By on January 5, 2011

Dave Garrad personifies the word “hoon”. When I first met him in the smoke and beer filled haze of the Gemutliche Ecke (Translation: Comfy Corner) in Adenau, Germany, he was attempting a maneuver called The Lunge. There’s never a dull moment around Dave. Naturally, I immediately considered him for the last English caretaker of TTAC’s Ford Sierra project, before its journey to Germany and (ultimately) Houston. Upon our (Panther-lovin’) man Dereck’s delivery of the Sierra to his abode northeast of London, Dave remarked at how glorious the brown upon brown scheme truly was. His wife Helen refuses to ride in the chocolate-toned thing, lest her unborn baby develop unnatural tendencies.

Dave also remains the only person I know able to four-wheel drift a Peugeot 106 1.1L through a traffic circle, so when the question about drifting the Sierra surfaced, the answer was, “would be rude not to!” Cue the ultimate English corner carving forum, Northloop.co.uk and their Holiday Extravaganza in Milton Keynes: the epicenter of entertainment outside the M25 orbital. The “Northloop” caravan of several Fords, from the new Fiesta, Focus ST, Mondeo, and TTAC’s Sierra (and some other non-cool Euro types) departed towards the gleaming Mecca of Milton Keynes for an evening packed with hoonery and tomfoolery.

And in that moment, our Sierra Ghia was on full display, while a 2010 Ford Fiesta 2.0CDi Titanium served as chase/camera car. While side by side on the M25, the similarities and differences in the two emerge, as if looking at a time capsule of the entire hopes and dreams of the Ford engineers of two different eras. The Sierra looks low and narrow with the latest computer design that brought you the original TRON movie. The Fiesta exhibited the higher stance of two decades of thoughtful ergonomics that maximize space and efficiency. However, when Ford dropped the Ghia name plate, they left behind a legacy of supreme tasteful elegance evoked by the Northern Italian countryside for the cold, dull grey reality of Titanium. Weaksauce.

Exiting the motorway, Dave found his chance in the slightly damp weather. Accelerator floored, a Scandinavian flick to the left, and then a hard right stepped the Sierra’s tail out in a full on 2.0L carbureted powerslide. A dab of opposite lock, and he was away! The Sierra was formally introduced to its future life as the ultimate in brown automotive awesomeness. Minutes later, the Northloop Crew arrived at their venue, but our Sierra is still impatient.

It’s destiny at the Nürburgring awaits, anxious and eager under that subtle Ghia trimming and earthen paint. And that’s where I shall let it shine, personally. Stay tuned.

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15 Comments on “TTAC Project Car: Northloop Hosts A Sierra Homecoming...”


  • avatar
    mazder3

    The TTAC Ford Sierra Ghia 2.0 is a bitch. And Dave spanked it!

  • avatar

    Lovin’ it. Going to make it to the Carlisle All-Ford Nationals with it in June? It’s the biggest gathering of Merkur freaks around, the Ghia would be a hit!

    • 0 avatar

      The Mehta brothers have so many sweet vintage Fords for Carlisle, but we’ve yet to attend.  One day we will buy a car transporter and take them all there. I’ve made so many friends in that area thanks to the respective model forums, I really want to attend.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Body position and wheel angles speak volumes…

  • avatar
    gslippy

    I’ve always loved the Sierra shape (the doomed xR4Ti in the US), which is very similar to my former 85 Lebaron GTS: http://www.allpar.com/model/lancer.html

    What a nice project car you have there.

  • avatar
    Steve65

    The photo showing the old Sierra and the new Fiesta from the rear really emphasizes one of the worst trends of modern car design. Greenhoues area and the attendant visibility. Seriously. When did being able to see out of the damned car become a flaw to be corrected?

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      Seeing out of the car is fine, but when the huge greenhouse spoils the looks of it, it is a flaw that needs to be corrected. The giant greenhouse thing is the #1 reason so many cars are so ugly now.

    • 0 avatar

      Point of car-design clarification, most new cars (esp in America) don’t have large greenhouses, they have tiny and narrow ones.  What makes them “large” is the disturbing lack of “tumblehome” in the side profile of the greenhouse. Sure, it gives more head airbag and afro room in the cabin, but makes cars look overweight and top heavy.
      That said, the Fiesta Titanium looks like a tasty motor…even if it isn’t a Ghia.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    I used to own an Audi 5000 (100) in that shade of brown.  I have no idea what possessed me; I probably got a “good deal.”
    The camber of the rear wheels of this car does not look reassuring.  Is this some 1980s tech secret to better handling, now lost in the mists of time? ;-)

    • 0 avatar

      The Power of Brown commanded you to pull the trigger on said Audi.  And I commend you for your wise move.
      That said, I am a little concered about that much negative camber…but all the non-drifting pictures appear to be fine, and everyone who drives this car says its just a perfect example of a Sierra???

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    Lovely car. This really makes me anxious to finish my Sierra build. It’s quite fun to see how much the Fiesta has grown since it’s humble beginnings too, as it was two levels down back when the Sierra was new. (the new focus is as big as and a lot heavier than the Sierra) About the suspension angles, you are going to struggle  (or drive incredibly careful) if you want your Sierra to ever experience even tyre wear. And the whole suspension actually works a lot better at standard height (with some stiffer springs and dampers) than when lowered because of it’s incredibly simplified McPherson front and trailing arm rear suspension. The whole suspension of a Sierra has less moving parts than most modern right wheel front suspensions have…

    • 0 avatar

      Good to know.  The only suspension mods planned are firmer shocks, stiffer springs, bigger swaybars from a Cossie (fingers crossed we can source that in Germany) and a set of vintage 16″ wheels…wait, maybe I shouldn’t give everything away.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    Oh that first photo brings back such memories. I’ve owned two Sierra’s (an 86′ and a 90′) and the wonderful combination of owning such a cheap and fun RWD car on Britain’s road network (ie not a straight line to be seen and roundabouts EVERYWHERE) led to hours, days and possibly months of fun driving.
    Incidentally I think the line ‘Gleaming Mecca of Milton Keynes’ is lost on most people. Gleaming and Mecca like that place is not – filled with roundabouts it is.

  • avatar
    Teffers

    Big Dave is lucky I didn’t take the Mighty Mi16 to Milton Keynes.
    Your mom loves the back seat of the Mighty Mi.


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