RE: Ford Sierra 1.6 Laser | Spotted

RE: Ford Sierra 1.6 Laser | Spotted

Tuesday 23rd November

Ford Sierra 1.6 Laser | Spotted

Thought it was only six-figure Sierras left on PH?



No, this Sierra is not some crazy Cosworth, or even an XR4x4 for that matter, but I thought something comparatively (though perhaps not objectively) cheap and cheerful was no bad thing for a change. And they don't come much cheaper and cheerier than a 1986 Ford Sierra Laser with a good-old 1.6-litre 'Pinto' under the bonnet. If ever there was an antidote to "it's all too complicated these days; you need to plug a compooter to do anything' then surely this is it?

This is an engine, after all, that every garage at the back of every side street in every town should have no problem fixing, using nothing more byzantine than a dwell meter, a selection of feeler gauges and, possibly, a short sharp tap with a soft-faced mallet.

And there shouldn't be any difficulty in getting hold of parts, either. After just a quick breeze through the Google entry for 'Pinto parts' I can tell you that head gasket kits are yours from a little over ยฃ20, a water pump is ยฃ30, a dizzy comes in at under ยฃ70 and a clutch kit is ยฃ80. If you're currently restoring a DB5, or some such exotic, and your brain has stopped observing numbers that small, there really is no error or need to add any more zeros.



Not that you will hopefully need to do too much too soon to keep this particular Sierra on the road. It's covered just 48,000 miles, although it's showing 76,000km on account of it being a left-hooker imported from Belgium - where it may well have been born, bearing in mind Sierras were made in Genk. And it comes with what's described as a full service history and some of those lovely little details like two keys complete with the supplying dealer's fob.

The Sierra was really the last bastion of simplicity in terms of its layout, too. A longitudinal engine driving the rear wheels via, in this case, a four-speed manual gearbox. And while I may have written not so long ago about how the Peugeot 405 monstered the Sierra when it came to handling, refinement, ride and, well, pretty much everything else, time is a leveller, as they say, and in 2021 does any of that still matter?

I don't think so. It's just lovely to see a nicely preserved piece of history that brings back sweet memories of the mid-eighties, when life was simpler without emails and iPhones, and Kim Wilde was in her pomp. It's just a feel-good thing. Well, it was for me.


SPECIFICATION | FORD SIERRA 1.6 LASER

Engine: 1,593cc, 4-cylinder, naturally aspirated
Transmission: 4-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 75
Torque (lb ft): 87
CO2: N/A
MPG: N/A
Recorded mileage: 48,000
Year registered: 1986
Price new: N/A
Yours for: ยฃ3,995

See the full ad here


Author
Discussion

Turbobanana

Original Poster:

3,436 posts

172 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Cool car, but the ad seems to be written in Belgian too.

Global Nomad

34 posts

52 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
i remember the shock when these were coming out - the design was so futuristic

Augustus Windsock

2,747 posts

126 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Er I may be wrong of course but weren’t they made in Germany (Cologne?) as well for Europe?
I had a mate at work who only used to buy ones made in one of the locations (can’t remember which tbh) as they seemed to be built better and resisted the onset of ferrous oxide better (he was an engineer before becoming a cop so o bow to his greater knowledge…)

dontlookdown

627 posts

64 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Global Nomad said:
i remember the shock when these were coming out - the design was so futuristic
It was a big departure in styling terms for Ford designers. Uwe Bahnsen? They certainly made a lot of noise in the meeja about how revolutionary the Sierra was.

It did look the part but underneath there were still a lot of anything but revolutionary Cortina bits. Sierras felt heavy and drove like boats compared to just about all their rivals. Reasonably comfy and practical though.

This one does look to be in remarkable fettle.


Puddenchucker

3,078 posts

189 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Global Nomad said:
i remember the shock when these were coming out - the design was so futuristic
Not as futuristic as the concept:




Baldchap

4,811 posts

63 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Did anyone actually want one of these in 1986? The pinto engine was poor on release, answering a question the (IMO mechanically superior) Kent engines didn't ask, and was hugely dated by the mid 80s. It was almost as bad as the CVH engine that followed...

Now that I think about it.l, it's amazing Ford are still in business, given the crap they've punted (or should that be pinted) over the years... laugh

cerb4.5lee

21,003 posts

151 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
It seems odd to me looking at that without a rev counter or a radio. It is proper low spec from a much simpler time for sure. I thoroughly enjoyed the XR4x4s that I had years ago, so I do have a soft spot for the Sierra. I've also driven a few Sapphire Cosworths over the years too. cool

Agent57

937 posts

125 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Not sure why someone would import a LHD Sierra from Belgium in 2020?

My nerdometer clocked that there was no rear wiper either which IIRC a U.K. one would have.

