Since we’re indulging in Mercury Mania, and “cabrios”, I will go ahead and share this with you, with some trepidation. Ok, 2008 was a long time ago, and I’d almost forgotten that Ralph ran again that year, trying to outdo Harold Stassen. The point of my picture is probably pretty self-evident: this is almost undoubtedly the only Grand Marquis (with optional faux cabrio-roof) that ever wore this bumper sticker. Even without the bumper sticker, this car is like a whale out of water in this part of town. Explanation: someone’s parents died. I’m seeing this pattern more often now. And maybe the sticker is still on to make sure the neighbors don’t get suspicious. I know you’ll keep any comments civil or light-hearted.
CC Outtake: Politically Incorrect Grand Marquis
– Posted on November 3, 2011
At least it ain’t a Nader sticker on a Corvair?
Not so much Politically Incorrect as Politically Incoherent?
Like I consider myself: Politically Insignificant.
Google always provides…
They wrote on Nov. 1, 2004: “If you are among the 1 or 2 percent of American voters who, polls indicate, plan to cast ballots for Ralph Nader tomorrow, you can thank Edward N. Cole for affording you the opportunity.”
Dang; I tried the same thing; didn’t work for me. I knew there just had to be one out there.
Somewhere there’s a Corvair with the vanity plate “F NADER”.
Scroll down….turns out Iowa DOT took them away.
As soon as I posted that, I knew I should have googled it.
Closest thing yet to the “de Sade” edition that Car & Driver kept looking for year after year. Not just from the sticker, though it’s pretty painful. The huge door seams cutting through the “cabrio top” are excruciating.
In Indiana you can pay extra for a license plate that promotes the environment. I love seeing them on the back of Suburbans and Escalades. Sort of our local version of the same thing?
The MGMs around the midwest that have any decals at all, are for AAA or State Farm .
I drive a 1984 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight, and I’m opposed to decals or bumper stickers so the only one I have is a window decal for Columbia College Chicago (which I am currently attending). But there were a few on there when I got it in 2005: two for AAA, and, my favorite, a “Preferred Service Customer” sticker from the dealer, indicating that the owner took it in regularly for all scheduled maintenance.
I’m a bit of a hypocrite, because if I bought a new car I wouldn’t sign the contract until they removed the dealership badge and had any paint underneath repaired, and I would never apply something so uncouth as a bumper sticker (the only thing I find acceptable is a school window decal, and I’ve been trying to convince myself to go ahead and put an Apple sticker on my rear window), but my car came with both a dealer badge and several AAA and similar stickers and they had already lasted 21 years when I bought the car, so it would feel wrong to take them off.
“I know you’ll keep any comments civil or light-hearted.”
Ha Ha Ha! Now THAT’S leading the conversation!
The only thing I can think to say is: Why, oh why, do people do this to their cars? I’m talking about those fake convertible tops. Especially on a four-door.
If there is a better way to alter a roofline than resorting to this, I’d like to hear/discover it.
As for the MGM, I’ve driven my share and I’m not a panther-lover at all. Perhaps the more recent vintage of these have better suspensions, but the last one I drove in 2002 was horrible on the highway. Yes it was smooth, but felt like the road was covered in butter, as you had no idea what would happen when you changed lanes or (pray tell) have to do a sudden maneuver.
Politics? I don’t involve myself in that topic at all, so you’re safe with me!
I think the only appeal in them for me is that they’re the next to the last of the “it’s been in production so long that they got all the bugs out” cars.
The soon to depart Buick Lucerne still has a Northstar V8 available, so I dunno if that could be considered bug free. And then there’s the current Impala. And there’s enough rumors on the internet back & forth to wonder about the longevity of the 3.6 DI engine.
I could have mustered true desire for one had there’d actually been a Maurader Convertible, or they continued making the Country Squire…. I wouldn’t turn down a free one, but I dunno If I’d willingly buy one.
Thankfully I’m in no lines of inheritance to get one, so I’m out of the woods.
Speaking of which, I made this in Photoshop earlier this year:
I tend to think the Grand Marquis by the end was a bit too average since it hadn’t had any major design changes in 20 years (though unlike you I would have gladly bought one if I could afford to buy a new car while they were still being made), so when I can afford a new car I have an idea: I want to find a good condition low mileage ’90s Grand Marquis similar to the one in the article (but either red or blue). Then I’ll take it to a custom shop and use the leftover money that would have gone into the purchase of a new car to have this done:
It’s different enough that even non-car-people would be able to tell there was something unique about it yet normal enough to not draw too much attention. It would be somewhat hard to do, but custom shops seem to be able to do anything you want these days.
