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sierra
If you guys think along the same lines as me, and I’m pretty sure you do, this story will blow your mind.
It all started when a guy from Ipswich alerted the forumites of the esteemed Autoshite.com as to the existence and imminent sale of a Ford Sierra. Not just any Sierra, but the virtually extinct entry level model.
What began as a simple “ooh, look at that” quickly developed into one of the most emotionally rewarding internet forum threads you’ll ever read. Leap the jump to see how it all happened.


Just to recap for those at the back, the Sierra was Ford’s large family car offering for the eighties, following on from the classical square-rigged Cortina with a new and controversially shaped-by-the-wind aesthetic. It’s easy to forget now, but on its launch in ’82 the Sierra caused quite a stir.
The vast majority of them are long since recycled by now, survivors tend to be high-specification models like the fabled RS Cosworth, or low-mileage one-owner-from-new examples kept alive by the hopelessly tenacious or wilfully contrary.
So this early, solid red 1.6 litre base model (you could get a 1.3 if you were really masochistic), distinguished by its “dangly” exterior mirrors and “why on Earth did Ford do that?” grey painted front grille panel, is a rare beast indeed. In fact, the entry level model was generally avoided when new, so it’s the kind of car which really has made it into 2016 on a wing and a prayer.

This was a point that wasn’t lost on the majority of contributors on the Autoshite thread. There was a fair bit of quibbling about the sale price, which was hovering in the region of a thousand pounds. Of course, if looked at as a car, it’s worth nothing like near that amount. But if looked at in terms of social significance, rarity and total unrepeatableness, if treated as art, you could say it was priceless.
Then there came discussion on what you might do with it if you did pony up the funds and buy it. Do you restore it and have the only immaculate base spec Sierra left in existence, or do you keep it as is, maintaining originality and emphasising the unbelievable fluke that the car has survived at all?
So many questions. But the answers are all in the thread. I beseech you, take some time to read the thread all the way through. You will experience every single human emotion and feeling, from joy and desire, through to pain and hunger.
Then, once you’re through and feeling drained yet nourished, go and join the brotherhood that is Autoshite, the second best car forum on the planet.
(Top image taken from original Gumtree advert (no longer online). Mad props go out to the Autoshite collective)

About RoadworkUK

RoadworkUK is the online persona of Gianni Hirsch, a tall, awkward gentleman with a home office full of gently decomposing paper and a garage full of worthless scrap metal. He lives in the village of Moistly, which is a safe distance from London and is surrounded by enough water and scenery to be interesting. In another life, he has designed, sold, worked on and written about cars in exchange for small quantities of money.

16 Comments

        1. Oh man, not good. Where did this happen? And why did you need an aftermarket pedal pad?

          1. 360/Euless Main underpass.
            The pads were the Shelby-like ones. +5 hp.
            But the soft, rubbery bit had worn off leaving the slippy metal. I’d missed the clutch pedal at the track and was planning on sticking those no-skid strips on the pads to give grip.
            This is all speculation anyway. I’d just washed the insides of the wheels so my shoes may have been soapy.
            I’m surprised to what I’m getting since the car is 10 yrs old. Low mileage helped and it was pristine. 80% of what I paid 5 years ago.

        2. That’s really too bad, I pass on my condolences.

          Oh, and any and all updates if and when a replacement is chosen would be nice.

          1. Thanks. My son was pretty upset until I included him in the process of finding a replacement. Early leaders are S197 Coyotes.

  1. The steelies look like the same crappy ones they used on early to mid ’80s Escorts over here.

  2. And these are so much nicer to drive than the Cortinas.
    Trivia: We never got the sedan or hatchback versions of these at first in NZ as Ford had switched to badge engineered versions of the Mazda 626, the Ford Telstar. But the first few models of that didn’t have a wagon, so we got Sierra wagons only and they were popular enough that they were briefly the top selling cars here, just selling as a wagon. A friend of mine had one and like many people, junked the original troublesome (Solex?) carb for a Weber which improved reliability, power and economy
    The success of the wagon led to the full Sierra range being reintroduced later in addition to the Telstars.
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bc/1984_Ford_Sierra_2.0L_Estate_(8475811138).jpg

  3. Courtesy of displacement-based road tax in Ireland, we got more than a few 1.3 Sierras. What’s odd is that not all of them came in super-stripped base model trim; some of the options from the 1.6-litre cars could apparently be specified on them. Never saw one with a 5-speed that I recall, though.

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