By on December 2, 2010

It may not be ready to take on the old Honda tagline, but our 1983 Ford Sierra Ghia is strengthening our ties with our car nutty friends from across the pond. While Capt. Mike’s UK connections are stronger, here’s the story of how our Sierra made it from the seller’s house to one of the Captain’s friend’s homes: a strong group of Nürburgring-fiends who claimed our lovable Air Force Yank as one of their own. But that’s for the next installment in this series because, as the Panther-intensive pictures show, I’m telling this portion of the story.

Just in case you missed it, Mike and me are on a quest for the ultimate Ford of our generation: a restomod Ford Sierra Ghia. We talk regularly via Facebook chat, no matter where he is. And while he was (probably) in a bunker in (maybe) Afghanistan, the delicious blend of Ford’s aerodynamic initiatives coupled with a Hoon-worthy RWD chassis stole our hearts. Mike’s chat window blew up with the URL to my favorite Sierra in my favorite color for sale in a UK classic car on-line magazine for tidy price of £850. I damn near screamed with delight. More to the point, I was sold.

I told him to get it to the Port of Houston and I will write a check for his troubles. Mike’s fellow Nürburgring cultists couldn’t meet the seller, but my friend could. And anyone driving from Somerset to help an American bloke in love with a brown 1983 Ford Sierra in Cambridgeshre (look it up) is certainly a kind soul, doing it in a gas guzzling Lincoln Town Car is pure insanity. Baruth wipes a tear from his eyes, and I nod my head in amazement. It has happened: it shall be mine!

I met Dereck several years back on, and he became moderator soon after: being the owner of an MOT shop, a certified Panther Chassis nut and a kind soul genuinely interested in helping people never hurts. While we had a blast running the small and friendly forum, I had no idea he’d come and visit when I was traveling on business to London, for a certain IT company and a certain English Petroleum company. Dereck drove 3 hours to have dinner with me, in London traffic, on a Wednesday afternoon, and brought gifts galore from Somerset. Plus, he picked me up from my hotel in a Cartier-fettled Lincoln Town Car. And while the hotel valets stared shamelessly, he stated, “course I would come and visit you in my Town Car, that was a long plane trip you made to visit me!”

And when the chips are down, is it any surprise that Dereck would do me a solid once again? So Capt. Mike wired Dereck the money, emailed the address and one more request: document the event with few pictures. Which are here for you to enjoy, along with his final assessment of the matter:

“Well the deed is done, one Ford Sierra delivered to Dave, documents posted. It was a 535 mile round trip, left the MOT shop in Somerset at 4:05pm and arrived back at home 3:55am the following day, just ten minutes short of 12 hours. The Town Car’s fuel meter (i.e. lie-o-meter) said 20.8 MPG, by the way. And it happened as follows:

A Rio Brown Ford Sierra – £850

6 months road tax – £112

Gas (Town Car) – £115

Gas (Sierra) – £10

2 regular coffees, 1 double chocolate muffin, a bag of chips and an Egg, Bacon, Mayo sandwich at South Mimms services – £12

Helping a buddy in a bind – Priceless!”

While I can testify that there’s no better way to drive around London than in a Lincoln Town Car, getting a Ford Sierra in the same pictures rekindles my love of the now mundane, but once cutting edge. Need more proof? Clock our latest machine next to the 1981 Ford Probe III Concept Car. The lines do not lie.

So what’s next? Well, Mike has to get it to Germany, and his corner-carving mates will do just that. Then it has to get it’s Nürburgring cherry popped before delivery to a USAF base, to be shipped early next year. Stay tuned for more action while TTAC gets its first project car, because I know the best is yet to come.

Here’s to great friends and sheer automotive lunacy!

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23 Comments on “TTAC Project Car: You Meet the Nicest People In a…Ford Sierra?...”

  • avatar

    Cool. Keep us posted on how the shipping lays out. This reminded me I saw a Merkur XR4Ti over the holiday, its been awhile for one of those.

