In Defence Of XR3
Having just read the letter by Mr. Auchterlonie in the September issue of MOTOR SPORT, I felt that I could offer some rather different reflections of a year with an XR3.
From the list of problems that Mr. Auchterlonie has experienced I would suggest that perhaps his car is quite an early “W” reg. XR3. On early cars there were definitely problems with the warning system, particularly with the brake and oil level indications. However, these problems were rectified on later cars by modifications to the dip-stick and to the brake warning system. In my year of ownership the warning system has proved extremely reliable never yet giving a spurious warning. The fuel warning is reliable always indicating when the contents reaches the 11/2 gallon mark. The oil level indication is so accurate that when the system gave an oil level warning two days after the car had its first service, I was able to take the car back to my local main dealer tube told that the oil level had not been checked during the service. On that the Ford dealers were as reliable as their cars. With regard to Mr. Auchterlonie’s comments regarding tyre wear, with the standard and quality of modern ryres, I find it difficult to believe that anyone could wear out tyres at 12,000 miles. The fact that the rear tyres have worn first suggests that something is not quite right. The rear suspension was changed on later cars but even so, surely one should expect higher mileage from today’s tyres. My own XR3 is shod with Pirelli P6 tyres and after some 10,000 miles there is no sign of any wear front or rear. I cannot comment on the roadholding on other tyres but on P6s the XR3 is superb.
If Mr. Auchterlonie’s definition of character is hearing the fuel sloshing about in the tank behind you or being bounced along the road, then I would agree that the XR3 is devoid of character. In my opinion the XR3 is an exciting carte drive with acceptable levels of noise and comfort, and I find the seats particularly good. I have several friends with XR3s and all are as pleased with theirs as I have been with mine. One friend in particular, an ex-high performance driving instructor who has driven the Le Mans 24 Have twice, is extremely fond of his XR3.
In my own experience the only problem I have had is with a most annoying rattle from the gear shift which the dealers seem either unable or unwilling to remedy. The rear “drinks platform” also collects water which it promptly panes into the boot as soon as the tail-gate is raised.
If the number of XR3 owners that wave or “Bash” other XR3s is an indication of a satisfied and enthusiastic owner then I am not alone in my appreciation of this fine car. I would add, however, that I think it wrong of Ford to introduce the five-speed XR3 when they did, thus making a large number of new cars old models. Burbage BRYAN E. FIELD