Home » When Your Car Can’t Live Up To Its Name: COTD

When Your Car Can’t Live Up To Its Name: COTD

Cotd Tempo Ts
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The naming of a car is important. You might want the names of your vehicles to be memorable, or at the very least non-offensive. “Volkswagen Taos” is a totally forgettable name, but it’s not going to make schoolchildren snicker, either. “Toyota Bz4X” is an example of the wrong way to do it. I mean, that reads like a robot having a stroke. You might also want to avoid naming your car after something it can’t live up to. Ford may not have gotten that memo when it made the Tempo.

Now, Ford did make a faster version of the Tempo, but most of them were more of a slow jam. Today, Lewin wrote about a pristine Ford Tempo diesel. I could not find official acceleration data, but the Tempo diesel has to take about 2 to 5 business days to reach 60 mph. Viking Longcar is harsher than I am:

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

So it lacks…tempo?

Vanillasludge also started a funny thread:

I had the “privilege” of driving one of these for a few days back in the late 80’s. It was both depressing and hilarious at the same time.

Depressing to look at or be in. Hilarious to drive with your foot planted on the floor and the vibrations of the powertrain massaging your nether regions.

IRegertNothing, Esq.:

It sounds like the car knew that it sucked to drive and tried resorting to sexual favors to keep you from sending it to the scrapyard.

Vanillasludge:

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Later developments in this field gave us the Probe.

Tempo Diesel Ts

 

For one more from that article, I loved what Regorlas had to say:

Couple of “life choices” comments here and I have a counterpoint: sometimes a Temple is exactly the car you need at that point in your life.

Going to college in the mid 90s, a classmate was several years older than the rest of us kids that started immediately after high school. She shared wisdom that I didn’t really appreciate until later. She got to and from class in a white Temple that had lived its first life as a rental car.

It may not have been a great car, but it was sufficient while she got a Computer Science degree leading to a job at Microsoft. (Checking price history of MSFT since 1996…) I’m sure she’s since upgraded to something nicer.

I have no desire to own a Temple, but I respect them for providing affordable basic transportation to so many.

Jeep Clutch Issues Ts Copy

This morning, Lewin also wrote about how the clutch pressure plates of manual-transmission-equipped Jeeps have a thing for overheating or, in the worst case, fracturing. That’s bad enough, but I don’t want The NSX Was Only in Development for 4 Years insulting me. Just look:

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Jeep is the automotive equivalent of that one guy you know who bounces around between jobs and never really stood out or accomplished anything in life, but by God, he threw the game-winning touchdown in a high school football game 35 years ago and makes sure everyone knows about it

Have a great evening, everyone!

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Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
1 month ago

Oh I missed the unfortunate name post.
I always thought that the Aspire was pretty sad as it was the least aspirational vehicle I could imagine.

lastwraith
lastwraith
1 month ago

To be fair, “Tempo” doesn’t specify that it must be fast. Just that there’s some movement. As a person who rode in a bunch of Ford Escorts as a kid, they moved……eventually.

Last edited 1 month ago by lastwraith
Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
1 month ago
Reply to  lastwraith

Well, regularly scheduled movement.
You know “it has a beat and you can dance to it” speaking of the Tempo — Beat thesaurus cohabitation situation,
given a choice between a Tempo and a Beat, I’d take the Beat, although I can easily imagine life situations where that would be an unwise choice.
Actually sort of like choosing between a parachute and a ham sandwich.

lastwraith
lastwraith
1 month ago
Reply to  Hugh Crawford

Can’t argue with that, I’d take a Beat as well.

Mister Win
Mister Win
1 month ago
Reply to  Hugh Crawford

Wait, that’s a no-brainer! Imagine how many sandwiches you can get for 1 parachute…

Jeffrey Antman
Jeffrey Antman
1 month ago

Datsun 1200. First new car half a century ago. Such a pos haven’t purchased another Nissan since. It only died every time you slowed down. In a year most of the knobs and windows handles broke off. After three months to finally get the dying when it slowed down fixed, first time driven the key jammed in the ignition requiring a locksmith repair that took an hour with the pizza I picked up getting cold. I sold it with 35K miles the next week.

Are you not entertained?
Are you not entertained?
1 month ago

My 2nd car in high school (after I crashed my Nissan Sentra Wagon) was a Mercury Topaz (Ford Tempo). It had automatic seat belts that were stuck (luckily in the up position), so I had to weave under the shoulder belt to get in. The only thing it had going for it was that the manual transmission allowed me to pretend it was more fun than it really was.

Nick Fortes
Nick Fortes
1 month ago

Yeah Toyota Busy Forks is a terrible name. I’m not sure how they even came up with that

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick Fortes

I bet it’s some sort of shonen manga reference. “My God, he’s summoned the power of Busy Forks! He’s unstoppable now!”

Dudeoutwest
Dudeoutwest
1 month ago

A year or so before they introduced the Ford Tempo, there was an antacid of the same name on the US market. I made a vow to never drive a vehicle that shared a name with an antacid.

