The project from the ‘80s returns!


My most recent vehicle/project is a 30 year old purchase of a 1985 Merkur XR4TI with 49k miles (a lease) from a used car dealership in Cape Canaveral, FL. I drove it both gently and at the edge and had only leaky vacuum hoses affecting the performance of the turbo. When it hit 100k miles, I parked it and pulled the engine (and associative EEC-IV wiring harness, transmission and driveshaft. I then dropped a 5.0 (and associative EEC-IV harness, a T-5 and driveshaft from an ex-FHP pursuit Mustang.
The car sure was fun! I finished the conversion all on my own and joined the local chapter of the BMWCCA so I could take advantage of a weekend driving around Sebring Raceway as a ‘shake-down’ which was completely successful (and relieving that nothing fell off or broke). I drove it for another four years, swapped the 4-lug to the Scorpio 5-lug (and rear discs) and parked it to have a family and now going bigger with a 5.8 (351W), Tremec 5-speed, and a 2004 Cobra 8.8 pumpkin. I had custom half-shafts made to eliminate all the less-capable parts from the driveline.
The plan is to put it back together and take it straight to the drag strip and see if it breaks. I’ll post it running and invite anyone to see it run!


Very cool project! It sounds like you’ve pieced together the South-African market Ford Sierra XR8. Was that car a source of inspiration for what you did to yours?

Please post updates on the 351w and differential swap as well - I’ll be curious to see how it all comes together!


Awesome Car! I always wanted one. Maybe someday