Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Livermore Street Sighting - 1987 Merkur XR4Ti
a toy car by Maisto, labeled on the bottom as "Ford Sierra XR4Ti". On the hood it said "Merkur XR4Ti" which my young mind interpreted as "Xrati". I played with that car a lot and only later did I learn about the name discrepancy, but to me it was always a European car. I never used to see many of the real cars, nor their Scorpio hatchback sedan stablemate, on the roads. This was probably because the Merkur brand itself only lasted from 1985 to 1989, and failed to compete in the U.S. market much like Rover's Sterling brand.
Of course, the XR4Ti is now a relatively cheap used car. Our hypothetical young guy has pulled the stock alloys for larger-diameter, probably lighter rims on upgraded tires. The foglights and driving lights are gone, sacrificed to provide air inlets to -- what's this? -- Looks like it could be a much-needed intercooler for that turbocharger, or a high-performance radiator. Metal pins keep the hood closed during high-speed driving adventures. A stock five-speed '87 XR4Ti is supposed to be able to hit 130 mph. Who knows what else is going on under that hood?
Photographed September 2014