Ffoc01
Ffoc01
1 month ago
Reply to  Dudeoutwest

Better than the Diet pills that were uncannily close to an STD.

Hot Stuff
Hot Stuff
1 month ago
Reply to  Ffoc01

If you are referring to Ayds (which were a diet “candy”, not pills), those existed long before HIV/AIDS was discovered. They were a victim of circumstance.

Phil Layshio
Phil Layshio
1 month ago

Man I need to shut off the internet. Both of my eyes are twitching. It’s a damn Tempo not a Temple. Proofread people!!!

Regorlas
Regorlas
1 month ago
Reply to  Phil Layshio

Whoops that’s my bad! And naturally I goofed up on my one comment that got any attention.

On the upside, “avoidable mistakes that annoy many people” is consistent with our Tempo theme.

Sorry about your eye twitches.

Phil Layshio
Phil Layshio
1 month ago
Reply to  Regorlas

It’s all good brother I’m kind of a pedant LOL

Schrödinger's Catbox
Schrödinger's Catbox
1 month ago

If you’re familiar with the Southfield Freeway in Detroit, I once had to bring a Tempo diesel up to freeway speeds on a very short on-ramp to that road. This was back in the late 80s. It was the first diesel I ever drove. I had no idea how incredibly slow this thing was, even with a manual transmission.

The Southfield is a very, very busy road, and at that time, had shoulders that were barely the width of a compact car. About twice as many cars as the road was designed to accommodate used that road daily. Ramps were measured in the low hundreds of feet in some cases to enter and exit that road.

It was the first time I thought I really may be killed while driving, and the only time in my life I thought I really might have a fear-based brownout. I’ve driven a 76 Chevy LUV laden with materials for a 10′ x 12′ storage building that didn’t make me nearly as scared as the Tempo Diesel.

The gas versions sucked ass too. Those HSC engines sure loved head gaskets. Ford should have just made them a normal maintenance item because the damn things failed every 30-45k miles.

The power steering racks, also disposable.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 month ago

> bring a Tempo diesel up to freeway speeds

Was that even possible? You’d die of old age by the time it hit 45.

Rollin Hand
Rollin Hand
1 month ago

My wife was “gifted” her parents’ Tempo when she got out of school and started her first job. Within a year that thing had cost her thousands in repairs. She gave it back to her parents and bought a Sentra.

Her parents used it for a couple of months.
They took it in for service, only to have the tech tell them that the transaxle was dead, and to scrap it.

My wide still refers to that steaming pile of poop as “the Lempo.” The name works.

And a friend bought one for her first car. Her boyfriend at the time spent a significant number of his weekends keeping that steaming pile of poop on the road.

Super Bonk 3000
Super Bonk 3000
1 month ago
Reply to  Rollin Hand

The week that the Tempo/Topaz launched, I saw at least four of them dead on the side of the 405.

Not all at once, though that would have been even more of an omen. Ford might as well have painted DO NOT BUY THIS CAR on them.

Rollin Hand
Rollin Hand
1 month ago

The thing that fries me is they sold a ton of them.

EXL500
EXL500
1 month ago

Its sister car, the Topaz, was also no gem…

Vanillasludge
Vanillasludge
1 month ago
Reply to  EXL500

They were going to call it the Fukasite but chickened out at the last minute.

EXL500
EXL500
1 month ago
Reply to  Vanillasludge

LOL!

CTSVmkeLS6
CTSVmkeLS6
1 month ago

This is hilarious. Nice job Mercedes!

SlowCarFast
SlowCarFast
1 month ago
Reply to  CTSVmkeLS6

I also particularly enjoyed today’s offerings!

Theotherotter
Theotherotter
1 month ago

So Jeep is the Uncle Rico of brands?

10001010
10001010
1 month ago
Reply to  Theotherotter

Or the Al Bundy.

Jerry Thomas
Jerry Thomas
1 month ago
Reply to  10001010

Yeah his Polk high winning touch down or whatever was Jeeps WW2 moment was my thought also

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
1 month ago
Reply to  Jerry Thomas

Four touchdowns in one game!

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
1 month ago
Reply to  Theotherotter

No doubt, no doubt in my mind

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
1 month ago
Reply to  Theotherotter

Jeep is also the Official SUV of Karen

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
1 month ago

Regorlas’ comment reminds me of a friend whose family owned four late 80s/early 90s Ford Escorts – two sedans and two wagons. They were absolute garbage, but they were cheap, took abuse from teenage drivers well, and parts were cheap (and easy to swap between cars). Two of the four were still on the road when I lost touch with that friend in the mid-2000s. From a quality of life perspective, they were crap. From a financial perspective, they were brilliant. Sometimes being pragmatic, while perhaps not fun, makes the most sense.

