By on January 23, 2015

17 - 1989 Merkur Scorpio Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNow here’s a rare one: a 1989 Merkur Scorpio. While the Merkur XR4Ti (a rebadged Ford Sierra XR4i) sold well enough that most of us have seen one, the other Merkur— a rebadged Ford Scorpio— flopped miserably and sank without leaving much of a trace. This ’89, which I found on Half Price Day in a Denver yard, is the first Scorpio I’ve seen anywhere in at least five years.
06 - 1989 Merkur Scorpio Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNearly 100,000 miles on the odometer.
03 - 1989 Merkur Scorpio Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe leather is a bit cracked, but otherwise the interior is in nice shape.
11 - 1989 Merkur Scorpio Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinI couldn’t get the hood open, but the sight of a Cologne V6 is nothing to get excited over.
18 - 1989 Merkur Scorpio Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis is the 209th Touring Edition.
16 - 1989 Merkur Scorpio Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinLots of good stuff left on this car, but will there be any parts bought before the car gets crushed?


I think the Scorpio would have sold better in America if Ford had used this song in the advertising.

Instead, they had Jackie Stewart reclining in the rear seat.

In Taiwan, the Scorpio got hooned a bit more in the ads.

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71 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1989 Merkur Scorpio Touring Edition...”


  • avatar
    spreadsheet monkey

    First Sajeev’s brown Sierra, and now this! Feels like I am reading a UK car site.

    Great car, sold in the UK as the Granada (later rebranded Scorpio), and much loved by police forces and anyone else who covered a lot of miles. Those front seats look very supportive and comfortable.

    I assume it was sold in the US at a big price premium over the Taurus…

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      Yep; but it didn’t look any different; so why pay the price premium? Yes, it was total different under the skin, but so what? Americans could not get it.

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/14550578198/

      At least the Merkur XR4Ti was unique looking as well as unique under the skin.

      Still love these 1980s-early 1990s aero cars. Very clean and honest styling, like a smooth stone or bar of soap indeed. None of the creases and tucks we have nowdays. Those side mirrors probably generated a fair amount of wind noise; just as they did on the Taurus. Rented a Focus this past week, and the level of wind and engine noise was impressively low.

  • avatar
    salhany

    Looks pretty complete and saveable, if someone wanted to do that. Bad tranny probably killed it, they were known to go around 125,000 miles.

    I wouldn’t mind one of these at all. They were good cruisers, plus the 5 door thing made them unusual and handy.

  • avatar
    CaptainObvious

    Having Jackie Stewart, the “wee scot” showing off the room in the back seat doesn’t strike me as a great idea.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      Good point, Captain Obvious. Now if Jackie had been chauffeuring around Dan Gurney, I’d have been impressed.

      I’m still waiting for the match race between Stewart in his Tempo versus Bobby Rahal in his K-car.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheeljack

        Gurney would have been equally comfortable in the back of a Scorpio thanks to its power reclining rear seats. How do I know? Because I own a Scorpio and at 6 ft tall, I still have plenty of headroom when relaxing in the back.

  • avatar
    dswilly

    I think that mirror adjuster is still used today in various cars. Those seats look pretty good for late 80’s leather, both in style and condition.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      That’s what I was thinking, with the shape and the perforation.

    • 0 avatar
      Battles

      Yeah, I think that mirror adjuster was used in the last gen Transit until about 2011.
      Def used in the first and second gen Focus, as late as 2005.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      Believe it or not, that leather was honest-to-goodness Connolly leather. Granted, the hides used weren’t the top grade ones reserved for Rolls-Royce or Bentley, but they were still tanned and finished in the same fashion as any other Connolly hide. The finish and feel of that leather was absolutely sublime – especially after a fresh application of hide food.

  • avatar
    Matt Foley

    Had a buddy in high school whose dad worked for FoMoCo and had a Scorpio for a company car. It did have great seats and a Germanic feel – much closer to a mid-80’s Audi 5000 than a mid-80’s Taurus.

    I think they had a crazy-high sticker price though, which explains why they were about as popular as a Baby Ruth in a punch bowl.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    The only reason I could figure Ford brought these over was to counter the GM sales juggernaut that was Saab.