  • avatar

    Lovely, and so similar to my 2.3 GL (now upgraded with XR4i bumpers and in the same colour as the Ghia pictured below the Probe lll in your link) It’s also fun to see what Ford Europe thought was old-fashioned by 1990 standing next to what Ford US found obsolete in 2010. Knowing that they were both last of their kind in the respective continents and that they will be remembered by enthusiasts forever is comforting.
    edit: I just saw a rerun of a Top Gear episode where Jeremy Clarkson and James May try to maneuver their respective classics, Merc 600sl and Rolls Royce Corniche (Grosser vs Corniche challenge) through London, and I must say I imagine a Town car may be one of the worse cars to drive through London in…

  • avatar

    A Town Car in London is wrong, just plain wrong. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

  • avatar

    Y’all are making me feel like a lazy sod for cheaping out and buying a Merkur! Lucky for me Sierra badges are cheap..It’s amazing to see the similarities to the home grown Tempo.

    Looking forward to the updates!!

  • avatar

    What’s hard to believe is that that Sierra is a 1983!  Yikes…I feel so old now!  I remember seeing those things ply the roads of Germany when first new, and thought they were pretty remarkable cars (especially when compared to the crap that the Amis were sending from the States with the Blue Oval on them).  To see an actual four door Sierra stateside would be incredible!  Keep us all up to date!

  • avatar

    The best is yet to come, stay tuned for the Sierra’s debutante ball at the annual Christmas Party in Milton-Keynes!

  • avatar

    Great story, and great cars! Somewhere in a box I have a matchbox Sierra. When it was first given to me back in the eighties I thought it was a Tempo!
    Looking forward to hearing the rest of the story.
    For what it’s worth, that Town Car is IDENTICAL to the 1991 Cartier that my grandparents have tucked away in their garage that I already have my eye on (and intentions made known) for when the Mystique conks out :)

  • avatar

    Good taste ! I will love to track a  Sierra RS Cosworth.
    If I may, are you plan on converting the steering to left hand drive? How are you shipping it back? Will the custom gives you special waiver because it’s 20+ year old? I’m just curious.
    Please don’t tell me you are doing as military sales.

    • 0 avatar

      Okay, I won’t tell you that Mike is doing precisely that.
      As for the RHD, because it is 25+ years old, the Sierra comes to the US as completely exempt, it’s a classic car. And it will be insured and driven as such in Texas.

    • 0 avatar

      You are a hoot ! Seriously, please let me know if you ever need help with shipping or insuring that gray market vehicle.
      I use Wallenius Wilhelmsen (brokered via E.H. Harms) to ship my BMW back from Deutschland this summer. It’s a custom order BMW build to US spec & it clears the custom in 1 day. BTW, they will even ship it from southern England to Port of Galveston.
      As far as insurance premium goes, your Ford’s premium will be ridiculously cheap. It is because insurance company rates your gray market vehicle based on its current value. Best of luck !

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks!  And you are right, I suspect it’ll be around $200 a year for classic car insurance.  Though I will forget about current value, as a stated value policy will be mandatory for what we have planned for this cutting-edge beast. (evil grin)

  • avatar

    One of the members of the Merkur club has a 4 door Sierra that found it’s way in via Canada. If memory serves, it’s a 2.8L 4×4 model too…

    By the way, the same basic chassis underpins the Merkur Scorpio but you get a much nicer, more modern interior in the bargain.

  • avatar

    What a brave man keeping a Town Car running in the UK. It used to petrify me when I used to go and fill up my Sierra XR4 – and that was only a V6. Count yourself lucky if you live the saner side of the Atlantic (like I do now)!

  • avatar

    It certainly puts to shame the shit brown 89 Sable I tooled around high school in, while maintaining a very strong familial resemblance. You’re a lucky devil, Sajeev.

    • 0 avatar

      FWIW, I want your shit brown Sable.  Especially if its an LS with a brown interior.  My goodness, that car would look so great next to mine!

      Lang had a car much like yours and I still kick myself for not getting my hooks in it.

  • avatar

    Dave. Please don’t bring this to Milton Keynes next weekend – I’m likely to nick it and take for a lap around Daytona. Sideways.

  • avatar

    Take it from someone who has owned 12 (or was it 14?)Sierra’s. Don’t go sideways until you have installed a full cage :P

  • avatar
    Uncle Mellow

    Still find it hard to believe that anybody could want an ’83 5-door Sierra ! The later 4-door had some street-cred because you could make it look like a Cossie , but the 5-door was UGH.

  • avatar

    Speaking of the Cossie, it has some enthusiasts of its own…

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