The German Cousin

This is the place to kick a few tires, drink a few beers, and tell a few tales.
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R Code
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The German Cousin


Post by R Code » 04 Oct 2018, 19:19

Last month, an old friend of mine was finally ready to sell his baby: a pampered, '89 XR4Ti 5 sp in Magenta Red w/Raven leather. Showing just 37K mi. it's probably 96% original, & came with the original exhaust "on the side" (Rapido duals are on the car), original window sticker, a mountain of paperwork, etc. I'm thrilled to be the next caretaker of this fine ride, and plan to address a few issues (worn tires, bouncy idle, leaky PS, valve cover gasket) while keeping the car as "factory" as possible. If all goes well, I'll have the car @ Carlisle for the All Ford Nats next summer, and begin taking it through the AACA judging process, with the goal of (eventually) earning its Senior Grand National Award.

Historical footnote: I've had a soft spot for these cars every since my dad bought one new in '85 (Nimbus Gray w/a 5 sp). I went with him to Lime Rock, CT for a press event, and drove the car on the track with a bunch of other XR4Ti's while he snapped 35MM shots from the open sunroof. Another time, he & my older brother took it cross country to see family in SoCal. After the warranty expired, pops asked me & my buddies to help him wrench on it some & make it a quick "sleeper". In went the requisite Rapido intercooler, springs/shocks/bars, '85 Mustang GT wheels w/50 series rubber, world class T5, SVO big valve head, MAF, Jacobs ignition, mandrel bent single exhaust in the stock location, etc. My buddies and I were heavily into muscle cars, but we had fun wrenching on the little German beastie & including my pops in our fledgling Mustang club's outings (the GSRMC). Pops surprised a LOT of "muscle" cars with the XR4Ti, and had a $hit-eating grin every time he drove it. He won the respect of the muscle car guys at the drag strip & on the show field.

I got the '89 registered/insured/inspected today, and took it out for a nice blast on the local back roads. Sure is a different thing to drive a classic with more modern levels of comfort, safety, handling & braking. I had forgotten how these cars temp you into breaking the speed limit. So easy to hustle these cars down the road.

- Chris

1967 Std 4 speed conversion
1989 Merkur XR4Ti

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Re: The German Cousin


Post by cj750 » 04 Oct 2018, 20:54

Nice! I've always liked those.
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Re: The German Cousin


Post by badcatt » 04 Oct 2018, 21:32

A buddy of mine use to drive one. He put a lot of miles on it. I think it may still be sitting in his field.
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Re: The German Cousin


Post by Al Bundy » 05 Oct 2018, 03:43

Nice ride Chris. Drive it like you stole it.
1974 Dodge Dart - daily driver
1963 Thunderbird Z code - raven black/red
1968 XR7 F code - diamond blue/blue
1968 XR7 J code - black/red
1968 J code - madras blue/aqua
1968 XR7 X code - lime frost/dark ivy gold
1968 GT-E XR7 W code prototype no. 500033 - cardinal red/black

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Re: The German Cousin


Post by 93RGTE » 05 Oct 2018, 09:01

Cool car - It looks great! I always thought they suffered from the Mercur name. Not as Mr. Iococca famously said, "American as hell."

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Re: The German Cousin


Post by wawazat » 06 Oct 2018, 10:33

Beautiful Merkur Chris! I bought a 1985 when we lived in Pittsburgh in the early '90s as a winter car to keep my '89 LX 5.0/5 speed convertible off the street. Amazed at the differences when comparing the cars from the same company built at roughly the same time but at different global plants serving different customers.

The XR4Ti was a great long distance car.
1969 Cougar convertible restomod

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Re: The German Cousin


Post by 70Lmn8r » 08 Oct 2018, 16:35

I too bought a new 88 Xr4Ti in the fall of 88. I enjoyed the heck out of it. Few people knew what it was. It was great on icy roads with winter tires. The weight distribution was perfect. Down side was it couldn't keep the interior warm in sub zero temps.
Loved that car!
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Re: The German Cousin


Post by Royce » 09 Oct 2018, 06:14

These cars were sold as the Ford Sierra in Europe when they were new. I always liked the styling. Never thought Ford was smart selling them with a different badge here.

A friend bought one new. It fried the wiring harness and electronic dash when it was under warranty, had to be towed to the dealer because it wouldn't run. About a month later it was fixed. When the warranty ran out a couple years later, as if by design there was a smoky event behind the dash again. Steve ended up selling the car rather than pay for another wiring harness and dash replacement.
1968 GT-E XR-7 W code 427 Augusta Green / Saddle
1968 XR-7 R code 428CJ Ram Air Red / Black
1910 Model T Ford Touring Red / Black
1914 Model T Touring Maroon / Black
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Re: The German Cousin


Post by CatVert68 » 09 Oct 2018, 07:35

Nice addition to the fleet, Chris! Have fun with it but don't neglect the '67...
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1968 Cougar XR-7 GT, Madras Blue & Parchment w/ Parchment vinyl top
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Re: The German Cousin


Post by GTfastbacker » 10 Oct 2018, 12:33

Oh yes, the early nineties were a great time with all these XR4s, GSIs, GTIs, Quattros, GT-R, Skyliners, VR6.... all my Friends drove one of those under cui-s 4-cylinders "circular saw" meanwhile i drove a real car. 400cui, V8, Bronco 79. nothing beats real american iron...... Most of these Cars lost there life on trees, fences, in ditches, on Walls or the tailgate of someone else. The Bronco is still on the road....
68 GT-E XR7 427 cardinal red/ black / 68 GT-E XR7 427 augusta green met / saddle

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