Archive for January, 2016

Steamy Spittie – 1969 Triumph Spitfire

January 30, 2016

With all the recent attention given to Alfa, Porsche, and Jaguar sports cars, you’d be excused for forgetting about some of the more accessible British sports cars, like the Triumph Spitfire. With five generations of Spitfire stretching over 18 years, there are plenty of flavors to choose from , starting with the slow and simple Spitfire 4 and finishing with the slow and complicated Spitfire 1500. The Spitfire Mark III is arguably one of the better renditions, retaining the more popular styling of the Mark I-III cars and gaining a proper folding top, a larger 1296cc engine with 8hp more (and presumably a bump in torque), though 7hp of this were lost to emissions regulations by 1969. The instrument panel was no longer center-mounted, moving to a traditional placement in front of the driver. Let’s take a look at this 1969 Triumph Spitfire for sale for $2500 in Yachats, OR.

1969 Triumph Spitfire right front

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From Aliens – 1989 Ford Probe GT

January 29, 2016

So if you had a sports coupe with reasonably attractive, contemporary styling and a fun turbocharged drivetrain, you’d definitely want to name it after something unpleasant aliens to do people they’ve abducted, right? Meant to be a replacement for the successful Capri in Europe, as well as the less-successful EXP in North America, and possibly the Mustang, it’s maybe better seen as a replacement for (or contemporary of) the Merkur XR4Ti featured yesterday. Of course, the Probe, built on Mazda’s GD platform and shared with the MX-6 and 626, is a lower-powered, front-wheel-drive car without some of the European charm, but thanks to attrition it’s become a pretty unusual sight on the roads itself. Check out this 1989 Ford Probe GT for sale for $2000 in Puyallup, WA.

1989 Ford Probe GT left side

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Big Brother to XR2 and XR3 – 1987 Merkur XR4Ti

January 28, 2016

Nowadays, people don’t blink twice at weird model names. There are plenty of offenders, but BMW’s naming scheme is probably among the worst, which is how you end up with the BMW X5 Xdrive40d. Would it have been so horrible to call it the X535is? It’s enough to make you pine for the days when CR-X HF or XR4Ti was considered awkward, never mind the simplicity in names like Sentra XE. Nonetheless, for a make and model that were new to the American market, the marketing machine that was and is Ford could have definitely done something a little more evocative than a jumble of numbers and letters, which did their best to disguise the virtues of a turbo all-wheel drive coupe. Wait, you say it’s not all-wheel drive? But XR4… it has “X” and “4” in the model designation? Which, as it turns out, just designates it as the bigger brother of XR2 and XR3 (Fiesta and Escort, respectively). Let’s take a look at this 1987 Merkur XR4Ti for sale for $1500 in Grandview, WA.

1987 Merkur XR4Ti left rear

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