    /sarc

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      The same mental defect that makes a twit want a French diesel econobox today made twits of the ’80s want the European Fords and Opels that they felt they were being denied. A decade of autojournalists bringing up ‘brilliant’ Sierras and Rekords every time they reviewed a feeble Tempo or comical Buick must have rubbed Ford management the wrong way. They decided that if they couldn’t make a decent car for the US market, they could at least prove that they also weren’t making decent cars in Europe.

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      Actually GM did not buy 50% of Saab until 1989. From Saab history:

      1989 At a press conference on 15 December, GM announces that it is buying 50% of Saab’s car operation.
      1990 to 2000: The new Saab 900 made its debut in front of the press and 35,000 residents of Trollhättan, in the town’s main square, in July 1993. The new 900 was the first completely new model since GM (General Motors) took a 50% stake in Saab Automobile AB in 1990.

      I always though Ford was trying to compete with the other Eurp brands in the states such as BMW and MB with the Merkur sub-brand. The XR4 as a 3-series competitor and the Scorpio as a E-Class competitor. Additionally to give Mercury a “captive import” to enhance the brand like in the early 70’s with the Capri and Pantera.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        With shorter model cycles, R&D needs increase.

        Higher R&D costs require more sales to compensate for the added expense. That squeezes niches out of the market.

        SAAB was sucking wind when GM bought it, but GM didn’t have the talent to save it. The Merkur brand wasn’t handled well, either.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    Darren was eccentric.

    “Excuse me sir, what kind of car is that?”, asked the strange woman in the parking lot. Darren replied summarily, “It’s a merrcooor.” He stood there, waiting while the lady processed this information with the swiftness of Robot from Lost In Space. Any second now, the tape would spit out with her response to this data. When it came, a resounding “UGH” ran through Darren’s subconscious. “It’s…a Mercury?”

    After the standard history lesson of Ford Motor Company in the ’80’s was complete, Darren left the bewildered woman for the WalMart. He grabbed a shopping cart that was staged off to the side by itself. He didn’t understand why he selected this particular cart instead of one of the many in the neat rows, nor did he pay it much mind. It was just something he did systematically. If you were to ask him why, he might respond with “Well…someone had to take it.” For this, he was rewarded with a fluttering caster, a flat-spotted rear wheel that banged away rhythmically, and constant dog-tracking to the left that needed to be compensated with an occasional shove. Darren wiped the strange film deposited on his hands from the handle onto his jeans. It was too hot in here for his jacket. He wadded up the red leather into a bundle and placed it into the child seat.

    Soon the cart was filled with burgers for the grill, milk, eggs, bacon, six cases of A&W root beer, and all of the Oh’s cereal on the shelf. The gallon of milk sweated during the long journey to the other side of the store to grab some Super Tech coolant for the thirsty Merkur. Darren eyed the 25 vacant registers with ire as he joined the long procession to check out. He could no longer handle this thirst. A bottle of A&W called to him from the nearby cooler full of impulse items. He had consumed half of it by the time he reached the cashier.

    Darren dragged his hobbled cart out to the Scorpio. He opened the hood, and dumped in the antifreeze full strength. The engine bay reeked of a sweet aroma cooking off the fissured radiator, fan, and front of the engine. Darren stowed his groceries in the back seat, and dragged his shopping cart back to the store with coolant jug in hand. At the entrance, he absentmindedly left his derelict cart to impede traffic flow in front of the doors.

    Once the SuperTech jug was filled 2/3rds full of water from the bathroom, Darren was ready to depart. The V6 was commanded to life, and sounds of fresh coolant gurgling through the heater core gave him satisfaction. The Merkur’s leaking transmission seal spilled the last of it’s lifeblood onto the exhaust as it pulled away. The pipes heated rapidly as the engine labored into acceleration, and thick white haze cooked off to join the typical steam plume from the tailpipe. Just like in Spy Hunter.

    The root beer was polished off with a resounding “Ahhh.”, and Darren tossed the empty behind his seat. As soon as the turn signal clicked off for the right-hander, the Scorpio buckled under it’s command to accelerate away. The engine simply revved up. Darren punched the hazard switch, the RPM’s soared, equating to very little in forward movement. He tried the lower ranges with the shifter to no effect. He selected reverse on a whim. There was a sudden burst of motion, and then nothing. He summoned drive again. There was a sudden jolt, followed by hollow motivation and a troubling “Whirrrrrrrrrn” sound. “…andddd, it’s gone.”, Darren said, stepping out of his stricken automobile. He pushed on the A-pillar to try to get it out of the busy street. A good samaritan spawned from nowhere, and pushed the featureless trunk lid. “Need a hand?”