What you did for the 1995 Caprice is just magical:
Now that’s a B-body I’d die to own.
As much as I’d like to take credit for that, all the credit goes to Chevrolet’s designers. They built a beautiful car, they just forgot to erase a few marks on the blueprint. I did exactly three things to that picture: replace the B and C pillars with that purple sky behind them, remove the rear door handle and edge, and move the front door handle and edge back a little ways. All the rest is just how the car was designed.
I’ve always been fascinated by the final generation Caprice (they came out when I was about one year old), in my opinion they are some of the most beautiful cars of the last 30 years, if not all time, and I honestly believe that in 20 years or so we will start seeing them win awards at classic car meets (and before you disagree, did anyone in 1973 think that one day people would be collecting then-new Buicks and Chryslers?). I just did these Photoshops for fun, and most of them turned out about how I would expect, but when I made the last change and zoomed out to full size, I was stunned at how the Caprice turned out. If Caprices are cheap enough I might try that instead of a Grand Marquis, but at the moment they seem to be a few thousand more because they stopped making them fifteen years ago. Of course, it will be a few years before I can afford to do this, so who knows.
There’s one more car I’ve been dying to try this on, and that’s the 1994-1996 Cadillac Fleetwood, probably the only car made in the past 20 years that looks better than the Caprice in my opinion. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find any pictures of the Cadillac from a perfect profile view (I’m not very good at photoshop, but I can usually get by if there is absolutely no perspective to worry about). So far the only 90’s full sizers I’ve found with that perfect view are the Grand Marquis, Town Car, and Caprice, no Cadillac Fleetwood or Buick Roadmaster, but as soon as I can find one I’ll do those too.
Can you take off my Town Car’s vinyl top if I get you a good side view?
I can’t guarantee anything, but I’d be willing to try it.
With a change like that, I’d rather just use a tablet and paint on the changes instead of trying to use Photoshop, so the angle of the original photo doesn’t really matter. Is this the right year model Town Car (I tend to use publicity photos because the colors are softer and more natural, and thus easier to work with)?
If this picture isn’t what you were thinking of, just upload a good picture of your car and I’ll give it a shot.
Mine’s an ’88, but for all practical purposes the cars are identical.
I wrote a thingy on it: https://www.curbsideclassic.com/my-curbside-classic/my-curbside-classic-1988-lincoln-town-car-a-tactful-rebuttal/
No big deal if it is too much of a bother…but I’ve always wondered what the roof would look like without the center bar and so forth, and without the trim for the tops at the base of the C pillars.
That was actually easier than I expected. Here’s a strict removal of the vinyl top (though I just realized I forgot to put the opera lamp back on):
And I just had to do this:
I sure like the hardtop treatment better than just removing the vinyl! The stock b-pillar is huge, never gave it much thought till this.
It looks so plain without the contrasting color….
Thanks for chopping my top!
I never could stand this style of car, but as a hardtop it’s actually attractive! The “opera window” even looks good.
That’s powerful magic you’ve got there, Steven.
Why am I getting the urge to go to Walmart?
As much as I’d like to see that, I looked at an Impala SS in 1993 at a dealer, and seeing one of those bathtub bodies up close, the doors would be enormous, far larger than back in the days of pillarless hardtops.
Anything would have been an improvement, however, as I hated those “roachmobiles” except for the Buick Roadmaster, which had more style.
Steven: I think I have a Fleetwood in profile. Also, how would you like to do some posts for the whole CC audience, with your photoshops. I really like what I’m seeing.
Send me an e-mail via the Contact form.
I can see I’m going to lose some serious time looking at these lovely Photochops!
I want one
Funny you should mention a free Panther. I just happen to have a story about that.
The appeal of the Pather (to me) is pretty simple:
1. Longevity (reliable in the first place, easy-to-get/cheap parts, and easy to make repairs)
2. Relative comfort, which really is more perceived comfort than true comfort
Seeing a fake top on any Panther (including my vinyl-coiffed Lincoln) makes me cringe. You could keep the car nearly new looking so much longer if it wasn’t for the stupid tops. My model Town Car couldn’t be bought without a fake top, but all the later ones could, and so there is no excuse for the rusted metal and ugly synthetic materials on top of the later cars. A slicktop Panther can look nice for decades with the right care, all the while costing little to nothing in repairs and upkeep. Think of it as an obese Volvo 240.
