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Mercury Grand Marquis

I got this car the day I hit 400 subscribers. What a wonderful 400 subscriber gift from my grandparents!


 


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mercury marquis
my favorite luxury car





1977 Ford Lincoln Mercury Grand Marquis
This is the fourth 1977 Mercury Grand Marquis I've owned since 1985. They have all had the same drive-train combination: 460 with 2.50 axle ratio. In the mid-80's when both GM and Ford products had gotten so bad, I was trying to think of what car in the 70's had consistently had good quality and was big and powerful as well, short of a Lincoln and I arrived at the Marquis--a Lincoln in everything but name. I owned my first one from August of '85 to April of '86, then traded it on an identical yellow one with 10,000 fewer miles (51,000) and drove it until Nov. 1990 when it had 112,000 miles on it. I traded it for a '72 Mercury Marquis which was nice, but gave a lot of trouble and got rid of it in 1991 for a '73 Olds 88. Didn't have another '77 Grand Marquis until October 1998. Back in 2002, when I was in my third one, a brown one owned from 1998 to 2005, a friend found this one on eBay, located in Oklahoma, with 41K miles on it, still in the original family. He won it with a bid of $2,000. I rode with him from Dallas to Norman, OK to pick it up. It had sat inside the original owner's garage for nearly ten years. He had it taken to a Lincoln/Mercury dealership and spent $1,500 having every single thing that deteriorated with age replaced: all tune-up components, gas tank, tires, you name it, it was on the invoice. Then he gave it to his son, who tired of it after about six months and 5,000 miles because of its huge appetite for gasoline. I drove it part of the way back and instantly realized it was the nicest one I had ever driven and told my friend to give me first right of refusal if he ever wanted to sell it. I sold my third one in 2005 and bought this one in August, 2006 with about 45K miles on it--it now has 50,000 miles. None of my other GM's had had the dish wheels and I especially wanted one with them. This car lacks two things that I've seen on all the others I've ever come across--the rubber bumper protection group, which was an option, and remote control for the right outside mirror. On the drive back, I instinctively reached for the lever I always reached for on my other cars...but there was only an empty space! I can't for the life of me imagine why something as small as that would not be made standard equipment. To this day, the car runs flawlessly, returning probably 11 MPG overall. With 35 years hindsight, it's easy to see now that the Ford/Lincoln/Mercury automobiles were the best constructed vehicles of the 1970's, a decade known for some of the poorest quality automobiles ever built. When 1975 arrived, with the redesigned Mercurys and similar Ford LTD's in place, the company was in such bad financial condition it couldn't afford another redesign for 1977 as GM was planning, and indeed soldiered on through the 1978 model year with cars identical to those introduced in 1975. Those 75's were well built with good quality appointments both inside and out in contrast to the shoddy cars GM and Chrysler were turning out. Especially GM with its stick-on trim beginning in '74, plastic extensions that failed within five years, etc. Mercury had enjoyed a much higher trim level during most of the 70's and even a slightly longer wheelbase than Fords, much more Lincoln-esque in feel. In '79, Mercury reverted back to being nothing more than a re-badged Ford, a status it has retained ever since. Although these cars look the same from '75-'78, each year has a slightly different standard engine due to the ever changing government emissions and gas mileage regulations--CAFE was started in 1975. This applies only to the Grand Marquis--'75 has a 460 standard, '76 has 400 standard with 460 optional, '77 has 460 standard and '78 has a 351 standard with both 400 and 460's as options. The 460 is the only engine to have--it was Ford's last and best big block, comprising the 385 engine family of 370 (light trucks only), 429 and 460. They didn't have a lot of horsepower by 1977, but they still had massive torque. They were designed to be adequate for motor homes and trucks and are only loafing when driving a 4,700 lb. passenger car. The 400 engine was a replacement for the far superior 390, designed for low emissions and little else. It has only modest power for its size and none of the built-in durability of the 429/460 engines. The idea of a 351 engine in a car this size is ludicrous, but in the late 70's, the companies were doing everything they could to eke out one or two more miles per gallon in a government test, but a 351 wold destroy any of the enjoyment potential of a car of this weight and class.




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