    Antifreeze and trans fluid cooked off the idling Scorpio. The two men stood alongside, trying to catch their breath. “What is this thing anyway?”, asked the stranger.
    “It’s a…well it WAS, a Ford.”

  • avatar
    autojim

    During one of my training rotations at Ford Engine in 1991, I worked for a department manager from Germany who had sufficient pull to have two Scorpio Cosworths (http://www.fordscorpio.co.uk/24valve.htm) as his management lease vehicles. They were specially imported for him and had to run M-plates instead of the regular plates most lease vehicles received. One of my older co-workers referred to him as a “fair-haired boy” (i.e. corporate favorite).

    • 0 avatar
      Battles

      Imagine driving something from British Leyland or Austin Rover’s dark days at 80mph in a 70 zone, thinking you were pretty cool, when Plod suddenly appears behind you in one of their 24v Scorpios.
      They effortlessly pass you, flex their muscles a bit, wag the finger and, when you slow down a bit, they fire up the blue lights and shoot off.
      The Police in the UK loved the Granada and Scorpio.
      I respected them but I was also a bit afraid of them, especially white ones.

  • avatar
    clem151

    I can’t tell in the pictures, was this a stick or auto?
    The stick shift Scorpios are super rare.

    You still see these things in the Detroit area from time to time. I suspect when they did not sell well a lot of these were company cars that were in turn sold on the B-lot.

  • avatar

    My bitter tears run down my cheeks. Murilee is breaking my heart.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Such an unusual one indeed, a special edition of the least popular of two models, of a rare sub-brand.

    The interior has aged so well! I’ve seen one of these in my life, and it was in high school around 2001. A kid had a black/black one. I think it failed at some point in a year or so, and was replaced with an original version light bar Sable.

    Kid had a specific taste.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      That “special edition” badge is completely made up. “Touring edition” was simply an option group that got you the leather seats and moonroof bundled together.

  • avatar
    ThirdOwner

    I had one of these. The seats don’t just look great, they are great. Mine had a hand pump for lumbar support adjustment. Great car, loved it. Too bad the tranny went.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      The Scorpio seats were some of the most comfortable seats I’ve ever sat it. I’ve often dreamed of making a recliner to use in the house out of one of them. That hand pump lumbar was problematic though – they had issues with leaks from the bladder in the seat back, issues with the tube getting pinched/abraded and so on. I gave up on trying to make mine work a long time ago.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        My father’s Turbo T-bird had that hand pump lumbar adjustment. Was a good car right up to 150K miles or so when he replaced it with a FWD Oldmobile (I think). We called the Olds “the Casket” b/c the interior looked like an undertaker spec’d out the interiors. The Olds munched an exhaust valve at 65K miles. The Olds was okay but not inspiring.

        I think it is important to think of cars in context of automotive history. A ACME Sports coupe might be a lousy car to look at today but compared to it’s peers when it was new, the ACME might have been more reliable, a better performer, and might have looked better.

        I’ve always like the Merkurs. SO much more appealing than the Fairmonts/Escorts/Mustangs/Tempos of the era. They needed a different name – Sierra works better that X4Ti. I figure someone at Ford was trying to keep the Ford imports weird enough that they wouldn’t sell and thus protect the status quo. I wonder if these Ford imports might have been the pet project of some manager.

  • avatar
    Perc

    My grandfather had a 5 door Scorpio back when I was a kid. Diesel. My father drove a Sierra diesel. Our family was weird like that. Over the past 20 years or so since those cars were sold I think I’ve seen maybe three or four diesel Fords of that vintage. They were that rare around these parts.

    Anyway, I remember the Scorpio as being huge, comfy and pretty luxurious (for the time) even though it was a stripper model without A/C or any kind of power equipment. We borrowed it for a couple of road trips back in the day.

    I will always have a soft spot for the late model European “frogeye” Scorpio. It was sold alongside the Mondeo until the very late 90’s but didn’t find many buyers, at least not here. The Opel Omega however sold fairly well. A 24 valve Cosworth version would be awesome to have in my imaginary car collection, just because.

