New Guy in MA

General discussion relating to club happenings and items related to Merkurs in general such as "Merkur sightings". If you just signed on, please feel to start a new thread and introduce yourself here. Posts specifically regarding either the XR4Ti or Scorpio should go in those specific forums. Feel free to make suggestions on improving this forum here as well.
Post Reply
User avatar
R Code
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2018 1:30 pm
Location: Boston Burbs

New Guy in MA

Post by R Code » Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:38 pm

Greetings folks, my name is Chris & I'm just getting back into Merkurs after a long hiatus. I was 19 when the XR4Ti came to the U.S., and my dad was 61. The car hit us both the same way: we thought it was a great idea & both wanted one. We had been following the car since a year or two prior, when one of the car magazines (Car & Driver or Autoweek) gave one of those "sneak peek" - type reviews. My Pops was a WWII USAF vet, who raced 3/4 midgets on the dirt tracks of northern NJ, rebuilt/modified/maintained a string of hot rods & sports cars over the years, went to Seton Hall on the GI bill, pursued a career, took care of his aging parents & raised his own family along the way.

By 1985, he finally felt comfortable enough to buy himself a "fun car". He sold me his '69 Rebel wagon for $200, and went over to Clairidge Lincoln Mercury in Montclair, NJ & bought a new, '85 XR4Ti in grey w/a 5 sp. He was so proud of that car, and we were happy to see him charged up about a car again. 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, north to visit Rapido & back home to NJ. Good times. 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/are 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.

Fast forward to '99(ish) & pops had to give up driving (Alzheimer's). I was not in a position to take on the car as a project (knee deep in aging parents, fatherhood, renovating our 1st house & restoring my '69 428 Cougar), so we sold the car to a family friend (Bruce the car killer), who enjoyed the hell of it, parked it in his driveway in Rutherford, NJ for many years & finally sold it as a non-running project (maybe on these forums). If anyone knows the whereabouts of pop's old car, I'd love to hear about it/buy it back.

Last week, 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 38K 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.

Thanks everyone for keeping the flame alive, I look forward to getting acquainted with all of you, re-acquainted with the cars, & learning how to best preserve and improve the current project.

Regards,

- Chris
- Chris

User avatar
John Brennan
Level 8
Posts: 11408
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2003 4:19 pm
Location: Scottsdale, AZ "Summer Is Coming"

Re: New Guy in MA

Post by John Brennan » Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:51 pm

Welcome Aboard, great intro and story! Would love to see some pix, looking forward to more from you. :cheers
This is my car, and these are my people!
1989 XR4Ti 5-Speed
2015 Fiesta ST
2015 Edge

Ed Lijewski
Level 8
Posts: 7012
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 5:53 pm
Location: The Belly of The Beast

Re: New Guy in MA

Post by Ed Lijewski » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:51 am

👏👏👏👏👏

YMMV
Descartes: "Cogito Ergo Sum"
Lijewski: "Sum Ergo Drive-O. Mucho!

User avatar
andyofcolumbusmerkur
Level 2
Level 2
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:58 pm

Re: New Guy in MA

Post by andyofcolumbusmerkur » Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:47 am

Cool. As far as "while keeping the car as "factory" as possible" goes, how about period correct? Like the Borla and Rapido mods from early 90's? I think those early car and driver and autoweek cars were suspected to be ringers. So a sierra limited slip rear diff and an extra 25hp or so is still stock and period correct I guess. I wonder if those sneak peak test cars are still out there.
You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. There's shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan fried, deep fried, stir fried, pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp in potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich....

User avatar
merkurdriver
Level 8
Posts: 5790
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2003 4:29 pm
Location: Northeast Ohio
Contact:

Re: New Guy in MA

Post by merkurdriver » Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:51 am

Welcome (back) ! :cheers

User avatar
R Code
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2018 1:30 pm
Location: Boston Burbs

Re: New Guy in MA

Post by R Code » Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:59 am

andyofcolumbusmerkur wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:47 am
Cool. As far as "while keeping the car as "factory" as possible" goes, how about period correct? Like the Borla and Rapido mods from early 90's? I think those early car and driver and autoweek cars were suspected to be ringers. So a sierra limited slip rear diff and an extra 25hp or so is still stock and period correct I guess. I wonder if those sneak peak test cars are still out there.
I'd guess most magazine cars were ringers, or at least QC'd to perfection. :wink:

For me, the '89 is mainly a preservation play. It drives SO nice, and with modern levels of braking, handling and comfort, it will get driven a fair bit, but (joyrides aside) mainly just to shows & such. I have an enclosed trailer for long hauls. I want to make the '89 work as well as it can, but I have no need to add HP or torque, mostly out of fear of surpassing the T9's limited ability to deal with either.

As I remember from pop's car, once we got the T9 out of the way & added a very modest amount of power (stock turbo, stock boost), the open diff became the limiting factor. Pops did not want to spring for the Rapido LSD, so we never tried to make more power. At the drags, I think I ran a best of 14.6, but had to pussyfoot off the line.

I always figured the lack of a factory inter-cooler & LSD was done to protect the wimpy T9. I imagine they used the T9 for ease of packaging, production-related, or supplier-related reasons (or all 3).

NOW, if I found pop's old car (or a similarly intriguing project), I'd be all about the mods. My two teenage sons would be really excited about that. :headbang
- Chris

User avatar
Bob Weir
Membership Coordinator
Posts: 877
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2003 6:49 pm
Location: Allentown PA

Re: New Guy in MA

Post by Bob Weir » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:58 pm

Welcome back to the club. As a new member and owner of a Merkur you're entitled to a FREE 1 year membership and a few other perks.
For more info, “How to get a FREE MCA Membership for 1 year!” go to this post

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=30034

Post Reply