Lost Offspring: 1989 Merkur Scorpio

The Merkur Scorpio was the second and last model offered by the short-lived spin-off brand from Ford.

Merkur had some moderate success with the two-door XR4Ti, and apparently it was enough for Ford executives to justify adding another model. Like the XR4Ti, the Scorpio was based on a European counterpart, in this case the same-named Ford Scorpio. They were modest front-engine, rear-wheel drive family cars, nothing special.

Styling is intriguing, and in some ways it looked better than the European version. The blackened c-pillars give the car a streamlined, futuristic look, and make the plentiful greenhouse glass airy and appealing. Four-door hatchback bodies are quite rare but the sloped lift gate back is handled well. Note the gratuitous use of red plastic for the taillights, a classic late '80s design trend. That said, the overall smooth jellybean shape and stance has aged well.

Engine-wise they were equipped with an adequate but by no means powerful 2.9-litre V6 engine. The vast majority were mated to automatic transmissions, but it's believed around 60 came with stick shifts.

The seller states the vehicle has 109, 344 miles and has been in the family for over 20 years. They say the leather has no rips but the car was not originally black. Mechanically, they say it's been sitting indoors but the a/c doesn't work and the transmission has problems. They say potential buyers should expect to not be able to drive it away.

Apparently only 8,765 Merkur Scorpio were made in 1989.  These are a minor footnote in the history of Ford, but they do have a devoted cult following. Still, they have absolutely no inherent collector value and are going for dirt cheap these days, if they haven't already been junked. If you want to drive an obscure car that will be the only one on the block, you might want to check this one out.

Find it here on craigslist in Imperial, Missouri for $1,000.

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