My 1990 2.0 GLX - 'Taz'

This was my final Sierra, a 1990 ("'90 spec") Sierra Sapphire GLXi, nicknamed by my children 'Taz' because of her paint colour: Tazman Blue.


As GLX's go, she's was an early one - but rather well specified for the year. When new, her first owner went down the options list and had practically every one: ABS, power Steering, fuel-injected DOHC engine (non-Ghia specification 2.0 cars of this period were usually fitted carburettor'd DOHC engines), heated front windscreen, metallic paint.

I never did find out much about her history, but the options fitted suggested she was either a dealer's demonstrator model or she was something else. Perhaps something special - it has been suggested to me by more than one person that, given her registration number indicates an Essex Vehicle Registration Office, she may have been a press or demonstration vehicle for Ford themselves.

I may never know - but I do know since 1992 she was owned by one person, in Newport, who looked after her religiously. An old chap, he had her touched up at the bodyshop when she started picking up stonechips or got scratched. Every service was carried out meticulously by the main dealer. He kept her in a dry garage, with carpet on the walls to prevent scuffing the edges of the doors on the brickwork. She was cossetted.

For much of her life, Taz did around three or four thousand miles a year - which meant when I got her at the end of September 2007, she had less than 90-thousand miles on the clock. There was practically no rust on the body - the little that there was being purely surface rust on bolt heads or other fittings - and the EFi DOHC engine purred quietly. One of the quietest I've ever heard actually.

I had picked her up as a bit of an unknown quantity from fellow FSOC member - and ex-chairman - Mick Lee. He'd said she was too nice for his purposes (I didn't quite realise what he meant until I saw her!) and I needed a cheap car to run around in for six months while I spent time converting the GoF to megasquirt engine management to compliment the 2.3 8v DOHC I'd just built - and weld on yet another outer sill for her MOT test.

That done, and GoF back on the road, I laid this wonderfully untouched thing up for the summer - debating what to do about her.

As it happens, the unexpected and rather sad demise of GoF forced my hand. A series of fuel problems with the Ghia prompted me to return Taz to the road while I considered GoF's future. Being in much better condition than Mrs Crust's then Mondeo (which was practically half it's age!), and GoF being in a state that was significantly more worse for wear, I decided to strip GoF and start putting some of the nicer bits onto the GLX.

And that's how the summer of 2008 passed - I transferred the later, hooded-type dashboard from the Ghia to the GLX including the fuel computer and auxilliary warning system, fitted the Ghia's rear electric windows and electric sunroof, leather steering wheel and a few items of interior trim such as the leather armrest lid and footwell courtesy lights. The gas dampers from the Ghia went on to replace the original (and very worn!) hydraulic items, and at the same time I installed a Thatcham category 1 alarm system to prevent the local chavs taking her drifting without my express say-so.

Even by the time I sold her back in 2015, and she went to her new home in Northern Ireland, she was still relatively standard and purring as sweetly as the day I'd acquired her although her bodywork was starting to suffer the ravages of living outside.

All throughout my ownership, I thought she was just too nice and original to modify and mess about with in any serious way.

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