Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Myrrhkur: 1988 Merkur Scorpio

This post is part of DT's 2016 Epiphany celebration.  The next wise man is named Gaspar, and also hails from the wilds of Germania, but is cleverly disguised as an American.  My best theory is that Gaspar is trying to avoid being detected by one of Herod's folks as he returns to his homeland via another way.  Find this 1988 Merkur Scorpio here on eBay bidding for $820 with a few hours to go, located in Forest Grove, OR.


Ford's strange decision to launch the Merkur brand is often attributed to Bob "I did it for the lolz" Lutz, but he was able to bounce to Chrysler before the bean counters at Ford figured out it was financial disaster.  How anybody expected to make any money with a German built Ford sedan shoved into the back of Lincoln-Mercury dealers and covered with a Merkur badge is beyond my comprehension.  It would have made some sense to sell it at Ford dealers as a sporty/luxury Ford, but the salesmen at Lincoln-Mercury dealers were hardly sober enough to sell Mercurys to people who didn't just accidentally sign on the dotted line -- I thought I was signing up for medicare.  Is this the line for the buffet? -- much less sell a $30k ($55k in today's money) 4-door hatchback.


The Scorpio was only available as a 4-door hatchback with a 2.9 liter Cologne V6 that was rated at 144 horsepower and mated to an automatic gearbox (although there was a manual option, most left the factory with the slushbox). The Scorpio is an example of Ford's corporate Aero styling in the '80s, clean and simple, similar to the first-gen Taurus. A Taurus SHO might be easier to find; however, with ol' Gaspar here you get RWD and a fancy 5-door hatchback body style.


See another Merkur for cheap? tips@dailyturismo.com

17 comments:

  1. These were wonderful cars. Dad had one, done in by electrical gremlins as I recall. Nice interior, rear seats power reclined which was awesome until I got yelled at because they would blow fuses every time I used them. very quiet at speed. it was really nice and completely unique.

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  3. With a name like Gaspar, is this the "Hair-Odd" that he is avoiding at the border:

    [img]http://www.satiratribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/djt-hair.jpg[/img]

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    1. Let's agree that this will be a no-trump zone from now on, shall we?

      Meanwhile, nice looking car. Good luck with maintenance.

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    2. Good luck with getting the commentarati to agree to no Trump... I won't be signing on, too much comic possibility to leave on the table. By the way, I have a server I need to wipe, what kind of cloth should I use?

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    3. At least we're all observing the Hank Scorpio ban.

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  4. Ford has a long history of stuffing 'captive imports' in L-M showrooms, it kinda worked with the Euro Capri, and while Ford took a bath on the Pantera it's got probably a more loyal owner base than anything else Ford's ever sold in this country.

    As for 'Merkur' - like I said before. Bring in three models, line up the dealer principals and tell them if they want the franchise they'll open a standalone showroom.

    The way Ford did it was a joke.

    As for this Scorpio - yeah, 129HP for $35,275 (for some reason those numbers stick in my head, flog me if they're wrong) was spectacularly unimpressive. The Euro Scorpio/Granada (trunked version) got the 24V Cosworth version which made an only marginally better 210HP. I know an EFI 302 fits, I don't know if a DOHC Coyote crate motor would.

    Parts availability is going to suck harder than one of Bill Clinton's girlfriends, so I advise cultivating contacts in Northern Europe.

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  5. These would have way cool junior if they had the SHO engine. I could go on all day about blown opportunities for legendary 80's cars that could have been easily created. 3.1 Maclaren Turbo Fiero, Super Coupe powered mustang, a 3rd Gen Trans Am with a 350 + manual option...

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  6. Have to echo Sloth's comment about electrical "gremlins." Had one, loved it, but a periodic ground fault would absolutely halt everything. Try to get one of these diagnosed at a L-M dealer, in S. FL no less. Traded it on a Volvo 940 wagon to a salesman who, sight unseen, thought he'd put one over on me. Thank goodness it started for the trip to the dealer to abandon, I mean, trade it in.

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  7. It snows one day in Oregon, and that's when the seller takes pictures?

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  8. Ok, sorry ls haters, but imagine...ls swap, taurus badges (even most guys who sort of know cars would believe its a taurus)...super sleeper.

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    1. Sleeper, how?

      You're badging one slow car as another slow car? These things managed a whole 129HP or so, right in line with the contemporaneous BMW 528e. You'd have to work hard to find a car in the present market that was as slow 0-60 as those were then.

      And, no, it doesn't look like a Taurus, notably because it's a hatchback where the Taurus was a three-box sedan. It looks no more like a Gen 1 Taurus than the Jag S-type looked like a Gen 3 Taurus, or the Holden Pontiac GTO looked like a Chevy Cavalier. A few shared design concepts, but completely different in proportions.

      Makes all the difference. The Gen 1 Taurus was actually pretty well proportioned for a front-driver, but it still had a lot of nose overhang compared to most RWD products.

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    2. 10 seconds to 60. I remember because I wanted dad to get an Acura legend because it made it in a little over 8. Being a young road&track reader it's all I cared about. The reality is that the Scorpio was a great highway car and my father spent a tremendous amount of time in the car. 10 seconds wasn't horrible when this car was built and it will still take a Mitsubishi Golf cart.

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    3. Lets say you get beat by a car youve never heard of. "Meh" you say, "guess those are fast then" anyone gets beat by a taurus, they say "great sampsons beard, ive been bested by a taurus". Since you gotta call me out here, go find some random non car person and ask them if they made a hatchback taurus. Ill wait.

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  9. I bought that car. Can't wait to do my Sho/T5 swap. Also own an Xr-4ti. Dollar per dollar for performance you cant beat Merkur. Check out Merkurdesktop.com

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    1. Merkur buyer -- send some more photos and info to tips@dailyturismo.com, we'd love to do a follow-up story or a reader ride feature if you are interested.
      Thanks,
      Vince
      DT Editor

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  10. Ok, haven't figured how to nav to this blog on you website though.

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