JT4Ever
JT4Ever
1 month ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

My first car was an 87 Escort GL, bought in high school with 450 hard-earned summer job dollars (circa 1994). I found it parked under a tree and it didn’t start, but luckily it was a 5-speed and I could park in on our front lawn and roll-start it each morning until I saved up enough for a salvaged starter. Did I mention when I bought it I could not drive stick? Anyway, my friend promptly named it the John Thomas and the name stuck. I sold the John Thomas to my brother after I graduated college in 2000, and he sold it to someone else! Last reports were that the John Thomas caught fire shortly thereafter. I can’t say that it was stylish, and it did break once in a while, but my God, the dollar value was off the charts!

Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
1 month ago
Reply to  JT4Ever

All I’m hearing is that you and your brother shared an escort and that you’re here on the internet sharing that publicly.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago
Reply to  Brandon Forbes

Thanks: you made me laugh—and now people are staring at me

Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
1 month ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

Happy to help!

JT4Ever
JT4Ever
1 month ago
Reply to  Brandon Forbes

To be fair, I only gave him the used escort when I was done with it. And judging by the name, the escort was male. Lots to dig into there

Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
1 month ago
Reply to  JT4Ever

Hahahahaha oh wow. Thank you for that! So many questions, and I want none of the answers.

SlowCarFast
SlowCarFast
1 month ago
Reply to  JT4Ever

“So I was trying to get into the Escort, and well, it was really tight! I mean, I’m a big guy! So I had to wiggle a bit to get seated properly. After that it was slow and steady. Not very exciting, though. It got me there in the end, so mission accomplished.”

I hope you didn’t have mouse-belts whacking you every time. I believe ’87 was too early for those.

Last edited 1 month ago by SlowCarFast
JT4Ever
JT4Ever
1 month ago
Reply to  SlowCarFast

I always told myself that the GL in Escort GL stood for Grand Luxury. From what I could tell the automatic shoulder belts were the only touch of luxury in that car. I got really good at hand-cranking the passenger window while driving

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
1 month ago
Reply to  JT4Ever

In this case, GL stood for “Good Luck!”

lastwraith
lastwraith
1 month ago
Reply to  JT4Ever

What, no overhead trip computer or whatever Ford called it? That was probably the fanciest option in our Escorts.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  JT4Ever

And $450! Fancy.

Jb996
Jb996
1 month ago
Reply to  JT4Ever

Wow, my brother and I also shared an ’87 Ford Escort, 5-speed, around 1995-1997. Not a fancy “GL” like you. It was tan. It was terrible. But it was a tank.
With a long enough run up, and a hill, it could be pegged at the 85 mph speedometer limit.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jb996
JT4Ever
JT4Ever
1 month ago
Reply to  Jb996

My personal favorite feature was that the hatch could only be opened via a button concealed inside the glove compartment

lastwraith
lastwraith
1 month ago
Reply to  JT4Ever

My mom drove a ’93 Escort with a dying automatic transmission for 3 years before she got another car (the Escort still worked).

An underpowered pile of crap….. Yes. A reliable pile of crap so underpowered that it couldn’t manage to finish off its own failing transmission…. Also yes.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 month ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

I have a real soft spot for cars like that, esp. Escorts as Ford always tried (if imperfectly) to graft fun onto them where ever it could, even if through silly stripe packages or by giving you a tach you don’t really need.

And for better or worse, they develop a certain character that can often become charming.

JT4Ever
JT4Ever
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

Hell yeah brother, I had the tach AND the red racing stripes

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
1 month ago
Reply to  JT4Ever

Ohhh – Sporty!

Goof
Goof
1 month ago

A 1986 Ford Tempo is the first car that my parents ever bought new. Ten weeks later they had done their research with Consumer Reports, car magazines and Motorweek, and it was traded in for a new 1986 Toyota Camry.

Less than three months prior, they would’ve never considered anything Japanese. The Tempo had already been in the shop four times, including for a failed seatbelt anchor and a failed strut.

I’ve always wondered how many times that exact same situation (Ford -> Toyota or Honda) played out across America because of the Tempo.

Just shy of 40 years later and they’ve not bought a Japanese car since.

Chris Campbell
Chris Campbell
1 month ago
Reply to  Goof

Unclear, do you mean, anything but, or never again?

Goof
Goof
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris Campbell

Yeah, big goof there. Nothing but Japanese since. The Tempo was the last straw for my dad.

Data
Data
1 month ago
Reply to  Goof

Name checks out. 🙂

Der Foo
Der Foo
1 month ago
Reply to  Goof

If the Japanese companies were a little more ‘in your face’, they should have bought some craptaskic domestic car and put it in their museum. The sign next to it would read, “This car and cars like it, second only to our relentless pursuit of quality, is responsible for our success in the US market. Thanks Ford\GM\Chrysler.”

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Goof

The Tempo has got to be on the Mount Crushmore of shitboxes. What a pile that was. A grad school classmate gave me a ride or two in hers and it was vile.

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