I remember the night I got it. My dad drove it to meet us and give it to me. I remember being surprised at how nice I thought it looked at the time, there was no rust, no dents or dings, no duct tape windows or anything like that. For an older car I really expected a lot less. My dad showed me a few things about it and off I went. It was a great feeling, knowing I had my very own car to use as I pleased, finally I could drive to school and stop asking for rides or to borrow my mom's car. It had a red interior and the steering wheel was sticky, ALWAYS, you couldn't clean it off or make it unsticky for some mysterious reason that remains a secret to this very day.
What a bunch of great memories I have of that car. Sure it had its share of problems and I wrecked it the first week I had it. After a new fender, I was back on the road! There was an unknown noise coming from under the dash and my dad told me to turn up the radio to fix that problem. I put a big Penn State symbol magnet on the hood, and when somebody stole it, I noticed the paint had bubbled under the magnet. It had a problem with its hood latch and coming home on I-99 the hood flew up covering my entire view of the road. Once I blew a piston and had a stream of smoke following the car home, but after a quick engine swap and I was back on the road! It would get you from point A to point B....not always on the same trip or under its own power, but still, I digress.
One time I decided I was going to go to a store's parking lot after they closed to hit a shopping cart. (This seemed like a good idea at the time.) Besides, having this on tape was the main purpose and how cool would that be??? So we put a shopping cart all by itself in the middle of the empty parking lot and my friend and I raced towards it at what I called "ramming speed" and at the last second I chickened out and swerved out of the way, the cart still did manage to hit my driver's side mirror, smashing it off completely. We did get that on tape, so it wasn't a total loss.
My car was freedom. I could drive to school and leave school much faster now. I even used it to skip school one day, which would have been much more difficult without my own car. I could give people rides where they wanted to go, especially my girlfriend at the time and her idiotic friends. I could even get it to squeal tires, when it was wet outside anyway. I pegged the speedometer once and it’s the car I was in when I got my first speeding ticket. That cop said I was doing 89mph, which is funny cause the speedometer only goes up to 85 so I don't know where he was getting his numbers from. We even made a body kit for it out of cardboard; I remember that being a hysterical idea at the time. It was the car that took me to my last day of High School and my first day of college.....that's pretty special.
But like all old cars it started to nickel and dime me and from what I remember it was in the shop being worked on more than I had it at home. Driving so far to college every day I needed something more reliable and it was time to look for something a bit newer. The Tempo's story doesn't end there though. It was given to my little sister; she was a senior in High School and got to enjoy the same freedom it had given me a few years earlier. It did break down on her a lot too and once she ran out of gas with it. The Tempo played the same hood latch trick on her, almost causing another accident. It didn't last as long with her and she got a new car too.
The Ford Tempo went on to live out the rest of its days as a parts delivery car for a local auto parts store. I used to see it sitting outside when I would drive by and remember all the good times we had with that car. I haven't seen it sitting there for a while now; unfortunately it's probably a cube somewhere. I would buy back that car in a heartbeat though, just to have it. I'll never forget my first car, sure it wasn't the fastest, or the nicest, or the newest, or the cleanest, or the most reliable.....where am I going with this??? Oh yes, I wouldn't have wanted any other car to be my first than that white 89 Ford Tempo. What a
great.... good..... decent.... adequate.... endearing.........memorable car it was.