1983 Ford Sierra BASE (Poverty/UN Spec)

1983 Ford Sierra BASE (Poverty/UN Spec)

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BorniteIdentity

Original Poster:

1,029 posts

97 months

Tuesday 9th January 2018
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Hello.

I know.

At first glance, it looks like I don’t belong here.

I’m acutely aware that I stand out like the proverbial "fart in a lift", and that my best days are probably behind me. I know my wheels are small and my appeal smaller - that my rear bumper is from a Nissan and that the dents in my side make you wince. I’ve heard it all before.

However, as the most unremarkable car on Pistonheads, my story is anything but. I think it’s worthy of being told.

Far from being a cherished garage queen, I’ve spent the majority of my life ‘earning my keep’. amongst other things, I’ve been a taxi, a decorators van and transport to an evangelical church on a Sunday. My previous owner didn’t maintain me, more ‘sustain’ me. (My windscreen wiper mechanism used to feature a dishcloth from the kitchen, and until recently only had two matching wheels.)



What is miraculous though, is that I still exist.

1983 Ford Sierra 1.6 Base Hatchback by Jamie-A, on Flickr

A bit like the demise of “The Corrs”, nobody can quite put their finger on the exact moment that all Ford Sierras disappeared from the roadside. Gradually though, they did - only to reappear years later as callously ‘improved’ Cosworth replicas or as Rumbelows Fridge Freezers.

However, something extraordinary happened to me.

Nothing.

I just kept on being used. Driven as intended. I’ve aged gracefully without interference or improvement, and have been ‘just a car’ for nearly 35 years now.


As I gently slipped from middle to old age, something else happened. People would come to see me. Not at shows or in museums, but at the side of an anonymous looking road in Clapton, North London. People would travel miles - just to see ME! I know right?! Madness.

1983 Ford Sierra 1.6 (base model) by Sim's pics, on Flickr

Sierra. by Jamie-A, on Flickr


If this is the first time you’ve seen one like me, here’s my Curriculum Vitae:

1.6 pinto with (count them) 4 gears
No radio
No cigarette lighter
No headrests
No rear windscreen wiper
No intermittent front wipers
No clock
No central locking
No electric windows
No rev counter
No wheel trims (just hub caps)
No body mouldings or rubbing strips
No rear seat belts

And of course I have the iconic:

Grey grille
Dangly mirrors

I am the absolute antithesis of the Ford Sierra Cosworth. Everything IT is, I am not. In reality, the Ford Sierra Base had the accolade of being both unloved by the buying public AND the dealers who tried to sell us. I was rare then, and I’m unheard of now.

In 2016 I was purchased by a consortium of masochists from the Autoshi*e car forum, in order to be saved from an uncertain future. I have had considerable work done recently in order to secure my viability for the future, little of which has or ever will be cosmetic. Please rest assured that, whilst looking a bit worse for wear, I am loved dearly by my new owner. You can follow my (lack of) progress at https://sierrabase.wordpress.com

I am now enjoying my retirement in leafy and salubrious Cambridgeshire, a far cry from the rough and tumble of North London.

Ford Sierra Base by Bornite Identity, on Flickr

As my owner always says, “I am what I am”. A forgotten curiosity of the 1980s. Think of me as white dog poo; just a bit more enjoyable to step into.




(Only by a fine margin).

1983 Ford Sierra Base by Bornite Identity, on Flickr

RC1807

10,323 posts

135 months

Tuesday 9th January 2018
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laugh
Bravo!
Well done indeed, sir.

Have a virtual pint beer

ShampooEfficient

4,083 posts

178 months

Tuesday 9th January 2018
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That is terrific!

steve-5snwi

5,730 posts

60 months

Tuesday 9th January 2018
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Great post, despite all the love for the XR's and RS models its a shame that the ones that actually sold in their thousands are the ones that are the rarest of them all.

Any interior pictures, how many times has it been to the moon .....

JakeT

4,211 posts

87 months

Tuesday 9th January 2018
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What a lovely old thing. The sort of car that used to transport Britain, to the usual mundane, like the shops, swimming lessons and everywhere in between. Love the lack of any refinements. But there's less to break then!

God speed old Sierra.

rossw46

1,278 posts

127 months

Tuesday 9th January 2018
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Well done chap, for saving the old dear, and writing an enjoyable post.

Raoul Duke

922 posts

130 months

Tuesday 9th January 2018
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clap
Well done that man, it's a miracle it's survived this long and great that it's going to kept "as is" - the ying to a Cosworth yang.

davebem

711 posts

144 months

Tuesday 9th January 2018
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Thats achingly cool, perhaps interesting subject for a new thread: cars with the biggest spec differences..

