Cohort Outtake: 1977 Mercury Marquis Colony Park – The Peak DI-NOC Experience

Mercury 1977 Marquis Colony park sfqimages by William Rubano

3M’s DI-NOC Architectural Finishes have graced many a fine Wagon Queen Family Trucksters (in the generic sense), but there’s little doubt in my mind that this Marquis Colony Park used more square feet than any other production wagon. Or have I forgotten an even woodier one? Well, dark wood “paneling” was the hot thing in the seventies, and folks were covering up the cracked plaster in their old houses (and newer ones too) by the square mile. And what better way to haul home stacks of 4×8 paneling from the home improvement store than in a matching Colony Park?

Wood panleing

I don’t have to remind you, do I? It was everywhere…

Wood paneling hall

Like a plague descended on the land.

wood paneling den

Don’t get me wrong; I like wood, and genuine wood on the walls, when done properly, can be very tasteful. But this stuff was fake and plasticky, and depressing.

Mercury 1977 Marquis Colony park r

Maybe that’s why I’ve struggled with these wood paneled wagons. But I’ve finally detoxed all the formaldehyde that I inhaled from all those depressing paneled apartments in Iowa City, and can at last look at it (the wagon) without feeling my bronchials tighten up. I suppose the same applies to big Fords and Mercuries of this era too, as most of you know by now. I’ve come to appreciate them (from a distance) as the cultural artifacts that they are, even if it is a culture I struggled with (more like against) at the time.

Mercury 1977 Marquis Colony park int

Unfortunately, looking at this shot of this interior isn’t helping much. Sorry; I’m just not a fan of this dark pseudo-club house look. And there’s not enough “wood” on the doors.

Mercury 1977 Marquis Colony park f

But then there’s the front end, without a whit of wood-grain DI-NOC to be seen. And there’s even hidden headlights, as a consolation to those that are missing it already. The Family Truckster did have wood on its hood.

Mercury 1977 Marquis Colony park logo

No wood, but there is vinyl, padded even, on the headlight covers. What a brilliant idea: padded headlight covers (Update: I’ve been told they’re not really padded. So they’re fake padded headlight covers; even worse).  The Mercury designers were really on a roll in the seventies. And there’s the Marquis deMercury’s coat of arms, too, right in the middle of them. Wow. Now I’m really breathless. And speechless.