David Bowie recently came out with a new album after a 10-year hiatus. How does someone so attuned to the cultural zeitgeist view the past? If the new tracks from his most recent work are any indication, he is looking back in time at some level. So what does he see? What do any of us find when we travel to those places in our memories and souls?
Since I’m hardly an expert on vehicles of this vintage–and since this vehicle has been covered in an excellent CC, by Jason—I’m going to mentally masturbate for a bit and ponder what this sedan represents.
This era certainly came and went, and so did this style: No more of the sharp, angular lines protruding outward on current vehicles. No more flip-out taillights, either. (And whom do we call to get those back on cars? Our elected officials? Maybe we should initiate a KickStarter campaign for them. It got us a Veronica Mars movie, after all.)
A Brougham! This is one thing I’m glad isn’t around anymore, although I do love seeing them. That ship sailed a long time ago, and some vessels aren’t meant to return to port.
So who sells something like this? Did it belong to a relative who no longer lives among the…well, the living? This pristine example has only 23,000 miles on the odometer according to the ad (which, BTW, is propped up by a jacket and not taped). Historical plates are another indicator of a meticulous owner.
An artifact next to more artifacts. Here are some worthy CCs, but my focus is on the building on the right. So what is it?
Until 2009. it was the local Chrysler dealership. I believe it’s currently some sort of lawnmower dealership, but in any case, it’s a shame that it met such a fate. In all honesty, though, there was just no way it could compete with the more modern Chrysler dealers within reasonable driving distance.
And so we have the dead and dying residing among the living. How do we look back on what is no longer a part of everyday life? It’s a very difficult question, so my response will be somehow inadequate. The glass-half-full mentality maintains that what we create can never be truly forgotten, which certainly is true. Will the Marquis be forgotten? Hopefully not, because the big, lumbering beast represents so many things to so many people. If nothing else, this car is a reminder that time passes faster than we think, to paraphrase Ferris Bueller. This piece of machinery turns 40 this year. So CC commentariat, what do you see when you look at this piece of history? I’m guessing it’s more than just a car.
It’s the car seen in Detective films of the 70’s,a vast behemoth from when gas was cheap and too big and thirsty for any where else.Not my cup of tea but an interesting and attractive car.
Yes, Barnaby Jones drove this, didn’t he?
Steve McGarrett made the switch to a Marquis for ’74 and stayed with that until the series ended in 1980. This car resides in Nanakuli. This series Marquis really epitomises why so many potential Lincoln buyers wound up with one of these (my late Uncle included).
A 23,000 mile car. Elderly owned, no doubt an estate car by now. Not too many original owners would be around now.
This four door sedan really doesn’t excite me. It’s nice, but gives no thrill. If it was a 2 dr HT, I’d probably be drooling. I hope it finds a good home.
Needs white walls, badly.
+1 on the whitewalls. It’s remarkably well-preserved, even for a 23K mile car. I am amazed at the condition of the vinyl roof and the plastic molding below the Brougham emblem–it looks brand new!
I am with you on the Marquis coupes–I really like this one from the ’74 brochure:
+2 needs whitewalls very badly…
+3 needs whitewalls very badly 🙂
This car is my favorite color and the color-keyed wheelcovers are the first thing I noticed. I’m a sucker for color-keyed wheelcovers…and dark green….ohh….mmm.. I would so love to own this vehicle!
I come here to escape the reality that is today so I try not to think about anything but the vehicles themselves.
My maternal grandfather’s last car (surviving for several years as my grandmother’s) was a ’75 Marquis coupe. I remember seeing him pull up to my aunt’s house in it, complete with white belt and shoes, in what must have been July of ’75. They’d just bought the car and he was proud of it. Blue 2-door hardtop with vinyl top and concealed headlamps. He was gone before Labor Day that same year, felled by liver cancer.
I’d have this car just for the nostalgia factor.
Some of you may be members of the “Brown Car Appreciation Society” but I am a member of the much more rare “Green Car Appreciation Society”. Triple green, color keyed wheel covers, being a 73 it is likely a 460V8 car… I wish I had the funds to be building a dock for it right now…
I am too a member of the (Matte) Green Car Appreciation Society
Yes, give me a dark green car any day over a brown one! This one looks great.
I also like the deep emerald green Ford had later on in the ’70s. My grandparents had a ’77 LTD II sedan in that color with matching top and interior, and it was very sharp. Pretty sure it was a Brougham, but I was three at the time.
Isn’t the rule “All survivors are green”?
In Eugene, the Purple Car Appreciation Society is quite active.