MarkwG

3,138 posts

156 months

Tuesday 9th January 2018
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Well done sir! Reminds me of my dads, that was the camo dark blue, I think his was the "L" version, as it featured headrests, those dinner plate wheel trims & a fag lighter. Might be the bravest motoring decision he ever made...well, discounting the green Avenger, I guess.

rossub

3,240 posts

157 months

Tuesday 9th January 2018
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Brilliantly written smile

BorniteIdentity

Original Poster:

1,029 posts

97 months

Tuesday 9th January 2018
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Thanks for all the positive comments. Amusingly, it's always a hit at car shows/meets with the fairer sex. Most girls I know think highly of their Dads, Most Dads had Ford Sierras, and therefore it's quite a magnet for 30 something females!

The original plan was just to sustain the car as best as possible. However, the NSR quarter panel had actually rusted through as can be seen in some of the pictures on Flickr. The front wing had also been the victim of the most bizarre bruising, and the best solution was to just replace both panels and have them done once and done properly. The quarter panel is a genine Ford NOS item, and the wing is a pattern part. Ken, my man with the paint, reassured me that these replica panels have come a long way and, at £50, not to think twice. When I collected the car, he said it took him 3 hours just to get it to sit right!!


Ford Sierra Base - during replacement panels and paint. July 2017. by Bornite Identity, on Flickr

Ford Sierra Base - during replacement panels and paint. July 2017. by Bornite Identity, on Flickr


I've actually NEVER had any bodywork done like this on a car, and it was a treat to see it being done. The finished result was really pleasing, although some have remarked that they liked the cars original 'patina'. Being realistic, it just wasn't a sensible thing to ignore it. As panels come up, I'm buying them now as they're unlikely to become easier to source.

Ford Sierra Base - after replacement panels and paint. July 2017. by Bornite Identity, on Flickr

Ford Sierra Base by Bornite Identity, on Flickr

Ford Sierra Base. Waresley, Cambridgeshire. by Bornite Identity, on Flickr

Bellini

768 posts

118 months

Tuesday 9th January 2018
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Fantastic!

More pictures, please.

And more of that fabulous writing. And updates.

J4CKO

34,144 posts

167 months

Tuesday 9th January 2018
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Wow, that is a rare old bird, rarely see any kind of Sierra, and when it is a Cosworth. Funny how back in the 80s, a Sierra like this was so unremarkable and looked down on as it didnt have the later headlights or even a body coloured surround, its very plainess is what makes it special now, you only see that original front now in old Ford press films or an occasional glimpse in the background of an old Auf Wiedersehen Pet or something,

http://www.imcdb.org/vehicle_459253-Ford-Sierra.ht...

seiben

2,073 posts

101 months

Tuesday 9th January 2018
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Superb! How many miles?

essayer

7,374 posts

161 months

Tuesday 9th January 2018
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Love this! Can’t remember the last time I saw a Sierra let alone one with that grille

p4cks

5,647 posts

166 months

Tuesday 9th January 2018
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What a great thread.

Dare I ask the mileage?

BorniteIdentity

Original Poster:

1,029 posts

97 months

Tuesday 9th January 2018
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seiben said:
Superb! How many miles?
Excellent question!

An excellent question indeed!!

And, err, I'm glad you asked it.

Well.

Hmm.

Probably 153k. It just has a 5 digit ODO, it's unlikely to have done 253k and almost certainly hasn't done just 53k. It drives remarkably well all told; it even has the original VV carburetor fitted. They are much maligned but robust and very simple to live with. I got quite close to replacing it with a Weber unit at the end of last year as cold starting is becoming increasingly difficult, but for the time being it will stay.

OldGermanHeaps

2,993 posts

145 months

Tuesday 9th January 2018
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Have you adjusted the tappets recently? If they aren't right you won't get enough vacuum on cranking, the vv doesn't deal with that well.

BorniteIdentity

Original Poster:

1,029 posts

97 months

Tuesday 9th January 2018
quotequote all
OldGermanHeaps said:
Have you adjusted the tappets recently? If they aren't right you won't get enough vacuum on cranking, the vv doesn't deal with that well.
My chum did them last summer, along with the cam belt, whilst I attended to the rocker gasket and thermostat.







The best way to describe the improvements? Well, I can now hear people's laughter as I drive past - and I can also hear that it's still a Pinto. Best of both worlds.

Boobonman

5,580 posts

159 months

Tuesday 9th January 2018
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Genuinely cannot remember the last time I had this much want for a car on this forum 😘