Interesting but nothing more than a curiosity.

Loplop

1,792 posts

156 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
I know it's a bit of a crap boat anchor, but I love the Pinto engine.

Dad had a few cars with them including an RS2000, an A60 Austin Cambridge with a 2.1 stock car engine, a handful of Sierras (I personally think the CVH is crap) and at one point this bizarre kit car that left the factory with a 1.6 Turbo Technics Pinto.

They are a piece of piss to work on and there's that much out there tuning wise for all of the capacities and variations due to their popularity in stock car formulae and kit car usage.

I still think they're the ideal 'first car' engine for someone that is interested in getting their hands dirty.

davidc1

1,273 posts

133 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
I saw an A reg estate in white recently on the A21 bypass. A 2.3 ghia.with the double headlights and the pepperpots alloys.
Looked so tiny.
Cant be many of those left!

waynecyclist

2,104 posts

85 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Shocking to think how modern the Cavalier was in 1986 against this, Sierra's were dated when they were launched.

Agent57

937 posts

125 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
They thought the name change and futuristic styling would disguise the old Cortina platform.

Cavalier went front wheel drive a year before the RWD Sierra launched.

Ford made up for it with the Mondeo. Made the Cavalier and awful Vectra seem old. These things seem to go in cycles.

molineux1980

1,098 posts

190 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
My dad had a Sapphire Azura when I was younger, it looked great and I've happy memories of it as a kid.

I drove it when I passed my test, it had the same 1.6 Pinto and was woefully slow, with a terrible gearbox throw and hefty non power assisted steering.

It ended up being sat under a cover in the garage for ten years when he went though a selection of Fords - A 2 litre Mondeo (Very good), a mk 4 Fiesta ST which was decent, and now he has a Mk 6 Fiesta ST, which i'm hoping to have off him when he comes to sell.

My mom told him the Sierra had to go, he expected to get around £800 for it - It ended up selling for over 5k on ebay. (It was in immaculate condition, albeit over 100,000 miles under it's wheels).

BigChiefmuffinAgain

586 posts

69 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Really struggle to see why anyone would pay £4000 for this. Not sure why anyone would even pay £400.

Emperors new clothes....

Turbobanana

Original Poster:

3,436 posts

172 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Baldchap said:
Did anyone actually want one of these in 1986?:
Yes.

Of course there were better options available but many Brits were still preoccupied with not buying foreign stuff, and Ford was always viewed as British (the irony...).

Ford was particularly talented at making cars just good enough for the market, but no better than they had to be (the Scandinavians have a word for it: Lagom - "just right enough"). The body was a revelation - the chassis was not. Over time the engines got better (well, once they realised the CVH was crap) and by the time the run-out models were on sale they were actually quite good, but woefully dated. My dad had a K-reg 2.0 GT with the twin-cam engine: it was quite an engaging drive, and he bought it because he wanted a new car but wanted RWD, so left it as late as possible to order before the books closed.

Limpet

4,981 posts

132 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
I had a Y reg 1.6L as a second car after the MOT man condemned my Mini.

Gutless, but bakelite 165 section tyres and RWD taught me a heck of a lot about car control on wet roundabouts. Sideways at 20 mph. Happy days! smile

yellowbentines

4,688 posts

178 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
My Dad had one of these in black with the 2.0 engine on a C-reg, one of the few cars he owned that as a kid I thought was cool. It had a tilt and slide sunroof - on a family Ford - in 1985 - luxury!

He changed it for a 1.6 Montego which was always broken.

R50 BPS

476 posts

7 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
I'm sick of Left Hand Drive cars commanding a premium over here, they're pretty much unusable. Yes there are plenty over here that manage just fine, but annoys me more when they're everyday cars we still have over here as RHD, it's an instant no from me when I look at an advert and get to the interior shot to see LHD.

3795mpower

418 posts

101 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
Happy memories of my Dad’s repmobiles,
He had a string of these through the mid 80’s to early 90’s

As a young boy I would always have my head buried in a car
Brochure and we would always have fun correcting the salesmen
On their car specs !

I can tell you that a U.K spec Laser had a sunroof, rear wiper
And 5 speed box, so this truly is poverty spec at its peak !

Ultrafunkula

910 posts

76 months

Tuesday
quotequote all
My dad had a Sierra 2.0 GL, bought to replace the Cortina 2.0 Ghia (which I wrote off for him 6 months after passing my test). He liked it but traded up to a Sierra 2.0 GLSi. I remember them being a bit tail happy with quite a cramped cabin, not bad though.
He briefly attempted to move on to a Mondeo 1.8 but hated the engine so immediately sold it on, kept the Sierra until it died and has had Mercs ever since.