We recently discussed a 69 Cougar, here’s another Purple Mercury……..the Rocky Mountain Cats!
One of the actual cars.
That is a beautiful Cougar. Wow. Thanks for the link, btw.
If you described that purple Cougar to me over the phone, I would say it was ugly. But seeing a picture of one, I have to admit I like it.
From that rare 1976 episode of Hawaii Five-O when McGarrett and Dano investigate “alternative lifestyles” on the big island?
The owner must be a member of the Lilac Lead Sleds Club.
Needs purplewalls, badly.
Cadillac got into the act in 1969 with a color called WISTERIA.
Green Car Appreciation Society: sign me up too. How I love a green car.. Green or white interior a bonus.
Is there a White Interior Club I can join anywhere?
i was hoping to affiliate my ‘British Racing Green Appreciation Society’ onto the Green Car Society if possible.
Back in the late 80s when I was selling cars, there was a guy who would come around with a device that would add whitewall tires to blackwalls. The center would attach to the hub, and it would etch a line around the tire like the compass from a grade 8 geometry set. Any mention of this in the years since has just resulted in quizzical (read-is he of his meds?) look from virtually everyone. Has anyone seen this or did I hallucinate it?
I didn’t last long at this GM store after the bozo sales manager had this done to a Nissan Stanza, a VW Fox AND a Jetta we had, thinking it would help them sell. Having just come from a VW dealer, I so much told him he was an idiot.
Ha, I knew was of sound mind LOL.
I think they paint whitewalls in Cuba due to lack of availability new whitewall tires..there’s a pic somewhere on the- he used a very small paintbrush and just traced a round object –
There used to be a local moving company that would paint giant whitewalls on all their moving vans down here, and the vans were all bright orange on top of that.
Did Jack Lord drive one of these on Hawaii Five-O?
No, his was a ’74. There doesn’t appear to be any differences, but the taillights on this ’73 are vertical vs. at a slight angle for the ’74.
Incidentally, for one season of Hawaii Five-0, the bad guy of every other episode drove the twin to this Mercury. Don’t ask me how I know all this.
Mr. McGarret, your whitewalls are on back order!
Back order!? Book him, Danno.
GAG!!!!!!!!! Everything that has ever been wrong with American cars (automobiles in general, for that matter), all encapsulated in one overly-fat, overly-soft, expanse of shit, er, sheet metal. I’d be tempted to buy it just to drive it to the crusher, but would probably show it with the caption “among the worst cars ever made” as part of the show sign.
Now, now, Syke.
I normally agree with you, but in this case I think the young ‘uns need an example of the scary consequences of how the casual use of bling can lead to full-blown addiction. Sort of like those photos of meth users with rotted out teeth, sunken eyes and holes in their faces…
Calm down Syke; here, look at this ’62 Impala hardtop. You’ll feel better 🙂
“No wonder your upset, she’s lovely. And a darling figure. Supple, pouting breasts, firm thighs. It’s a shame you two don’t get along.” (Airplane! 1980)
Yea its not my thing, but I can’t help but remember in the movie Uncle Buck, John Candy rides around in a Mercury Marquis coupe like this.
I don’t disagree with the basic tastes, but the sad truth is that this is a really a fairly innocuous example of the late Sedanus Broughama.
Jesus, Syke and Bulldog! You guys are just kids! Although even in my youth in Northern California, only the older set drove these (as long as they had enough real estate, which wasn’t the case in San Francisco), visiting relatives in Missouri, where these cars were king actually made some sense.
For starters, wide open roads and in the small midwestern towns, store “A” may be 20-30 miles away and store “B” in another small city 25-50 miles away.
Relatives and us kids visiting from California would go on three-four day trips to the Ozarks or Western Illinois so that meant six people in one of these . . . and all of our luggage . . . and stretch out room.
The younger generation may make fun of these as pigs, but yet, those that can afford them, are driving Tahoes, Toyota Sequoias, GMC Yukons, Ford Expeditions, Lincoln Navigators, Nissan Armadas, and so on. They would be suprised to know, that in some cases their SUVs weight MORE than our featured Marquis, have less visibility and useful room inside and suck as much fuel as the 460 4-V. Granted, modern emission controls, braking and fuel injection makes the modern SUV more reliable and driveable, but insofar as size and room, the old Yank-Tank land yachts have the advantage.
You misguided “kids” may want to drive one to the crusher; I’d gladly drive one on a mainland road trip (Oakland to San Diego). At speed – in comfort, Thank You. A daily driver for the 21st Century? Probably not.