    Cosworth doesn’t mean what most of you think it means though. It’s basically a fully loaded version with a 24 valve version of the 2.9 Cologne. Cosworth did the heads. It has around 200 horsepowers which still is considered a lot for a Ford in Europe.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    I’ve owned a couple of these. Brilliant and very underrated car. The basic shape and hatchback body that cost it many customers in the 80’s is all the rage now, so I will claim it was way ahead of it’s time. One of the roomiest and most comfortable passenger compartments in any European car ever(except maybe for lack of headroom in the back if you’re 6ft or more,but it’s compensated with massive legroom.)
    I loved the last Scorpio I owned, but 25 years of rust, and 250K miles had taken its toll, and I ended up scrapping it.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      I’m 6ft tall and find the back seat very roomy, headroom included…especially with the seats reclined.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      I love the hatchback sedan look but wish the hatchback was actually on the car. I want the potential utility that comes with the hatchback. I’ve owned many hatchbacks over the years and they are wonderful cars to live with.

      I’d like the current Accord if it wasn’t trying to act like an oversized offroad hatchback. Give me the Accord sedan with a hatchback, the AWD would be nice, and I don’t need the big jacked up look. The Ford Fusion hybrid is beautiful but I’d rather have it with the hatch vs a little trun opening.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I think the Cologne V6 is worth seeing…it’s certainly more interesting looking than an old GM 60V6.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      Ford extensively redesigned the Cologne V-6, just in time for the US debut of the Scorpio. Gone were the cylinder heads with the siamesed exhaust ports and gear drive for the camshaft. Major improvements were made to virtually every part of the engine including the block, reciprocating and rotating assemblies and timing drive to improve NVH, efficiency and reliability.

      I always like my 2.9L in the Scorpio – sure it wasn’t a beast but it easily kept up with traffic and the engine had “character”…something a lot of cars lack today. The Scorpio also didn’t weigh as much as something of similar size made today would, so it’s not as “gutless” as everyone would assume.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        Was it as loud in the Scorpio as it was in the pickups?

        The 2.9 and OHV 4.0 Cologne V6s seem to have quite a roar to them in truck form, unless every old Ranger, Bronco II, and Explorer I’ve seen has rotted out exhaust.

        • 0 avatar
          Wheeljack

          I have a Borla exhaust on mine, so it’s hard to be objective. It has a pleasant growl, but I wouldn’t describe it as overly loud.

        • 0 avatar
          gearhead77

          My Dads 88 Ranger went through at least 3 exhaust systems from the cat back and one full system in the time we owned it from new until about 2000. It is possible that every one you’ve heard has had a leak!

          I enjoyed the character of the 2.9 as well. The 4×2 Ranger with a 5 spd and 3.73 gears wasn’t fast, but it felt like a rocket compared to my 81 Regal with the 3.8 and slushbox. Lots of midrange in the 2.9 and the 18 y/o me beat on it enough to know it was pretty stout. Especially since there was no tach.

          Compared to the 3.0 in a later Ranger we owned, the 2.9 was wonderful despite being a bit rough. The 3.0 was smooth(er), but gutless compared to the 2.9

          • 0 avatar
            Wheeljack

            My memory may be off, but if I remember correctly during the year that the 2.9L and 3.0L overlapped, you could get a 2.9L 4×4 Ranger, but the 3.0L was only offered only in 2wd. Makes me think Ford knew that the 3.0L would not have fared well with the extra driveline drag of the front axle and t-case.

            A buddy had a 2wd ’87 Ranger regular cab with a 2.9L and a 5-speed and that thing was pretty quick for the time period. Got amazing fuel mileage too for what it was.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        Unfortunately the redesign resulted in a perpencity for the heads to crack. The low miles plus the bottle of anti freeze probably tell the story here.

        I will say I had a 2.9 in a bronco II that was well over 300k and still ran great. Most others I knew with the motor were not so fortunate though. It never felt underpowered.

        • 0 avatar

          the 4.0 in my 95 Explorer has 340k miles on the factory short block, I had the heads milled on it a while back after it blew the 3rd set of head gaskets, but those original heads had no cracks!

          Now they do…. sadly I smacked the front of it against a Tahoe and lost, it cracked the radiator and I tried limping it home and overheated it too many times, it’s got a crack in the heads somewhere now, coupled with the failing transmission, its time to let it go, after 15 years of faithful service to me.

