CC Capsule: 1973 Mercury Marquis Brougham – Time Can Change Me, But I Can’t Trace Time

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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?

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.