Strange Way To Drive German: 1987 Merkur XR4Ti

If you drive this next car, you’d be get used to people asking you “what is it?” And an acceptable answer is “I don’t know” because I’m not sure that even the product designers knew what they were doing. What you can tell people is that the German built Ford Sierra was sold in North America from 1985 through 1989 as a “Merkur” which was allegedly the name Mercury in German. The Sierra name couldn’t be used here because GM already had a Sierra pickup truck, so the little oddball with a strange first name and last name was sold in Lincoln-Mercury dealerships. Find this 1987 Merkur XR4Ti offered for $7,900 in Lancaster, SC via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!

From the seller:

1987 merkur xr4ti
condition: good
cylinders: 4 cylinders
drive: rwd
fuel: gas
odometer: 109000
paint color: red
size: compact
title status: clean
transmission: manual
type: hatchback
Grab a pair of shades and queue some MTV because this quirky 80s car is a Merkur XR4Ti. The USA version of the venerable Ford Sierra XR4i. Armed with a non-intercooled turbo Lima engine borrowed from the Mustang SVO, this bad boy gets nothing but confused looks from people probably wondering what the heck it even is.

Okay seriously, this car is a blast to drive. There’s no feeling in the world like rowing through the gears in a classic five-speed while listening to the wickedly-cool spool of an old-school turbo. You will definitely be a prime attraction at the next car meet when everyone asks, “Yo! What kind of Escort is that?!”

I really love this car and I hate to see it go. But I have to part ways with it to finance my new project. I have done extensive work and it really is a sweet ride. It starts up great and is ready to go anywhere. I’ll list the good and bad below (kick back and relax because this is gonna be long).

The good:
-Brand new head
-Brand new head gasket, intake gasket, and exhaust gasket
-Brand new spark plugs, water pump, thermostat, coolant, power steering fluid, gearbox fluid, diff fluid, and rear axle
-New starter, alternator, injectors, fuel pump, and rear KYB shocks installed by previous owner
-Aftermarket stereo and speakers installed by previous owner
-Beautiful sounding aftermarket exhaust installed by previous owner
-Heat blows hot, A/C is still R12 system and currently doesn’t work
-Front wipers work great, the rear works just extra slowww
-Windows both roll down and up with no issue
-Electronics all work
-Sunroof tilts/slides as it should
-Car has lived its entire life in North Carolina (and a few months in South Carolina). No rust besides the surface rust in the dent on the drivers door
-Seats were beautifully reupholstered by previous owner
-Cruises perfectly straight and is very pleasant to drive
-Four new high performance all-season tires installed by previous owner

The bad:
-Double spoiler is in really rough shape (honestly still the coolest bit of this whole car)
-paint on the passenger fender is in poor shape
-a few dings and scratches here and there (especially the one on the door)
-Volkswagen coolant reservoir instead of stock reservoir (a common modification on Merkurs)
-Windshield washer sprayers work brilliantly at washing the windshield of the car following you
-Some plastic bits on the exterior have gotten brittle and broken
-Gas gauge doesn’t read correctly
-I have brand new KYB front struts that I haven’t installed yet because I can’t find new strut tower mounts. However, the old struts in the car are okay
-rear hatch lock is broken (like every Ford Sierra on the planet)

That’s it! These unique 80s cars are steadily climbing in value and, as rare as the Merkur XR4Ti is, there aren’t many left to snatch up! I have the clean title in hand. $7900 or BEST OFFER. Cash/cashiers check only.

PS: I’ll toss in the new KYB front stuts I have along with some other goodies (old parts and new)

See a better way to drive something strange?