          The 4.0 does feel satisfying despite its 160hp rating, compared to my friends 4.3 Vortec Blazer, the heavier and less powerful U-boat gets to 60 faster, and is more willing to run all the way to its top speed of 115mph.

        • 0 avatar
          Wheeljack

          True, 2.9L heads do have a propensity to crack, but if memory serves the Scorpio heads were a different casting number than the Bronco II/Ranger heads and were somewhat less prone to cracking than the truck heads.

          In all the years I was involved in the “Merkur scene”, I never knew anyone personally that had a cracked head, but granted that’s a small anecdotal sample. I did hear of head gasket failures though, but this seems to be relatively common with older engine designs that use composite (as opposed to MLS like newer cars) head gaskets as they age.

        • 0 avatar
          joeaverage

          Towed a friend’s Bronco II about 30 miles with my 1200cc Beetle one summer day b/c it had blown the head gasket(s). He seemed to think that this was a known weakness?

  • avatar
    Wheeljack

    I actually have owned two Merkur Scorpios – the first I bought in 1995 and the second was acquired in 1998 – I still have the second one. Not surprisingly it needs some trans work, but it does drive – just shift flares on upshift. Unfortunately the paint is getting tired and the A/C needs some work. I’m kind of at a crossroads with the car. As much as I love it, and as nice as the interior is (mine is pristine inside) I’m not sure I want to throw that kind of money at the car considering that it is effectively worthless.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      That’s the best reason to throw money at it. You can’t decrease the value no matter what you do.

    • 0 avatar
      fiasco

      If it’s not rusty, you won’t be out much money to get functional AC and a rebuilt trans vs. a car payment. Search Merkur Midwest if you need help for the most budget-friendly solutions (sorry if this is a commercial plug, but orphan cars need all the help they can get!).

      • 0 avatar
        Wheeljack

        Hopefully this doesn’t sound snippy because it’s not intended to be…I’m familiar with all the sources for parts, and I actually already have the evaporator core on hand to fix the issue, though in the meantime the fan motor stopped working…sigh.

        I’ve been involved with various Merkur clubs (and before that I had a Fiesta) since 1995 and attended Carlisle for many years – I even ran the banquet one year when our hypersensitive “leader” (who shall remain unnamed) decided to drop out after a rogue bunch within the group wanted to start an official “club” with a charter and directors.

        Not to brag, but I probably also have one of the most comprehensive Scorpio literature collections including original press kits from both the US and Europe, brochures from all over the world, every variation of all the US brochures and even a showroom color and trim guide that the customer would use to select their preferred paint and interior color/material.

        I guess you could say I was obsessed….

        • 0 avatar
          fiasco

          I’m sure if each of us were talking with real names, we’d say “holy crap!” sing Kumbaya, and have a tall glass of Scotch for Sir Jackie.

          The guy who probably had the MOST comprehensive Scorpio collection passed away several years ago. I was around at Carlisle until the IMON/MCA rift; one guy’s hypersensitive is another’s coup d’etat. I was kind of ticked at both sides of that mess, and the rally bug bit at the same time…so I bailed from the club scene, but still play with Merkurs.

          just trying to throw out a solution to your problems. I’d still daily drive a Merkur if it weren’t for bleeping road salt!

          • 0 avatar
            Wheeljack

            I know of who you speak…I believe his initials were PK. :) Good guy – was sorry to hear of his passing.

            I still think I had him beat on the literature collection though, although in reality we were probably neck and neck.

            I was also somewhat unhappy with both “factions” at that time, but I still kept going to Carlisle for a number of years after that.

          • 0 avatar
            fiasco

            Yes, PK is the departed one. Search Fiasco Rallysport and contact me, I think we’ve met and probably shared beers at Carlisle.

    • 0 avatar
      musashigriffin

      Hello, just came across this posting; if you still have it and want to sell it, let me know; yes, I realize I’m 9 months late to this thread, but thought I’d inquire.

  • avatar
    fiasco

    As the resident TTAC Merkur freak ( street XR4, Lemons XR4, and oops, just acquired an XR4 rolling shell today for Lemons Car Deux), the Scoprio was a wonderful car for eating interstate miles. The front seats truly are among the most comfortable ever made. A friend of mine rigged a set into his Chevy van for towing his Escort Cozzie rally car in comfort instead of pain.

    It was wonderful to drive (on a closed course) between 70-90, wish it had a little more rear downforce (add Cozzie wing!) when running at Baruthian Velocity. I have a similar issue with my 88 street XR4Ti when running over 100 on a closed course with a professional driver.

