The seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Merkur says it’s his dream car, but that he has to part with it due to cash issues that are keeping him up at night. Let’s see if it seems to be worth the cash he’s asking, or if that turns this dream into a nightmare.
Steve Jobs was famous for always having a kicker at his presentations, something he would lead into with the phrase “just one more thing…” Unfortunately for the seller who was trying to parlay the provenance of Jobs’ family once owning yesterday’s 1995 BMW 325i Cabrio, his fifteen-grand price proved to be one less thing for fully 98% of you.
Let’s keep that price in mind for a bit, and contemplate it applied to brand name that’s less than familiar to many one that - like Apple once was - is appreciated by a small tribe of the faithful. That brand is Merkur.
Merkur of course, was a series of German-sourced Fords sold by the brand’s Mercury division. Merkur=Mercury, and that totally makes sense. Unless that is, you’re a mid-western Lincoln/Mercury/Caterpillar dealer and bait shop (FREE bag of nightcrawlers with every Topaz sold!) in which case figuring out the proper pronunciation of Merkur was a challenge. Almost as big of one as trying to sell your standard Lincoln/Mercury customer - i.e. blue hairs and guys with white shoes and matching belt - on a BMW competitor that cost as much as their house.
Few Merkurs were sold here, and fewer still of those that were have been maintained in any sense of a competent fashion. There are a lot of craptacular XR4Tis moldering on the online classifieds out there. Just have a look.
This 1986 Cosworth homage XR4Ti isn’t one of them. In fact, this is probably what every Merkur fan pictures when they see that ad for a $500 one that only needs that funny engine noise fixed to be a runner.
This one - with a claimed 330 horsepower at the wheels, pulled from its built-up Pinto mill - is a runner. Hell, it’s probably a flyer.
If you’re going to fly then you’ll need a wing, and damn if this Merkur doesn’t have the bone-daddy king of all wings out back. You think that punk-ass neighbor and his WRX STi is going to win the neighborhood big wing pissing match? Think again. When you roll in with this silver beauty, it’ll be all over.
There’s something even more notable about this Merkur and that is the side glass, which is now one big hunka-hunka see-thru love rather than the XR4Ti’s standard split units. That’s a BIG change and one that more fully fulfills the car’s ambition of going the full Cos visually. The ad claims that the work was done professionally, and that there’s very little filler in the body as a result.
Other places where this Merkur took one for the Cos is in the nose, where Cosworth hood vents, big gulp nose, and front bumper talk the talk. The engine very obviously walks the walk. That’s based on reviewing the litany of upgrades to the mill listed in the ad. The rebuilt T5 gearbox should handle all that and the bag of chips those improvements bring.
Other mechanical niceties are upgraded T-bird T/C brakes, Poly bushings (squeaksqueaksqueak), and big-ass BBS mesh wheels with crazy skinny meats wrapped around them.
What’s not to like? Well, the seller notes that the paint is about 10-years old and not perfect, showing some tiger striping and chipping here and there. Then there’s the interior which is described as needing work and is conspicuous by its absence in the pics. I’m guessing that the stock XR4Ti seats are probably in need of some TLC, and the big windows in back need some big interior panels to match them and make them complete.
Okay, but that’s minor stuff, and with the combo of 330-WHP (or more) and the Cosworth bodywork, it’d be pretty easy to drive this bad-ass simply sitting on a milk crate. That of course, is if all that conspires - in your opinion - to be worth the $15,000 the seller is asking for his dream car.
What do you think, is this Cossie-Tribute Merkur worth that kind of scratch? Or, is the seller in for a rude awakening?
H/T to JimmyBaggs for the hookup!
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