Unexceptional Classics

Unexceptional Classifieds: Ford Sierra

by Antony Ingram
28 June 2024 2 min read
Unexceptional Classifieds: Ford Sierra
Photos courtesy Modus Motors

Price: £11,000
Mileage: 15,600
Condition: Fresh from its jelly mould
Advert: eBay

For every culture, you’ll find a counter-culture, and for every fad and fashion, someone who’ll deliberately go against the grain. From the 1960s hippy movement, through minimalists shedding their lives of modern clutter, to Zoomers ditching polished and always-online smartphone snaps for fuzzy mid-aughts digicams, you don’t have to look far to find people wanting to distance themselves from the status quo.

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The classic car hobby feels a bit like this sometimes, too. Classics have always been fun, a little window into the past, something to tinker with. But as modern cars increasingly become wheeled computers (up to and including being powered exclusively by electricity), a world without screens, without dozens of features you’ll never use, and without the slightly disquieting sensation of being connected ‘to the cloud’, begins to look all the more appealing.

1985 Ford Sierra profile

With that in mind, may we present to you this week’s Unexceptional Classified, a 1985 Ford Sierra so basic it doesn’t even have a trim level, and with a gaping double-DIN sized hole in the dashboard that’s the perfect size for . . . not even thinking about putting an Apple CarPlay head unit in.

1985 Ford Sierra double DIN

For sale through Modus Motors in Knottingley, it’s an example of the jellymould Sierra at its purest. The Sierra had been around since 1982, so by 1985 Ford dealers had had a few years to get used to the idea of flogging them over the more conservative Cortina, but we can imagine a few furtive looks when the original buyer of this car waltzed into the showroom and presumably brushed off any attempt to upsell them even to a Sierra ‘L’.

As a result there is just a radio unit (with no cassette deck), the barest fabric upholstery, a simple instrument cluster with a speedometer, fuel gauge, and coolant temperature gauge, wind-up windows front and rear, and outside, a set of 13-inch steel wheels with only some small hubcaps to cover their modesty.

The one extravagance the original buyer made was to opt for 74bhp 1.6-litre Pinto power rather than the basic 59bhp 1.3-litre Pinto, though you’ll note just four numbers on the gear lever between the seats.

Given this level of austerity, the eleven grand being asked for the Sierra is enough to cause a sharp intake of breath, though the market for Sierras this tidy, this low-mileage (15,000), and lacking a big Cosworth whale tail on the back must be something of a captive one. The ad also notes that since the car has been in storage since 2011, they’ll recommission it on receipt of a deposit. We’d probably have them fit a set of new tyres, as those 13-inch Michelins look a bit crumbly to us.

Just imagine the digital detox though. There’s nothing in this Sierra to concentrate on other than the act of driving. For a car that was once the default choice for tens of thousands of motorists up and down the country, a basic Sierra like this now almost seems like a counter-culture icon.

1985 Ford Sierra rear

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