TTAC Project Car: Northloop Hosts A Sierra Homecoming
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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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.
Big Dave is lucky I didn't take the Mighty Mi16 to Milton Keynes. Your mom loves the back seat of the Mighty Mi.