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YAK Car Pic of the Day

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Over the past few years, I’ve seen more than one 1985-89 Merkur XR4Ti — two, as a matter of fact (okay, I could have just said two Merkur XR4Tis, but the “Tis” part just looks wrong). And, they were both in the town of Elma, although the first (tan) one was plated and on the road, and this white one was spotted behind a repair garage. The Merkur line, in reality Ford Sierras which were imported from Europe and sold though Lincoln-Mercury dealers, flopped. One reason? Let me quote directly from the brochure: “Merkur XR4Ti options — three-speed automatic transmission (available later in the model year)” What was Ford thinking? They must have known that most American drivers are shiftless. The Merkur wasn’t a bad car, it just suffered from a poor marketing plan and a lousy relationship between the U.S. dollar and the Deutschmark which drove up the price of the car.

a cheaper, base model European Ford Sierra

a cheaper, base model European Ford Sierra (curbsideclassics.com)

— Jim Corbran, You Auto Know