Were these ever a big seller? I remember seeing a few in the day but they seem so barge like. Not well styled.
Funny thing though, I think large Buicks, Oldsmobiles and Cadillacs from that era look OK.
To each his own.
These were very big sellers (129,000 Marquis and another 55,000 Montereys in 1973; 146,000 Marquis in 1978, the final year for this generation). They were much more solid and better put together than the 1971-76 GM full-sizers.
I think they were well put together, too as my grandparents had two of them for years. But also my dad’s 1974 Olds 98 Brougham was solid as a tank, too.
The Marquis’ were quieter and rode smoother than their Mopar/GM competiton in the upper-medium price bracket. Downside: they were thirstier and the “ride engineered by Lincoln-Mercury” made these cars wallowing marshmallows. The big 460 had some grunt to it . . .
My grandfather bought a 1977 Burgundy Mercury Marquis. My grandmother liked it so much that she bought a 1978 Gold Mercury Marquis Brougham with quadrasonic sound. Very, very nice cars. Very nice to ride in.
I just always thought it was so funny that they had the same car. I couldn’t imagine my wife and me driving the same vehicle.
I dig the color-keyed hubcaps and black walls. Sinister and cool. Mel Gibson would have driven this in “Payback.”
One year earlier and 2 fewer doors make all the difference in the world.
Of course another 4 model years back makes all the difference in several worlds.
Love the ’68 Marquis. I have that brochure, but I’ve never seen one of these in person.
This wasn’t the rarest Mercury, but it was right down there. Not surprised you’ve never seen one.
Wow; no kidding. But even more rare would be a Monterey or Park Lane with the “Yacht Paneling.” There was an immaculate one on ebay recently.
It’s back. Full listing and tons of pics here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Very-rare-restored-1968-Mercury-Park-Lane-Convertible-folks-1-o-15-known-a-c-390-/400451633457?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item5d3cc70131
Looks like it is Diamond Blue, though it looks white in most of the photos.
I remember seeing the dealer poster for the Yacht paneled Merc. back when my dad picked up the NEW 1968 LTD.
The pilot episode of the original Hawaii Five-O (the new one is a piece of crap, especially with that sawed-off little bastard Scott Caan) had a ’67 Marquis coupe. Black with burgundy interior. The regular series employed the now legendary ’68 Park Lane four-door hardtop. Occasionally, in the early episodes, they show Jack Lord peeling out of Iolani Palace in the coupe, and seconds later, he’s screamin up Beretania Street in the Hardtop.
+1 on the 72 and +10 on the 68. The flat front, flat back and flat sides on the 73 lacked character compared with the earlier cars. Of course, compare this to the later Panther Marquis and this car is teeming with style.
I can’t say that this was one of my favorite big cars of the era (the Continental, Imperial and New Yorker were my faves then). However, it is one of the last times that the big Mercury had some significant styling differences from the Ford. I thought that the 73 was the weakest looking of that whole 73-78 generation, and that in the Mercury in particular, styling improved in subsequent years.
If you want to see the opposite end of the spectrum for the big Mercury that year, we wrote up a 73 Monterey some time back. https://www.curbsideclassic.com/uncategorized/curbside-classic-1973-mercury-monterey-custom-a-great-names-last-ride/
I have seen a near-mint sky blue ’74 Monterey sedan around town. White vinyl top, natch. I most recently saw it parked at the hardware store a few weeks ago. I will catch up with it one of these days!
Functionally, this was a Continental, just the K-Mart version. Just as Ninety-Eights and Electras were bought by many successful but modest GM fans, this was the low profile Lincoln owned by the same demographic. I personally knew people in my town who could have afforded more, but were perfectly happy with these.
As I stated earlier, my Uncle was one of them. His thought was “why”? It rides like a Lincoln, is as comfortable and as roomy as a Lincoln and is $7000.00 cheaper than a Lincoln. He drove nothing but Marquis/Grand Marquis (except a brief interlude for an Olds 88 Royale, Chevy Caprice and ’78 Plymouth Gran Fury wagon) until the day he died.
Great find, Ed. Though these were not near as sharp as the ’68 shown above in the comments (though you could say the same for near any other ’68 vs. ’73 Detroit barge), this was pretty much the last generation of big Merc that wasn’t just a rebadged Ford. In ’79, the Panther Marquis was basically an LTD with a pointier front end and fake fender vents glued on.
Seven years ago I gave my mother in law my 1991 Sedan deVille. I drove that car all the way to Amarillo Texas with absolutely zero issues, In the seven years that she has had it, she’s driven in 3000 miles.
