the road, while our neighbour's Jeep actually got stuck. We have had several Tempos, and they have all been good in snow. Ford also made a 4wd version of this car for northern climes, but you would never need it unless off-road).

We had one that went 300,000, and another that we regretfully sold at 240,000. The family still has a '91 with only 85,000.

All these cars were trouble-free, reliable, and fun to drive. They are invisible to traffic cops, and yet can perform very well. If you find a good one, they are a really fun underdog.