Readers Rides

Real Cars, Real People

Eric Kaminsky - November 29, 2012 10:00 AM


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It’s your pride and joy and we want to help you show it off, right here in Auto Enthusiast. We want to see your car and your passion and hear the story that connects you. Send your high-resolution pictures and details to us via e-mail to and we’ll tell your story.

We don’t care about the color or the condition, but keep it American-made only, please.

Jim Lauenstein

I have always owned Mustangs and when my son turned 18, we restored the 1969 Mustang and made it into a Mach 1 clone. We had a lot of help from a good friend at Frances Restorations in Missouri.

I then purchased a 2007 California Special convertible in May of 2010. I found the car on, negotiated with the owner, then flew to Lansing, Michigan, to pick it up. It was in showroom condition and only had just over 17,000 miles.

On my bucket list in life, picking up this car sits pretty high. My son also purchased a 2007 Mustang, which was made into a Mach One, and is his daily driver. It has a Shaker hood, Mach One striping, interior upgrades and was recently tuned for more power. All three cars are manual.

The 1969 Mach One has a 351, to which we recently added a four-barrel. It also has a 3.73 gear in the rear end.  My CS has a 3.55 gear, cold air intake, premium tune and three-inch exhaust. All three cars are driven regularly. My son even takes the ’69 to work sometimes.

Owner: Leo Kounis

The Tempo is in my possession since October 2000 and came by pure chance. I had just returned to Greece from the United Kingdom and took a job in Athens. I was losing some five hours every day to commute to work.

Being an enthusiast of American cars, I asked my mechanic Chris to locate an “everyday” U.S. cruiser for me. Chris came up with a two-door, automatic Ford Tempo. To be quite frank, though, I didn’t feel anything “exciting” about the Tempo. American cars in Greece in the early 2000s were subject to the notorious and very strict “Tekmirio” (Proof of Income) Law, resulting in very high taxation when compared to the same car model sold in Europe.

During the first year of ownership, I got gradually attracted to the Tempo, particularly when it put its reliability, durability, fuel economy (5lt/100km) and roominess to the test!  After much time and thorough research, I finally managed to purchase all Ford Tempo/Mercury Topaz first generation-specific manuals, so as to evaluate what parts ought to be sourced/bought and what things were missing. I entrusted Connolly Leather Ltd. in Athens to refurbish the interior. The craftsmanship done was second to none, since all interior plastic parts and fabric were refurbished and re-upholstered to the highest standard.

Over the years, the trusty and loyal Tempo accompanied the family until December 2007, when it gave up its spirit. The culprit was its 26-year-old ECM. After the shock, I decided to commence the time-consuming job of upgrading/overhauling the entire mechanics. It took Andy’s Auto Service in Athens, Greece, 3½ years to complete a full engine/transmission/driveline overhaul.

The Tempo’s future is secured, thanks to it being accepted by the Hellenic Federation of Historic Vehicles, EOOE. It is my firm belief that this Tempo must be the only surviving example of the first generation throughout Europe! After so many years of time, sweat, tears, money and effort, the Tempo finally shines and gets the “thumbs up” wherever it appears; be it at classic car shows and cruises, or on the road from fellow motorists!

Daily DriversTempo in Greece