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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Matchbox and Hot Wheels Ford Sierra XR4i

One vehicle that was not appreciated when it first came out in the 1980's was later lauded for it's solid reliability and performance.  That was the Ford Sierra, which also gave birth to aerodynamic cars and the 1986 Ford Taurus.  It's success in the US was not as grand, so most replica's are mostly the Ford Sierra versions, like these two shown here.

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Modern Aerodynamic Car

Ford in Europe needed a replacement for the Ford Cortina and one that was high-tech.  With Ford's experiment with smoother aerodynamics in past concept cars (like the Ford Probe IV) led top management to finally give to Ok to approve one car with this look.  The Ford Sierra was the first in a line of cars from Ford that would later adopt the smooth look of the Sierra.  The look was a love-it-or-hate-it at first, but later started to get accepted by the general public.  The front has a smooth headlight unit with a grille-less look and a lower bumper with integrated signal and foglights.  The sides showed a smooth look with fastback C and D-pillars.  The back had taillights typical in other Ford products (like the Escort), with XR4i models featuring the bi-plane rear spoiler.  The interior has a sporty Euro appeal with bucket seats at front, comprehensive gauges with tachometer and speedometer, and an odd split with the HVAC controls near the driver while the radio is posted low in the dashboard.  The rear hatchback aids in expanding cargo space.  The XR4i, along with all Sierra's, are built in Cologne, Germany, as is the 2.8L V6 producing 148 hp. through a 5-speed manual to the rear wheels on a 4-wheel independent suspension.  The Sierra was sold in the US as the Merkur XR4Ti using the 2.0L Turbo I-4 from the Mustang SVO and Thunderbird Turbo Coupe.  With a pricey tag and an odd new nameplate the Merkur never worked out in the US after four years.  As for the Sierra it was replaced with the Ford Mondeo in 1993.

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Nearly Mint Matchbox coupe

This was the best find out of the few things that I found at a flea market because in a box of badly-worn vehicles, this one came out in good condition with narily a scratch despite the messy paint overspray.  Matchbox and Ford contracted to do this car when Ford release the actual car in 1983.  It's nicely done with clear headlights that are part of the windows, Ford Logo and SIERRA on the front bumper.  The bumpers and lower trims are a sandwich piece between the metal body and plastic lower base with correct drivetrain and suspension layout.  The rear has detailed taillights, SIERRA plate, and check out the logo details on the rear decklid.  The rear spoiler is separate plastic and comes in white (shown) or gray.  The red interior gives a nice touch of sport while showing off the proper details.  The 8-spoke wheels look fantastic on this car as well with a little bit of suspension play.  Matchbox did a good job making this car look great in miniature and it's one I highly recommend getting of you're starting your Ford collection.

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The Corgi

Then there's this Hot Wheels version from 1996 based on the Corgi casting as a 4-door sedan with the same clear headlights as the Matchbox, but uses a 4-door hatch without the rear bi-wing and taillights that are part of the red interior.  Also it has a trailer hitch, but it has little purpose.  Unlike most other Hot Wheels Corgi castings this one has at least something instead of nothing on the base.  The cool feature is the doors to show off an interior with equivalent details in comparison to the Matchbox version.  This is probably, in my opinion, one of the finest Corgi retools of the Hot Wheels line of 1996-1997.

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1 comment:

  1. How do I get my hands on a Matchbox 1:64 Corgi Ford Sierra?