I got a call the other day from her that it has a flat tire in her driveway. Long story short-the tires had dry rotted. The next call I get, she has gone to “that large retail store” and had a set of blackwall tires put on… She says “I wanted Goodyear tires and the didn’t have whitewalls”.
This beautifully maintained Cadillac with only 70000 miles now wears factory wire wheel covers and blackwalls. Needless to say it’s an shame!
Wha….no way, I was still able to get whitewalls at Tire Kingdom.
They have all but disappeared up here too. Firestone doesn’t carry any, and the only brand that I’ve found were Chinese made “Runway” which had a really nice stripe. I managed to squirrel away a few set of Crappy Tire SE’s before they were discontinued,
Wal-Mart can order them online for delivery to the store for installation. Discount Tire also orders them and I can order just about any tire I want, including very hard to find 1.0 and 1.3″ wide whitewalls. TIRES-EASY.COM
You will have to find a place that will mount a self-supplied tire but some places won’t mind because its less work for them. The labor and the various accessories are where most of the margin is.
Good find, Ed, and thanks for the plug.
JP is right, the ’73’s are weak, with the ’74 being better. That said, I would drive the dickens out of this 460 powered 5000 lb Lay-Z-Boy recliner comfortable Mercury. Of course, I am genetically predisposed to having an affinity for Mercury’s.
Speaking of ’68’s, here’s one right here: https://www.curbsideclassic.com/curbside-classics-american/curbside-classic-1968-mercury-monterey-no-mr-mcgarrett-doesnt-work-here/
A case of Mercury poisoning?
Or Mercury Madness…
Lord, she’s crazy ’bout a Mercury…
In Northeast NY, these cars were mostly all off the road by the time my first rich memories had begun to be formed around 1986, 1987. I’ve never really experienced full-size domestics from before the downsizing era. Cars like the big-Fords of the mid ’70s epitomize softness and isolation in my eyes and I’m actually jealous of those who had the benefit of their full-fat experience.
Had a hot-rodder friend in the early eighties whose Mom drove a ’78 Grand Marquis. He and his Dad installed a performance cam, high-rise intake, and a better carb; without Momma’s knowledge. She drove it, complained that it idled a little rough, but was a quite more peppy. LOL! They never told her.
Obbop! Long time no see! I’ve been expecting you though.
These always make me think of Richard Nixon and Watergate. It looks slightly sinister and anonymous, the ideal car to drive when you are on your way to do an illegal wiretap.
I think I have to say that I appreciate this car for its over-the-top broughaminess, but “appreciate” is not quite the same as “like” or “want.” The reason being how far it comes up short against an Olds 88/98 or Buick LeSabre/Electra of the same year. Those cars give you all the 70’s big-boat character you want, and pimptastic interior packages, but they make some effort to look sleek rather than ponderous (especially the Buicks), they haven’t had all the cornering ability removed from the suspension and they are far more likely to return MPG that is at least in the double digits.
Ahhhh, yes. I once had a ’73 Colony Park. Just like a Lincoln inside with cushy leather and even the power vent windows that dropped into the door. In the days of the 55 mph speed limit I could even coax 15 mpg out of that 460! -:)
My grandparents had a ’73 coupe of one of these back in the early Eighties. Their car was white with a brown top and white leather interior. I showed this to my grandma today, she liked it, but had forgotten about their ’73. Of course, my grandpa had brought a lot of cars home over the years, and this was thirty years ago, so…
Back to this car, I hate to say it, but it does seem to say….”tank”. However, with that lovely green paint, and overall excellent condition, it does it with class.
If they ever make a movie of ‘Roadwork’ by Stephen King/Richard Bachman, this car is the one that needs to be the one driven by Dawes. It’s even more Broughamtastic than what his car looked like in my imagination.
Roadwork is one of my favorite Bachman novels. Very underrated…
a guy here in italy own one of these, a ’73 brown coupe with white top, he adores it and it’s very well kept ! A real land yacht, I like that front end…
Yet another car featured on CC with the rim-blow steering wheel!
There has been quite a run of them lately.
Having had a 1971 LTD in the family for 30 years, this is tempting, but I’d go for the last ‘real’ Cadillac Brougham in the other thread instead.
One thing what I find interesting is of the 1973-78 full sized Ford’s and Mercury’s I thought the Ford’s looked at its best in the 1973-74 run and the Mercury’s looked at its best in the 1975-78 run
I went to look at this car years back when it was for sale. It was a 429 car. Even though very clean and nice, it did have rot behind the rocker molding. If it didnt, I’d own it.