Esoteric Merkurs are a dime-"> Esoteric Merkurs are a dime-"> Esoteric Merkurs are a dime-">
  • Apr 7th 2006 at 11:24AM
  • 12

Esoteric Merkurs are a dime-a-dozen on eBay, with XR4Ti and Scorpios popping up in varying states of tune on the online auction site with some regularity. But the car seen above appears to be something altogether different - a 1989 Ford Sierra Cosworth.

Utilizing the same chassis and sheetmetal but masking an altogether more entertaining car, this rare Richardson, Texas-resident Cossie is said to have been owner-imported from London. Rare birds globally, there are probably at best a dozen or so examples plying U.S. roads (legally or otherwise).

The seller claims that his four-wheeled forbidden fruit is a legitimate Stage-1 270 horsepower buildup, titled as a 1989 Merkur XR4Ti so as not to arouse suspicion from legal types. As this is written, this Sierra is set to trade at $4,800 - a small bargain considering its scarcity-- even in light of a laundry list of condition problems: oil leak, possible bad synchro, dented door and cracked bumper, bad paint and noisy lifters.

See the auction here for more info, and check out the seller's site for more photos and background on its importation and modification.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      Heh. Me and a group of friends in Atlanta are actually tuning a 1985 Merkur XR4Ti for Grassroots Motorsports $2006 challenge (take a car and put no more than $2006 into it then do auto-X and drag with it).

      It's turning out to be a wonderful platform for cheap-tuning because it's running the same engine all those turbo-mustangs and turbo-thunderbirds ran... thus junkyard parts abound. It also has a
      cast-iron block so it's easy to strap on a big turbo and boost the crap out of it.

      Considering how easy it is to scrounge up cheap parts and mods for this car... You could probably get an XR4Ti to run as fast, or better than this "Sierra Cosworth" for $4800...

      The only thing a tuned XR would be lacking is AWD... and despite those Sierra's rallying heritage... it IS an 80's AWD system... probably too much weight and drivetrain loss to make it that much of an advantage
      over a tuned RWD XR... or the AWD likely to blow apart soon (like the turbo and manifold on our XR).
      • 9 Years Ago
      If you're Canadian, here's an almost new one for sale in Vancouver.
      • 9 Years Ago
      That was the car I ever wanted but I never could afford to have in my younger years.

      Anyway, they were sadly (in)famous for their lack of quality and the often they left their drivers stranded in the roads due to "mysterious" engine failures, although the truth was they were exceedingly advanced for those years mechanics, even Ford dealer's. Of course I'm talking about Venezuelan Ford's produced ones.

      However, if you now can afford to bring one of them from a developing country, you'll find them very cheap and in many different conditions and trims...

      [Only for reference: US$ 1 = 2500 Bs. (Venezuelan bolivars)]
      • 9 Years Ago
      This seems a little shady to me. If you look at all of the user questions he contradicts himself. He explains the LHD by saying that he imported the car from Italy, then a few questions down says he imported it from London, England.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I had one of these and i still think to this day they still look the business. I am abit older now and drive a BMW, if i could afford to run both then the cossie baby would be my choice because its an animal.
      • 9 Years Ago
      A friend of mine has owned a few of these and has one for sale that is the ultimate, since the "full race" Cosworth rally engine, at max boost, could crank out 500-600 hp. His is "dialed back" to about 350 hp and it is legitimately one of the fastest, best handling cars you could want to drive on the street.

      If you want a 170-180 mph car for not a lot of money, find a "Merkur" that's been fully converted into a Cosworth RS Sierra clone (which could never be legally imported into the US. You had to buy a US-spec Merkur and then convert it into a European RS-spec.
      • 9 Years Ago
      My boyhood dream also. His site is down, but if it came from London why is it left hand drive? Maybe his site explains.
      • 9 Years Ago
      If it truly is the real deal, then it's worth a shot, but it's a bit hard to tell.
      • 9 Years Ago

      I think what the owner was attempting to convey is that he first imported the car from Italy *to* London while he was living there, then went and shipped the Cossie to Texas when he moved there. It's a bit clearer from his Geocities website, which unfortunately I think we've fragged from Autoblog traffic.

      • 9 Years Ago
      If he's so cavalier about breaking federal law and titling it improperly, he's probably as cavalier about fraudulently taking money from someone out of state.

      Remeber kids, it's VERY hard and expensive to sue someone when you don't live by them.

      I would buy this car if I knew the guy, or I lived in the same town. Also, I'd use excrow until I could match the engine VIN to the body, etc.

      If the guy is a scammer, he will balk at using escrow.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Sigh... one of my childhood dream cars.
      If I had the garage space, time and parts availability I'd bid on it. :|
      • 9 Years Ago
      If you can afford to bring your motor across the Atlantic, you can probably afford a left-hand drive conversion. And since there was (I'm guessing) a corresponding American version of the car, therein lies your answer, i would imaging. Or he could just have ordered a left-hand model in London. Who knows?

      I wonder if the list of complaints on the car includes bad headlamp seals. I've seen so many Sierras with flooded headlamps, or at least bad condensation, and that one doesn't look like it's escaped either. The (stage) right lamp looks murky by comparison with the left.