Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Craiglist Literary Finds: A tale of two Scorpios

If you don't know the history of Merkur (pronounced "Fail-yer")--Ford's attempt to rebadge European Fords for domestic consumption--I'll spare you the details. Just know that it didn't work and most examples have long since been dragged to the crusher.

Merkur built the Scorpio in the 1988 and 1989 model years and it could be considered rare, albeit non-collectible. Let's take a look at two that examples we found in a recent Craigslist search.

The first Scorpio comes to us from an unlisted part of the Kansas City metro area: 

"Selling my Scorpio that runs and drives. It is what I consider 99% rust free. Leaks oil (valve covers oil pan gasket). Tires have 98% tread. Have new KYB shocks and struts. Installed 1 strut and noticed it could use some bushings. Have a lot of extra and spare parts to go with it. Including an extra working transmission. AC clutch fell apart but have a whole extra AC system that comes with it. Has clear KS title and is currently registered and insured. Has the common dead odometer issue so no idea what the real mileage is but it is 135k+. Someone stole the muffler thinking it was the catalytic converter. I have one that will go with it.

If this ad is still up then it is still available."

This is what we expect from a 24-year-old Merkur. $1,100 is an entirely reasonable price for any car, let alone a worn-out car that you could totally rebadge Scorpio.

Anyway, the photos tell the real story.

Figure 1: Here we see a child symbolically taking out the garbage. Coincidence? If I learned one thing from the bevy of comparative literature courses I took in college, it's that Sudoku gets easier the more you do. Then there's some kind of stuff about juxtaposition and symbolism or something. I don't know...stop bothering me, I'm trying to figure out where the damn 6 goes.

Exhibit B: The interior looks like the owner used it feed goats.

So that's a fairly typical Scorpio: Needs some fairly major repairs, but you'll notice most Merkurs keep a cache of spares handy.

As someone who's at least passively interested in buying a Scorpio, you know you're not going to find a pristine example or one that is tricked out or anything because no one in their right mind would do that with Merkur's "luxury" model...

...or would they?

The second Scorpio smacks of quirky indulgence: Super-shiny alloy wheels, well-kept interior and the kicker: a green-to-purple chamelon paint job.

"1989 Merkur Scorpio 4 Door with a 'one-of-a-kind' custom Chameleon Paint from Green to Purple, Excellent Condition a Must See, PRICE REDUCED, original asking $15,000.00 NOW $10,000.00 or Best Offer. NO Paypal transactions. Financing available.

125,000 miles all Original Owner

24 mpg
V-6 Auto Overdrive Transmission
Power Rack & Pinion Sterring
McPherson Front Struts
4 Wheel Power Disc Brakes
Original Leather Interior
Stero Radio, Disc & Tape Player
Air Conditioning
Extra Transmission Cooling for sustained high speed driving
Power Seats Front & Rear and Heated Front Seats"

Luckily, the price has been reduced to a mere $10,000, down 33 percent from the original asking price of $15,000. That's a big drop, but it's also a lot of money, even for a "one-of-a-kind" example. 

Oh, that's what it looks like when you don't feed the interior to a goat. Not bad, really.
We're particularly interested to note that the miles are all from the original owner, which makes us wonder when during this car's ownership it was glossed up like a chameleon. 

It's all a bit odd to see this on a car that, viewed in profile, looks like a first-generation Ford Taurus that's been rear-ended and shortened by a foot or two.

It's a Euro-Taurus, which can't be any worse than Euro Disney, right?

Yet there it is, what can almost certainly be considered the nicest Merkur Scorpio on Earth.

How much is that worth to you? We'll bet that it's worth $10,000 to someone.

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