The vinyl top on my car is easily my least favorite thing about my car because it doesn’t look too great to begin with and often costs more to replace than a hooptie like mine is worth…
I don’t know how all of these cars end up with those horrible tops, either. Since Ford (in particular) has been doing retro cars for a while now, why not bring back the nice camera-grain vinyl roof, like the ones from the 60’s?
For the longest time, vinly roofs were popular, and somewhere along about the late malaise era, they got all puffy. Our 77 Delta 88 had a padded vinyl roof, but only a landau style 1/2 roof. So much for any insulative benefits a padded roof may have added.
Then somewhere in the Reagan era, the padded convertible roofs came along and to me, have never looked good or even proportional to the cars they were on. They always have looked like a 6 inch snowfall, precisely on the roof of the car, where someone ran out and preserved it with cheap plasticized canvas. Ugh.
I’ve seen these toupees on far too many cars. Along with Florida, the upper midwest seems to have a ton of these cars, too.
Ban the toupee!
They Loved, LOVED Them in New Jersey in the 60s , 70s, and well into the 90s on Cadillacs…. Probably still on the last Towncars.
“Toupee”? That’s priceless!
Geo, you made my Friday with that. Now I suppose you’ll copyright that, too, and I’ll owe you yet another beer next spring!
What blasphemy! The butter-smooth highway ride is the best part of the Grand Marquis. I haven’t driven too many cars besides my Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight and my family’s Grand Marquis, Cutlass Ciera, Chevrolet Astro, and Volvo S60 (I’m only 22), but from what I have driven (and ridden in), no “European” style cars handle anywhere near as comfortably as a big American sedan. Sure, my car would lose a drag race against a modern art museum, and you can’t take corners too fast, but I’m in no hurry. If I had a sports-tuned suspension I’d never stop getting traffic tickets and all of my passengers would hate me (just like the rest of my family hated my dad until he traded in the manual transmission S60 for the Mercury). Plus, if you want an adrenaline rush I’m pretty sure even the Bugatti Veyron couldn’t compare to realizing you’ve taken that corner a bit too fast in an 18 foot long Olds. You probably won’t lose control, but it certainly feels like an amusement park ride.
Also, once I did have to perform an emergency stop at 70mph in the Grand Marquis during a road trip, then immediately change lanes and accelerate back up to 70, and it did fine.
“(I’m only 22)”
Holy mackerel! Now I feel old – which I am, as I was all of 19 when my avatar photo was taken in 1970!
Welcome to our party on “Curbside Classic”!
Somebody drove that thing all the way from Florida to Oregon???
I marvelled at the sheer numbers of faux-convertible tops I saw while I was down there on vacation.
I know it’s tacky, but I still like seeing it up here in the PNW as most modern cars are so generified that they don’t even deserve a second look. Man would that look hideous if somebody put it on a late-model Camry though (maybe slightly better on a Solara)!
What would be the opposite of this car?
I’m thinking a 60 VW Bus with flowers and a Pat Buchanan bumper sticker?
During the 2004 presidential campaign, a Subaru Outback wagon in my neighborhood carried a Bush/Cheney bumper sticker (although it was the top of the line, 6-cylinder version with leather, so not your run of the mill Subie).
Out here in Klamath County (just east of the Cascades), the Subie is pretty much the default car (trucks tend to be full sized 4WD, except for the odd 4WD Ranger or Nissan). Then again, I’m goofing off while my wife is shoveling snow off our deck. This afternoon, I need to get the chains on the tractor… Lots of Red-state stickers on cars here, thus my nickname.
Our next car will be a Forester, replacing the 2WD Ranger–aka the “Summer Truck”.
I’d say a Mercedes 240D with a Herman Cain or Rick Perry Sticker.
Depends, is the 240D veggie oil or regular?
Check out Paul’s CC on the subject:
I’ve yet to meet a politically correct Panther owner 😀 (meant as a compliment to the Panther owners)
I ‘m still waiting for you to locate a Grand Marquis De Sade.
I would never mar my Grand Marquis LS (that stands for Luxury Sedan, son) with something as crass as a bumper sticker.
The only thing uglier than that roof is a 2nd gen Olds Bravada driving around town with a fake convertible top. White with black top, I kid you not.
There is actually a 2008 or so Chrysler Sebring sedan with a fake convertible top, chrome wheels and wide whitewalls running around town here.
Words cannot express…
I hate to say it, but I almost like that one because it is just so wrong. Maybe it’s just the angle though, I can’t even begin to imagine how a vinyl roof on a hatchback would work.
When I was still driving my 1975 Chevrolet Monza 2+2 fastback, I saw one of those with a white vinyl top. Ech!