5k: 1989 Merkur XR4Ti w/ V8 swap
A few weeks ago the daily turismo featured a relatively stock & clean Merkur XR4Ti – normally we wouldn’t feature another of this obscure mark for some time…unless we stumble upon an example that is…noteworthy. Fortunately for Merkurites everywhere – this 1989 XR4Ti for sale on ebay for $1325 (reserve not met) and located in Barberton, OH. Unfortunately for purists – it is straight from Mary Shelley’s gothic novel –powered by a Chevy engine, Toyota rear end, VW bumpers, and a BMW dash…et cetera…
A stock XR4Ti is a distinctive looking car – not particularly beautiful – but at the last identifiable and unique – so it confounds us to understand why anyone would add a Jetta front bumper/grill with Silverado headlights. At least the 7 spoke Mercedes wheels don’t look too out of place.
The XR4Ti’s stock turbo pinto engine has been replaced by a Chevy LT1 5.7 liter V8 putting out 350 horsepower according to the seller’s best butt-dyno reading. The transmission is unfortunately some kind of slushbox from a Camaro and is mated to a Toyota Supra rear end. But this is only the beginning of the mismatch of organs shoved into this green stitch-covered monster. Its got Merc Cougar struts, Volvo S90 front rotors, Merc Marauder calipers, Lincoln Continental rear calipers with Ford Focus rotors…the only way to jump start this beast is with someone in a lab coat screaming “ITS ALIVE!”
Inside the cross manufacturer patchwork surgery has gone as far as installing an e36 BMW 3-series dashboard, complete with instrument cluster – strictly cosmetic (only a few gauges work.) The carpet is gone – but Merkur Scorpio floor mats will protect your feet from hot exhaust manifold burns.
We aren’t really sure what to make of this car. It was surely put together by a mad mad – possibly a genius given the amount of non-OE parts modified for use. It will be able to do endless burnouts and terrify passengers to no end, but its got a fun-killing slushbox and more errant DNA than a Chernobyl first responder. Does this Merkur belong in your garage or in the scrap heap with its donors?
See another Frankenstein’s monster for sale? email us here: firstname.lastname@example.org
~ it took one very fertile imagination to put this jigsaw puzzle together. 'attention villagers, grab your pitchforks and torches'
"more errant DNA than a Chernobyl first responder"
I will properly credit this line when I use it at the next available moment.
C'mon, this HAS to belong to a LeMonizer…
Built by a crazy Welshman.. HAAAAAAA HAAAAAAA "ITS ALIVE!"
You can be critical of the parts used in this car, but you have no idea how well the bmw dash fit. The Supra differential was a necessary up grade for the engine and the transmission was the only one allowed under smog rules for the engine. It might seem like Frankenstein, but when you drive that car, you'll see how much fun it is. Kudos to the crazy Welshman.