The XR4Register Profile - Marcus Collins aka 'Smiler'
Ford Sierra XR4x4 3.0
Photo Gallery for Marcus Collins XR4x4
The story goes.. I have now owned 4 XR4x4's (3 mk1's and a mk2, all 2.8's) my first ownership was back in '96 ish. My first 4be (a white mk1) turned out to be a bit of a mix n match car, with mk2 interior, doors, hatch and rear bumper with a cossie front grille. That car was my learning curve for 4x4's. I kept it going for a few years then eventually I sold it on.
It was a few years on when I got an urge to get another 4x4 after going to shows like Ford Fair (as Joe public) and wishing I still had one. So, I looked around and found one in 2002 in Mercury Grey. It was not too far from home and didnt need too much work to start. This was when I joined the XROC but not knowing anyone in the club I stayed quiet at first.
The need for more power/response was on the top of my list so a trip to
Specialised Engines in late 2003 and just under 3k later I had a 3.0+ stage2 in it. This was when my bad luck hit me in the face. I returned from work one night to find the car on it's side and the passenger door looking like a bomb had gone off in it!! Long story but it turned out that some thieving scums were trying to get the safe out of the office and my car was in the way so they hot wired the fork lift and hoofed it out their way!!
With this I had to strip the car of anything worth keeping, especially my engine which hadn't even done the 2k run in period ! I had to look for another car. I didn't really know if I wanted another one after what happened so just kept an eye out in case a good one came up. I then found a mk2 2.8 which happened to be an ex-XROC members car (by luck) which I thought was a good-ish car but turned out to be a bit if a dog unfortunately. It sat in my garage for a few months while I decided what I wanted to do. Then, after another few months, a mk1 came up on Fleabay in Oct 2004 and I just had this hunch that this was the one. It was also red (my favourite colour) but the only problem was it was miles away and I couldn't view it before bidding. I eventually won the bid (with help from my Mrs, as I was at work when the auction ended) at £860 and arranged to collect the car.
The hunch turned out to be a great hunch and in my eyes, a good bargain. It had a little issue with an old crash damage repair to one of the rear arches, a rear door that would need attention at some point and some nasty alloys. Apart from that, it was great car with only two owners. The first owner had it about 17 years from new then the chap I bought it from had it for 6 mths.
After the long drive home with a big smile on my face, I set out a plan of attack: I sold the mk2 to make room for the new purchase in my garage. Then in Feb 2005 I got the car booked into a body shop to get the repairs done and a few other minor jobs which included a set of RS skirts being fitted. The rear door was beyond saving so was replaced with one I took off the trashed car and the arch was replaced with a new one. I then purchased some new alloys
from Ford (15" RS 7 Spoke soft effect) to add to the refreshed look.
It was then a case of cleaning, more cleaning and adding a little bling as I went along to get it ready for shows. My first ever show was FITP 2005 where I finally came out of hiding and met a few people from the club and got some nice appreciated comments about the car. It was a good feeling finally having a car on show instead of being on the 'other side of the fence' as they say.
I then attended Ford Fair 2005 and met some more people from the XROC and chatted to a few people from the XR4 Register, and that was that for 2005. The car was then taken off the road for the winter months so I could set about getting my 3.0L engine into it.
Finally, with some long weekends and a lot of hard work in the confined
space of my little garage, the job got done. While I was at it the whole front end was refreshed with new suspension, brakes, calipers and goodridge hoses. Everything else was either shot blasted, repainted or replaced with new. I also found some retro RS seven spokes on Ebay that where new old stock which I just had to have. I've always liked them and had them on the car that got trashed but they weren't good enough to put on this car as one was buckled too.
I started 2006 with more or less a new front end, new wheels and at last my 3.0ltr stage 2 breathing again. Unfortunately I missed the XR4 Register's
first event which was the rolling road event because the car was still being finished. However, I made it to FITP 2006, just getting the MOT the Thursday
before the show !
2006 was a good year for me show wise and I did a few more shows with the XR4 Register and the XROC. I received some more great comments on the work I've carried out so far which keeps you more enthusiastic to keep at it, but the plan is to do a lot more in 2007.
Future plans include getting the rear end of the car up to scratch with the front and some more mods to the engine so watch this space.
Last updated: 23.11.06