Oh man. The '89 Pontiac Tempest was my first car (got in in 2003). When I bought it, it had 190,000km on it. It lasted me until 2006 (it died after I gave it to my brother, prob died more due to my brother's maintenance of it).
Any-who, the only problem I had with the car was leaks! This thing leaked everything. Gas from the gas line & tank, power steering fluid, oil. You name it, it leaked it. Other than that, the car was great!
$500; it's the price I paid last year when I bought my Pontiac Tempest 1989, and the car has just got 75 000 km and I've NEVER regreted my purchase.
In a year I touched the engine only one time, and it was the spark plugs and the thermostat, and it run pretty well.
I even get surprised when I quit looking to the gauge for too long; when I look I'm 40 km over the limit. The engine runs so well and is powerful enough, I can't feel the acceleration.
The 2.8 engine is a perfect fit in this car. This winter we got 2 weeks under -40 c, and as long I keep it plugged, it starts every time I turn the key...
I know some other people that can't say the same thing of their new cars..
In my life I've tried a lot of cars, American or Japanese; name it, I probably drive it, but only 3 cars have got my heart and gave me real emotions and it's 3 Pontiacs... My first was a 1989 Bonneville SSE (I was really nuts to let this one go...), my second was a 1985 Parisienne (still cry), and my Tempest (I've still got this one and take good care of it).
Finally, why don't they do cars like those today???