The other XR8 - P6 LTD

The other XR8

The XR series of cars from the Ford Motor Company has carried the torch for everything from out and out, no holds barred musclecars, through to sophisticated boulevard cruisers or cute barchettas.

Most U.K. folk will be familiar with the XR2, the XR3 and the XR4, even the XR4x4, and Australians will know the XR6 and the XR8, but there were others, and I want to show some photos of the other XR8.

XR2 - in the U.K. we know the XR2 as the Fiesta, in both MkI and MkII versions. In Australia, the XR2 is a small, two seat, barchetta convertible, based on a Mazda 323, and it was sold in America as the Mercury Capri XR2.

XR3 - in the U.K. the XR3, and the XR3i were based on the MkIII fwd Escort. But in the U.S. Mercury sold a version of the first U.S. Ford Escort, which was the U.Kís MkIII, and called it the Lynx, and sold itís sport derivative as the Mercury Lynx XR3.

XR4 - in the U.K. we know the XR4i as the original three door derivative of the Ford Sierra, powered by the 2.8 litre fuel injected Cologne V6 engine. This was followed by the XR4x4 Sierra, similarily powered by the 2.8 litre V6 engine, but based on the five door bodyshell with four wheel drive. In the U.S. they had the Merkur XR4Ti, which was a German built three door, powered by a fuel injected and turbocharged version of the 2.3litre four cylinder Pinto engine.

XR5 - yes, there was an XR5 ! The Mercury Topaz XR5 based on Mercuryís version of the Ford Tempo and powered by either a 2.3 litre injected four cylinder, or a 3.0 litre injected V6.

XR6 - this is where things get interesting. The Tickford tuned falcon XR6, powered by Ford Australiaís long lived straight six engine has been around for many years now, but, it wasnít the first XR6 The Cortina XR6 was based on the MkV Cortina fitted with the 3.0 litre Essex V6 engine and built and sold in South Africa. It was superseded by the Sierra XR6 also fitted with the 3.0 litre Essex V6, originally carburettored, but later fuel injected.

XR7 - Mercury has used the XR7 badge for its top of the range Cougar since 1967 up until the last Cougar - sold in the U.K. as the Ford Cougar. In its muscle hey day, powered by a vast assortment of monumental V8s, through the dark years in the late seventies to re-emerge in the 80s with either turbo four cylinder sophistication - the 2.3 litre - or V8 grunt - the ubiquitous 302ci or 5.0 - it failed to make the transition to the fwd model of 1998.

XR8 - The Australian Falcon XR8 was another Tickford engine tuned and suspension tweaked version of its Falcon through the AU model, but is now built in-house by Ford themselves with the current BA range. However, like with the XR6ís, Ford in South Africa were there first with their Sierra XR8.

In 1984, Ford South Africa built 250 Sierra XR8s so that they could homologate the car for use in local saloon car racing.

They fitted a 302ci V8 engine with no emission controls from that yearís Mustang GT, complete with four barrel Holley carburettor, and a five speed manual gearbox.

And used a myriad of off the shelf and bespoke parts to create the car. For example, Granada twin cooling fans, Granada differential but with Sierra hubs requiring special stub axles, A.P. front brakes from the U.K. but Teves rear brakes from Germany, and special, and unique, Ronal wheels.

This particular car has been in the U.K. for many years, and is a regular visitor to many classic car shows. It may not be an Australian Ford, but it certainly is a rare and little known Commonwealth one, and worthy of mention.

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Speaking of cars worthy of mention, here are some photos of the great Australian P6, LTD. This was the top of the range Ford of itís time, and possibly the most prestigious Ford ever. Suitably imposing, it dominated the domestic luxury market. It is easy to see why.

There was also a special edition of the P6, known as the Silver Monarch, which featured silver paint, a silver vinyl roof and red velour seats.

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