    Unfortunately, the suspension softened to “American taste”, the rather dull Cologne V6 (same as in my sister’s Bronco II!) and an automatic that needed to be replaced more often than a Fiat 128 timing belt, and that bloody Merkur name gave the car (and its XR4Ti sibling) no chance.

    Still, if somebody offered me a new 89 Scorpio with a 5-speed in exchange for my Legacy, I’d hand over the keys and find a limited slip diff.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      At the Ford 100 celebration in Dearborn back in 2003, there was a Scorpio on display with around 10,000 original miles on it. It literally looked like it had been stored in a sealed bubble it was so nice. The only thing I didn’t care for was that it has the baby-poop brown interior. I always preferred the “Raven” (essentially black) interior in the Scorpio.

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        I had a childhood friend who’s Dad worked for Ford and he had a Scorpio briefly. I don’t think I ever rode in it, but I thought it was a such a cool car. I’d love to see a time capsule one like you described.

        Last one I saw in the wild was at least 7 years ago, sitting on a BHPH lot, waiting for some part made of unobtainium or so I was told by the owner of the lot.

        I’ve experienced the Scorpio through the Ford parts bin. My Dad had an 88 Ranger 4×2 Supercab with the 2.9 and a 5 spd. I owned a 93 Aerostar with the A4LD “glass” transmission that lived in these cars as well. And I recognize quite a bit of the switchgear from my 01 Focus ZX3 and a 95 Contour I owned briefly.

        • 0 avatar
          Wheeljack

          I think everyone who worked at Ford at the time that had a company car or was in the management lease program had to take one (or more) of these and put a few thousand miles on ’em. That way Ford could write the value of them down on the books and send them to the auction and not take too big of a bath on them.

          And you’re right about the DNA of these ending up in various products for years – I had a ’98 Mystique as a company car and the mirror switch looked like it would direct interchange with the one in my Scorpio.

  • avatar
    phreshone

    Hey, “Scorpio’s Theme’… was just watching the end of the original ‘Dirty Harry’ the other night… Scorpio was one of the all-time great villains.

  • avatar
    davew833

    My ex-brother-in-law had a Scorpio in the late ’90s. Coincidentally, his name was Darren. Crabspirits, how did you know?

    I saw one at the local pick-N-pull a couple of years ago. I think it was intact– no wreck damage. The interior was immaculate. Unfortunately, It went to the crusher before I could get the seats.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    I wonder if this style could save the larger sedan in the US market? I would definitely be interested in such a vehicle, something with a liftgate for versatility without butching things up like a CUV, and roomy enough for a nice road trip.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      I think the Ford Fusion hybrid is more or less the same profile. Don’t know if the Fusion has a trunk or hatch but I like the look. My friend bought one and adores it. Loves to drive around in electric mode.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        The Fusion has a hatch version, it’s called the Mondeo hatchback in Europe. We do not get it. I wish we did, as the styling isn’t any different, and the trunk has more space (20 cu ft to 16 cu ft in the sedan). The biggest benefit to the hatch vs the sedan is the size of the trunk opening.

        • 0 avatar
          joeaverage

          I wish we got the Fusion/Mondeo hatch too. Much more useful than a trunk. Maybe the Detroit brands are still herding us who carry things in our vehicles to the SUV section at the dealer.

          I owned a late 80s Accord hatchback, an ’81 Mustang hatchback and a 70s Autobianchi A112E. All of them were good cars that earned their place in the driveway.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    These were ugly cars that didn’t sell all that well anywhere they were sold (the U.S. or Europe) or under whatever name they were sold (Merkur Scorpio, Ford Scorpio or Ford Granada). The Merkur was pulled from the U.S. market after 1990, but continued to be sold in Europe. It received a substantial facelift in 1994 and was sold until 1998 when it was discontinued.

    Supposedly the Scorpio’s Ford of Europe designers were shamed by Ford management who pointedly declared how much nicer-looking and more successful the similarly-sized first generation U.S.-designed Ford Taurus turned out.

