Thursday, May 26, 2011

Carspotting: My next ride?

I really dig the original blue/yellow California plate.

I am very enamored with this 1985 Mare-coor.  I spent a bit of time this afternoon chatting with the owner, a friendly octogenarian.  The infamous bi-plane rear spoiler sits in his garage.  The owner didn't like its added weight or the fact that it actually increased drag.

It's a two-owner car.  The original owner was a mature businesswoman.  This car was never hooned.


Cosmetically, it has seen better days.  But there is hope.  A tree branch fell on the hood and damaged the two front fenders as well (near the base of the A-pillars).  The hood came from a red model.  I think a trip to the body shop; some paint on the hood and fenders; and a nice wash and wax job can do wonders.


The car is practically all original, save the 14" Enkei rims (tres '80s) and the manual transmission out of a Mustang.  It's a daily driver, is regularly maintained, and the turbocharger just had a rebuild.  Did I mention it's got less than 90,000 miles on the clock?

The interior is in very decent shape.  A carpet covers the dash, so I doubt it's cracked underneath, despite being a car that hasn't seen the inside of a garage for at least a decade.


I think this car has a lot of potential.  I gave the owner my contact info and asked him to call me when he's ready to sell it.  Does anyone want to talk me out of it?

14 comments:

Edvin said...

Go for it. Maybe I can help you get Ford Sierra fenders if you need to replace them. My father used to have a Sierra way back, also many of my friends drove these when they had just gotten their licenses.

Gavin said...

That's a tough decision. Though, I would like to see the original 'pepperpots' back on it, myself...

steve-vh said...

Grab it!
Loved these when they came out and still do. There's even a few still being driven locally here in west Michigan, saw one last week.

kashgar216 said...

@Edvin: I don't know much about bodywork. I read last night that the Merkur's fenders were welded on. Is that a problem?

@Gavin: I didn't ask the owner if he still has the original wheels.

@Steve: You might enjoy this Grand Rapids video/story:

http://gawker.com/5806121/dying-michigan-city-to-newsweek-drop-dead

Alan said...

Do it! Would you stay with the original color? Seems a nice gray. Would you put the wing back on?

kashgar216 said...

@Alan: I would put the wing back on. I think even a simple wash would do this car wonders. Are you turned off by the hood and front fender issues?

kashgar216 said...

@Alan: Yeah, I'd keep the color. I like cars as original as possible.

Alan said...

No I wouldn't really be too concerned by the body damamge - if it's mechanically and electrically straight and the interior's intact (a big one there - old dried-up interiors are nearly impossible to restore) than it should be cake to make nice as long as you don't mind shelling out for a nice paint job and can locate any plastic or rubber exterior parts that need replacing.

Good luck and keep us posted man!

motoringconbrio said...

i'd say don't -- but only because i think there are better and/or more interesting cars to be had. for example, i'd rather you buy a peugeot!

motoringconbrio said...

by the way, this sort of thing - approach a stranger in a parking lot and strike up a conversation about his/her interesting old car - is virtually unheard of on the east coast. because there are no interesting old cars.

not out and about, anyway.

MattC said...

Ok, this is in my wheelhouse as they say... The Merkur's engine is actually pretty bulletproof (even better that the turbo has been serviced). My coworker had one of these and loved it. However, he had the thing boosted to the nth degree and would rip 1/4 miles and shame better prepped cars. (The disdvantages was that while the engine never gave him problems, he shed various other driveline parts was great frequency) However, if you plan on keeping it stock or mildly boosted, you should have no problems. I do like the wing, it adds character to the car.

In regards to the paint, it may still be single stage paint (not a modern base/clearcoat) and as such should be pretty easy to bring the shine/gloss back. ( a wash, clay, compound, polish then wax process should do the trick). Tha Achilles heal is parts availability, but that may be helped by online communities.

kashgar216 said...

@MTC: Funny observation. But when you see an old timer driving a Merkur in 2011, you just know he's gonna be a talker.

@MattC: If I have it, I'm gonna keep the engine stock. I'm not trying to set any records. I think it'll be fun to bring the car back to life. I think I've watched too many Wheeler Dealer episodes. Look, Edd China can do it in two 30 minute episodes; so can I!

MattC said...

@kashgar216:
Brilliant, I do like the mentality of Wheeler Dealers. Essentially they like to keep things stock or near stock (sometimes pretty mild performance enhancing products, but mostly stock). BTW, it is your website for getting me hooked on WD.

steve-vh said...

yeah, that Grand Rapids video made "big news" around here. the Mag was clueless. GR is becoming a magnet for Medical education and still has alot going for it compared to alot of cities in Michigan. Check out the annual "artprize" for exampl http://www.artprize.org/