Posts from ‘Ford’
by Don Sikora II
Note: The following story was excerpted from the December 2016 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
The Tempo was an overlooked Ford sales success of the Eighties. Introduced as a 1984 model in two- and four-door varieties, Tempo wore the Blue Oval’s then-trendsetting aerodynamic “jellybean” styling pioneered on the 1983 Thunderbird. The front-wheel-drive chassis shared some elements with the U.S.-market Escort, but rode a longer 99.9-inch wheelbase. Tempos ran a “new” 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that was a descendant of the Sixties-era Falcon inline six.
By 1986, car shoppers were looking for a little more than basic transportation. And while cheap/affordable cars were still the best-selling models, they were generally equipped with such conveniences as automatic transmission and such niceties as FM radio and air conditioning.
Nestled into an unassuming neighborhood in Chicago’s North Side is a large yet equally unassuming industrial building that once housed a printing company. Today, that building is home to the Klairmont Kollections, an incredible, 100,000-square-foot private museum that encompasses 300-plus vehicles, along with scads of bicycles and toy cars, a few airplanes hanging from the rafters, and a life-sized replica of a vintage gas station—and that’s just for starters. It’s a jaw-dropping array of automobilia and straight memorabilia that’s enough to keep even a casual enthusiast occupied for at least a full day… but you can’t just walk in off the street and check it out. The Klairmont Kollections might best be termed “semi-private,” since it is usually closed to the general public and available only for private functions such as weddings or corporate/charity events.
Blame the minivan. Prior to the 1984 arrival of the first minivans–the ground-breaking Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager–the vehicle options for a family of six were fairly limited.
We’ve been using the word fastest to describe the best-performing rides tested by Consumer Guide in the past. The word we really should be using is quickest. Technically, a fast car has an impressive top speed, and without a test track, and situated in the Chicago suburbs, top speed was never a metric CG attempted to measure.
Ford is doing it wrong. The current Ford Mustang GT is the highest-performance regular-production version of the brand’s beloved pony car (outside of the track-ready Shelbys), but that’s not really what a GT is. Historically speaking, at least.
Robert De Niro was cruising the Boroughs of New York City long before he played a mentally ill cabbie in the 1976 Martin Scorsese classic Taxi Driver–six years before, to be exact. Taxi Driver hit theaters in 1976. De Niro, however, shows off an AMC Ambassador in this forgotten ad from way back in 1970.
Sometimes hindsight plays tricks on us. I have always been uncomfortable that the Talking Heads’ seminal album More Songs about Buildings and Food was available on 8-Track tape.
I associate the 1978 album with a progressive musical movement that endured through the Eighties. That fact that that same music could be purchased in a lousy, short-lived format known for premature failure is difficult for me to square.
Have you noticed that the term “economy car” seems to have fallen out of common use in recent years? We think there’s good reason for that. With the average transaction price of a new vehicle hovering around $36,000, and the even the least-expensive new rides going for $18,000 or better, there isn’t much out there that feels economical.
The 2018 Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan is essentially a Ford Fusion Hybrid that’s been fortified for police duty with cop-car gear such as steel wheels, wiring for light bars and other upfit equipment, easy-to-clean vinyl rear seats and floor, anti-stab plates in the front seat backs, and slim-bolstered cloth front seats (to accommodate officers’ utility belts). It shares the Fusion Hybrid’s Atkinson-cycle 2.0-liter 4-cylinder paired with an electric motor fed by lithium-ion battery. The powertrain produces a combined 188 horsepower and can run in battery-only mode up to 60 mph.