    When they stopped making the Scorpio, they never really replaced it directly. There was a plan at one point to replace the Scorpio with the Lincoln LS (imported from the U.S.), but this was scuttled shortly after Ford purchased Volvo. The Scorpio ended up being, more-or-less, replaced by the Volvo S80. In the years since the Scorpio was discontinued the the Ford Mondeo grew in size to where it is now almost as large as the discontinued Scorpio.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      I seriously doubt that anyone was shamed over this car. At the time of its launch, The Granada/Scorpio won European Car of the Year in 1986 and every other major (and minor) award that year – in fact, it was the most awarded European car in history at that time and I’m not sure if anything has surpassed it since. Uwe Bahnsen was a talented designer and well respected within Ford and the design community thanks to the success of the Ford Sierra and other designs he had a hand in.

      Also, the Granada/Scorpio was never meant to be a “mass-market” or high volume car like the Taurus – that was the role the Sierra filled. The Scorpio was an “Executive” car, frequently leased by companies for their management staff, and in this role it was quite successful for many years. True, it didn’t succeed in the US, but this was due in no small part to the basically unknown name and lousy dealer body, who weren’t prepared or equipped to deal with the type of customer that was interested in this kind of car.

      To me, the gradual decline of sales in Europe was more a function of the half-hearted refreshes that lead up to the overly radical redesign into the polarizing bug-eyed model with the “styled by Buick” rear end. That and renewed vigor from the competition who upped the ante with their redesigns that came in the wake of the Scorpio’s launch. For example, the 5-series BMW was an antique, comparatively speaking, when the Scorpio came out. The 1988 redesign of the 5-series remade it into a modern, contemporary vehicle and no doubt gave a huge shot in the arm to the sales of the car.

  • avatar

    I had one of those over here, across the waters: http://www.unsalted.club/2014/07/beater-love-1992-ford-scorpio.html

    Although mine was a little rough and very temporary, I have fond memories of it.

  • avatar
    Mr. Bill

    I always liked these and remember two around town. Neither one was sold through the local dealership that I know of. A beautiful black, new Scorpio was owned by a physician on staff at the hospital I worked at. The other one, silver in color, showed up one day several years after they were introduced and was surprisingly owned by some local trash. I felt particularly bad for this Scorpio, it was dented, dirty, and trashed inside. I always wondered how THEY came to own THIS. I guess since this occurred during the mid ’90’s, it came cheap. It soldiered on for a time and then, as quickly as it appeared, was gone.

    Mr. Bill
    Hamlet, NC

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Various low rent folks around here have been able to buy into Audis, Land Rovers, and such – credit and low resale values. Typically one major failure and it gets parked in the back yard forever and forgotten.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    Had one. Loved it. Still miss it.

    It only needed two things: 1) adjustable Konis front and rear, and 2) better rear speakers.

  • avatar

    I drove one with DOHC V6 and manual of course. I was impressed to say the least. It was a true sports sedan and made me life-long Ford fan. Car was Ford Scorpio from Germany and was beautiful, well appointed, taught, fast and well handling beast. It was designed to compete with BMW, Mercedes and Opel Omega. There was also 2,5L V6 and 4 cylinder (which was a typical Ford garbage of period though) versions. The major problem was a rust – wheel arcs, back panels, trunk. But it was a car I loved most along with Audi 80/A4 (which did not rust). 4 cylinder was bad and outdated.

    Scorpio suffered from the same fate as other Ford cars (like Taurus, Crown Vic, Lincoln). Was never updated and next gen was the same old car and therefore it flopped. Later Ford attempted to replace it with Lincoln LS but I already left for US so do not know how it turned out. Probably Ford abandoned the segment and decided to not offer premium car in Europe anymore.

  • avatar

    The Scorpio seats are indeed one of the most comfortable car seats I’ve ever sat in. I considered putting a pair in my 2002 Audi. A Scorpio rear seat I acquired from a junkyard has been been repurposed into home furniture – a short sofa with shoebox underneath.

    Murilee, regarding this comment…
    “This is the 209th Touring Edition.”
    Was the plaque actually individually numbered?

    The 30th anniversary of the Merkur will be celebrated at Carlisle this year. Details here… http://merkurclub.com/carlisle2015/carlisle2015.htm

  • avatar
    emanistan

    Nice cars these, & I remember being very excited about them when they came out. Had I seen this a few months ago I would have felt a tinge of jealousy: I got the idea to find a rear seat from one of these to put in my van, but I soon found that none of the self service yards on the west coast have one, and I think the first generation Infiniti Q45 seats I ended up with were an even better score.

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