If the headline had been a bit shorter this would almost count as a micropost.
Not only did Ford make a 4×4 Sierra in XR trim, they also sold it in a calmer and cheaper GLS format. This is a 2.9 litre V6 four-wheel drive family car. I didn’t find any for sale so those few Ford sold are now all rust or converted to XR fakes. Off the top of my head, the combination of six-cylinder power and four-wheel drive didn’t appear on many other contemporary saloons apart from the Scorpio and the ’86-’93 BMW 325iX. The Vectra had a 2.0 turbo. That’s it then, for competitors, as far as I can see.
And Ford produced an interesting proposition. I imagine the Sierra could keep up with Land Rovers with little effort, so long as the LR didn’t drive onto a mountain, that is.
The late 80s witnessed a slew of 4×4 saloons (we have discussed the Mitsubishi Galant here). This is the first time we’ve mentioned the Ford interpretation of the genre. Are there any around? Not as such. I did find a Sierra Ghia 4×4 as a project car. The text which I will reproduce is very Myles Gorfe: “Hi I am selling my project Ford Sierra sapphire 4×4 Ghia 2l dohc 1991. Selling as I no longer have the cash to finish it due to change of plans. I brought the car from a bloke who had it in his drive way for 7 years, said the head gasket had gone but when I took the head off and put it back together I realised the engine was seized. So after a lot of digging I found a engine that was low miles 92k, and this is now in the car. I have also put a new clutch kit and timing chain, given it a Service and a semi rebuild. I have also replaced lots of new parts including, clutch cable, starter motor, prop shaft, battery, plugs and leads. The car starts stops and drives.
It’s in need of someone with the know-how and the patience to bring it back to its prime, needs tidying up. The underneath is solid no rot or rust. Body work is OK considering its age. It has new boot lid as you can see in pictures is a different colour. Also have Cosworth door rubbers. They’re in a box not on the car. Inside need good clean this car does need work it’s no show car and needs to be trailered away as hasn’t been on the road in 7 years, no MOT. There are lots of spare parts in the boot. These are getting very very rare now and I done checks on them and the Internet says there’s only 17 left on the road.”
The part of the text in the advert I like is the honest line: “The new Sierra GLS 4×4 brings the advantages of the system further down the price range”. I wonder what advertising for the Ghia claimed. “The new Sierra Ghia 4×4 keeps the high price of the XR but replaces the wild styling with beige velour and real wood door-cappings” perhaps.
I feel I might want to track down a period review of this car or a variant and see what the press thought. Pretty much the entire concept behind the Sierra GLS 4×4 is obsolete: Ford don’t major in family saloons like they did; the trim hierarchy has been bulldozed; the 4×4 mania has moved to CUVs and downsizing has killed the mainstream six cylinder engine.
Wait! If you like the 4×4 V6 format you can still get a Jaguar X-type. That’s more Ghia than GLS too.