The Wreck of the Tempo
This gray sedan, which belonged to The Silver Family in the time before The Calamity, has since become a tourist destination for Earthling refugees who long for a reminder of their pre-apocalyptic lives.
Though most would’ve considered it an eyesore in the days of yore, the wreck has become so beloved that the citizens of Chelmsdale—with help from dwarven craftsmen—have actually reinforced the structure, so that the car won’t go down any further on the phallic town pillar it now uses as a parking spot.
Dedicated in 1859 near the spot where Chelmsford, Massachusetts militiamen gathered before going off to fight in the Revolutionary War, the monument is one of several iconic locations from Chelmsford to survive the calamitous end of the world intact. As such, even before the Tempo fell from the sky, it was already set to become the center of the new Chelmsdale settlement.
The Tempo was a downsized successor to the boxier compact cars Ford produced in the 1970s. The Silver Family’s Tempo, a 1987 model in gray, was a four-door sedan first driven by Dr. Michaela Silver. She passed the car down to her son Michael when the boy earned his driver’s license in early 1994, and it thereafter became the stuff of legend amongst Michael’s friends.
Already worn down after 7 years of hard driving by Michaela, the Tempo was falling apart by the time Michael started driving it. A leak in its Power Steering apparatus eventually led to the erosion of several of the blocks holding the engine in place, so that any abrupt stop of the car would result in a loud WHOMP as the increasingly untethered engine rocked backwards toward the cabin.
And that was just the first thing that went wrong with it.
Add to that the numerous times it broke down on the side of Massachusetts highways—either through mechanical failure or because the then-broke Michael forgot to fill it with gas—and you can understand how nearly every person who knew Michael Silver in his late teens and early twenties had a Tempo story of their own to tell.
By the time Michael was in college, the car spent more time in the shop than out. And the Tempo was therefore retired from active duty by the year 1999.
In a ceremony befitting such a legendary vehicle, Michael and his father drove the car out into the woods behind their House in Chelmsford and left it to rest beside the last remnants of a rusted jalopy that had once belonged to Michael’s grandfather.
And there it remained, until the end of the world saw fit to rip the thing from its resting place and give it a new home in the town square.