Oddball Import: 1989 Merkur XR4TI

Ford’s decision to import the European Sierra XR4i is often attributed to the automotive icon known Bob Lutz (Swiss born, but American through and through).  Lost in history is the half-brain behind the decision to brand the vehicle as a Merkur and sell it at Lincoln-Mercury dealers. Just what the hell is a Merkur anyway?  The German spelling of Mercury, you say…so what…the bottom line is that buyers had no idea what it was or why they would want one and it was a bust.  Oh yeah, in case the “MeeerrrKURRR” name wasn’t pretentious enough, there was a issue with the model name…the unpronounceable and unremembered XR4Ti.  Of course, Maximum Bob Lutz went on to work at Chrysler before the bean counters at Ford realized this European import thing with the bizarre name was a financial disaster, but it would have at least made a bit more sense to sell it at a Ford dealer with a name like Pinto or something. Anyway, a few decades later I do like them on the used car market because they are cool oddball machines. Find this 1989 Merkur XR4Ti here on eBay bidding for $4181 reserve-not-met with 4 days to go, located in Palm Harbor, FL. Tip from Dave.

 From the seller:

Item specifics

Condition: Used

Seller Notes: “Absolutely gorgeous example, no expense spared upkeep.”

Year: 1989 VIN (Vehicle Identification Number): WF1BT80WXKM610835

Mileage: 82000 Body Type: Hatchback

Make: Merkur Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty



Vehicle Title: Clean

Engine: 2.3 TURBO Options: CD Player, Leather Seats, Sunroof

Drive Type: RWD Power Options: Air Conditioning, Power Locks, Power Windows

Fuel Type: Gasoline Exterior Color: Red

For Sale By: Private Seller Interior Color: Black

Disability Equipped: No Number of Cylinders: 4

Drive Side: Left-hand drive Transmission: Manual

1989 Merkur XR4TI.

·       Genuine 82k miles from new with documented history

·       Rust free example originally from California, brought to Florida in 2003

·       Maintained on a cost-no-object basis.

·       Working A/C.

·       Brand new wheels and tires (18×8 30ET, 215/35/ZR18)

·       New front brakes.

·       New 3″ turbo back exhaust.

·       Manual boost controller.

·       New clutch, throw out bearing, flywheel, clutch cable.

·       New sparkplugs, wires, cap, rotor, oil change, oil filter, air filter.

·       Recent repaint.

·       Immaculate interior, dash top has no cracks.

·       Original sets of keys and original owners manual included.

·       Lots of documented history.

·       Daily driven and reliable!!

·       Adult owned

This truly is my daily driver. I don’t hesitate to jump in this car and drive it anywhere. Pictures tell the story, this is one of the finest examples of an increasingly rare vehicle. I’ve owned 7 of these since the mid 1990’s and this is the nicest one I’ve ever owned. Please voice any concerns or ask any questions prior to bidding. This is a gorgeous example of the breed, but it is after all still a 30 year old car, so please keep that in mind, it’s not new. Everything works on the car except the cruise control. I still drive this car daily, so the mileage shown will increase slightly before listing ends. If the car sells from this listing, I will stop driving the car as soon as the listing ends. Car is located in Palm Harbor FL. Clean/clear Florida title in my name. Buyer responsible for arranging and paying for any shipping (if necessary). Buyer is welcome to fly into TIA, or PIE and drive the car home. Deposit due via paypal immediately after listing ends. Balance due in cash or cashiers check upon collection. I would like the car collected within 14 calendar days of listings end.

See a better way to drive an oddball Euro import? tips@dailyturismo.com