Euro Ford Survivor: 1989 Merkur Scorpio – SOLD!
October 30th Update: We just confirmed the private seller of this ’89 Merkur Scorpio deleted their Craigslist ad, so we’re now able to call this one “Sold!” This one may have got away, but if you have your heart set on something similar, email us the details of what you’re looking for or call Rudy directly at (908)295-7330.
There are some cars from the Radwood era that are instantly recognizable despite not being sales leaders when new. Ford’s decision to import two models from its European lineup resulted in the sporty XR4Ti and luxury-themed Scorpio coming stateside and quickly developing a cult following. This super clean 1989 Merkur Scorpio is listed recently on Craigslist in Orlando, Florida in surprisingly nice condition with minimal faults at the moment, and a cheap asking price of just $1,750. Comparing this price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has priced his Merkur accurately, with a “Good” condition example valued at $1,700.
The influx of badge-engineered cars brought over by American automakers is somewhat staggering when you think about it – not because of the volume, but because it represented a desperate attempt to plug a hole in their lineups that the Big 3 didn’t see coming. In the 1970s, it was the fuel crisis and the explosive popularity of Japanese cars. In the 1980s, it was a shift in personal tastes for European models and the prestige of a badge. The Merkurs were an attempt to jazz up Ford’s domestic lineup with a turbocharged performance car and fully loaded luxo-liner – that car would be the Merkur Scorpio. Despite generous standard features and handsome looks, it wasn’t the sales phenom Ford had hoped for, and it was pulled from the marketplace after a brief appearance.
While the Merkurs still show up with some regularity, more often than not they are the XR4Ti variety, the rear-wheel drives hatchback with a bi-plane wing and non-intercooled engine from the Mustang SVO. While the XR4Ti was to go head to head with the likes of the VW GTI and Nissan 300ZX, the Scorpio had its sights set on the BMW 3-Series of the same era. Loaded with leather, automatic climate control, reclining rear seats, power moonroof, and more, the Scorpio was filled to the brim with equipment luxury car shoppers craved. This example appears to be as straight as they can come, with no evidence of alterations from its showroom configuration aside from the mention of a CD player. The price is certainly right if you want a dirt-cheap entry into Radwood-approved vehicle ownership, so good luck with the purchase if you take this pretty survivor home.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“1989 MERKUR SCORPIO V6 – 85k miles, VERY NICE Condition, non-smoker. Reliable daily driver or great project/collector car. Made in Germany by Ford and imported by Lincoln in the late 80’s as a premium sedan to compete with BMW and Mercedes. Engine, transmission etc are all Ford (same as V6 Ranger). Parts are readily available and cheap. Fun car to tinker with. New battery and driveshaft coupler. Runs and drives nicely, a/c blows warm but the belt is missing – may just be a belt or may need a compressor. Powerful V6, Power EVERYTHING – front seats, reclining rear seats, windows, locks, alarm, automatic climate control, AM/FM/CD/Cassette FORD Premium sound system, power glass moonroof, Nautilus Gray Metallic exterior with Charcoal Leather upholstery, ABS, Automatic Transmission, Exceptionally nice and reliable car for the money!!! Original mats, books, key and clean/clear title included. Any taxes or tag fees are the responsibility of the buyer. Asking $1,750 for fast sale. Ready for new owner. Call Chris anytime.“
Do you have a Merkur Scorpio story you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!
I HAVE HAD TWO SCORPIOS. A 1988 AND A 1989. THE ’89 WAS A KEEPER. NOTHING WRONG WITH THE FORST ONE, JUST PREFERED THE ’89. IT HAD MOST EVERYTHING THESE NEW ”LUXURY’ CARS HAVE, EXCEPT MORE HP’S.
BUT IT DID OK. I CONSTANTLY POLISHED AND TOOK CARE OF THAT CAR. LOVED IT. BOUGHT IT FOR $5,000 IN 1999. LATER SOLD IT FOR $6,000. DROVE IT FROM RALEIGH, NC TO SAN DIEGO, CALIF. AND BACK. COMFORTABLE ALL THE WAY. DID 1,000 MILES PER DAY GETTING TO SAN DIEGO. IF I GOT TIRED I WOULD PULL OVER AT A REST STOP. GET IN THE BACK RECLINING SEAT AND SLEPT.
EVERYWHERE I WENT PEOPLE WOULD ASK ABOUT MY CAR. IT WAS A HIT. TO BE SURE. I WOULD LOVE ANOTHER ONE. AS LONG AS IT WAS AS NICE AS THE ONES I HAD. MODERN DAY COMFORT AT A GREAT PRICE. MINE WAS ALL BLACK OF COURSE. WITH THAT GREAT BLACK BREATHABLE LEATHER. VERY COMFORTABLE. WHOMEVER RODE IN THE BACK WAS ALWAYS REMARKING HOW RELAXED AND COMFORTABLE THEY FELT.
I WAS REALLY PROUD OF THAT MERKUR SCORPIO. ALWAYS WILL BE. REASON I SOLD IT. MOVED TO SOUTH AMERICA. LIMA PERU. WHERE WE ARE NOW.
IF YOU EVER GET A CHANCE TO BUY ONE. GO FOR IT. JUST BE CAREFUL AND MAKE SURE THE GUIBO IS OKAY. THAT’S THE ROUND RUBBER ”DONUT”’ THAT GOES TO THE TRANSMISSION FROM THE DRIVESHAFT.
THANKS FOR LETTING ME TELL YOU ABOUT ONE OF THE BEST CARS I EVER BOUGHT. ”NOW, GO GET YOURS”. SINERELY, BOB