KM 6: I finally get onto the highway. As I approach 80 km/h, the car begins to develop a serious case of “the shakes”. Being bold (stupid?) I push it to 100 km/h. The shakes actually let up and the car isn’t too bad to drive on the highway.

1994 Ford Tempo GL
1994 Ford Tempo GL. Click image to enlarge

KM 10: I hit my first patch of morning rush-hour traffic on Highway 403, and brake moderately. The rear end of the car immediately pulls hard to the left, attempting to change lanes on its own. Who needs state of the art technology? I am already in the self-driving car.

KM 15: Six stop-and-go sequences later and I am beginning to master the art of “countersteer-braking”. Every time I go to brake, I steer a little to the right and the car stays straight. Sure, the back end dances around more than a kid at a rave, but it isn’t too bad once you get accustomed to it.

KM 25: Having finally cleared the worst of the morning traffic, I enter an open part of highway 403. Feeling more comfortable in the Tempo, I push it up to 112 km/h, or about as fast as she’ll go. Having only a three-speed automatic, the engine is turning roughly 3,700 rpm at this speed (no pun intended). The car is shaking, vibrating, and wheezing down the road. Suffering from sensory overload (or a panic attack), I get the car back down to 100 km/h. I pick this as my top speed for the rest of the trip.

KM 50: I make it into work and park the baby blue beast. Really, it isn’t that bad to drive. I conclude it just needs an alignment… and maybe 100 total hp… and tires larger than its stock 185/75R14s.

1994 Ford Tempo GL
1994 Ford Tempo GL. Click image to enlarge

KM 51: It is time to drive back across the city to pick up my car. I head out and am amazed at how easily the Tempo fires up even after sitting in 28-degree weather all morning.

KM 52: It is hot out and I think, “What the hell, let’s try the A/C.” To my amazement, it works and blows out nice cold air. Unfortunate side effect — engine power feels like it has dropped to 71 hp.

KM 63: I am clicking along the 403 at a constant 100 km/h without issue. The vague and light steering isn’t really affecting the car’s ability to stay in its lane.

KM 90: I exit the highway onto a right-hand off ramp. Daydreaming, I momentarily forget I am driving the Tempo and not an Evo ( I attempt moderate braking while moderately steering to the right. The rear end of the Tempo tries its hardest to pass the front of the car. All feelings of confidence and manliness evaporate. I almost spun out a Ford Tempo on a sunny summer day.

KM 100: I drop the car off, and offer some advice to the owner: “Maybe it is time for a new car.”

Connect with