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Totally Desperate for Four Wheels? This $1,500 1989 Ford Tempo GL Beats Walking

We get it, buddy. Times are tough, bills are high, and you can't seem to afford even a decent beater with the way used car prices fluctuate these days. But how desperate are you to get to work every day without riding a disease-filled city bus anymore? Are you willing to do something a little silly? Maybe even downright unwise? Well, if all else fails, this 1989 Ford Tempo GL sedan at least won't cause total financial ruin if the plan goes, you-know-whats up.
1989 Ford Tempo 29 photos
Photo: Classic Auto Mall Inc
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In a sea of overpriced used cars marked up 30 percent more than most people would find reasonable, a measly $1,500 will put you behind the wheel of a 34-year-old economy car that wasn't all that great when it was brand new. Admittedly, a car like this would likely never have a platform here unless someone shoehorned a Coyote motor under the hood. But given the current economic situation, this is at least a great segway into explaining why this little eco-box managed to stay so cheap.

Over three million of these little Tempo left Ford factories between 1983 and 1994. Not that you'd have any idea by looking at American roads these days, as most of them either rusted back into the ground of were scrapped even well before the 2000s rolled around. In the years before the Tempo line added the three-liter Vulcan V6 in 1992, all models were forced to make do with an anemic 2.3-liter, inline-four engine. Early variants of this engine were choked through a pathetic single-barrel carburetor, but by 1985, throttle-body and later multi-point fuel injection coaxed 95 horsepower out of this dog of an engine.

One would expect some astonishing fuel economy from such a paltry engine. But it's only an astonishment because of how mediocre they are, 19 in the city and 21 on the highway, according to the federal fuel economy database. But then again, when the cost of the car used is legitimately lower than most annual fuel bills, there's still room to claim this is a good investment. Well, it would be if not for one problem. This car is being sold without a title. Only a certified bill of sale from the dealership denotes ownership of this little Ford. That means depending on the mannerisms of your state DMV, good luck trying to get this Tempo registered without jumping more hurdles than the Summer Olympics.

In some extreme cases in certain states, you might never be able to re-title a car like this one again. One would only assume coming up for sale online out of Pennsylvania denotes the situation might not be the nightmare fuel it could be. So, if you don't plan on biking to work this winter, at least this Tempo has a heater.
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