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 £20, a water pump is £30, a dizzy comes in at under £70 and a clutch kit is £80. 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
Recorded mileage: 48,000
Year registered: 1986
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £3,995
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