1987 lincoln-mercury merkur xr4ti
roush racing/mac tools trans-am & imsa gto
roush chassis #m004
Name: Steve Schuler
Location: Capistrano Beach, Ca
Model: Merkur XR4Ti, 2.5 liter turbo
Chassis Builder: Roush Racing, chassis #M004, (the first Don Hayward/ Ford SVO-CAD designed chassis for Roush Racing), 2.5 liter turbo engine/chassis development by Lee White/Jack Roush.
FIRST RACED BY
Team: Roush Racing
Sponsors: Mac Tools, Stroh, Ford Electronics, Lincoln-Mercury, Ford SVO, TRW, etc.
Series: SCCA Trans-Am and IMSA GTO
1987 Trans-Am 6 races with Pete Halsmer
1988 Trans-Am, 7+ races
Halsmer, Pruett, St. James, Gregg, individual race details in work
1988 IMSA GTO, 9+ races
Halsmer, Pruett, St. James, Gregg, Miller, Akin, Gentilozzi, the race details in work
1989 Retired by Roush Racing, stored in Livonia, Michigan. #M004 was never converted to either a Cougar, Mustang, or a V8 for the ’89 or ’90 racing seasons as were the other Merkurs, offered for sale by Roush Racing without engine/trans in mid-1989.
HISTORY OF CAR AFTER FIRST TEAM
In August 1990 the car was sold by Roush Corp. to Mark Petch Motorsports, Auckland, New Zealand, to run in the New Zealand TraNZ-am Series which was modeled after the US Trans-Am Series. The Roush Corp invoice to Petch Motorsports states this is the “ex-Scott Pruett SCCA Trans Am/IMSA GTO Championship Race Car”. The car was sold without an engine due to the Ford Motorsports concern over the proprietary Ford Electronics engine control system. After several months of negotiation, Petch was able to obtain the original 2.5 liter turbo engine and the control system from Roush Racing, provided it was sold by Ford Motorsports Detroit to the local Auckland Ford dealership, not to Petch directly. The Merkur and the engine were mated in early 1991, and with 19 year old New Zealand driver Kayne Scott, the team won the New Zealand TraNZ-am Championship in ’91, ’92 and ’93, setting several track records and taking nearly every pole starting position.
The Shell Oil/Whittaker’s Candy/Auto News sponsored Merkur (or “Ford Sierra” as it was named down-under) was placed in dry-lay-up and virtually parked at the end of the ’93 season. This was because the New Zealand Series changed the rules for the ’94 race season, which unfairly weight burdened only the Merkur, forcing it out of any realistic contention and thus the eventual withdrawal from further competition by Petch Motorsports. It is believed that this car is the only Merkur to continuously run the 2.5 liter 4 cylinder engine from new and to have never been converted to a V8, or a later body style Cougar or Mustang.
CONDITION AS FOUND
As last raced in 1993. Everything was intact except for the front shocks/springs, the power steering reservoir, and the proper IMSA GTO rear wing, which were all used over the years for spares by Petch Motorsports on later race cars in New Zealand. Some door bodywork alterations had been made in 1990 to comply with New Zealand rules requiring a 60% original door skin contour. The rear hatchback tail bodywork had been squared-off a little and the late 1988 one-piece Roush hood/fender front clip with a splitter was used.