In 1983, Ford decided to put the Mercury Marquis on the new-ish Fox Platform, while the Grand Marquis remained on the Panther Platform (where it would stay until the bitter end). Confused? Hey, at least the Marquis/Grand Marquis split wasn’t as puzzling as, say, the Toyota Corolla Tercel (which was unrelated to the Corolla) or the Nissan Stanza Wagon (which was only slightly related to the other US-market Stanzas).
Here’s a faded but generally solid ’83 Marquis woodie wagon I saw in Northern California in August.
Thirty-two years of California sun have converted the once-vivid Whorehouse Red cloth-and-vinyl interior to a sort of washed-out pink hue.
The Let Me Huff Some More Starter Fluid And I’ll Believe This Is Real Wood™ siding is about as convincing now as it was the day it left the assembly line.
I’m a little puzzled by this three-dimensional fuel-gauge component. Is it a decorative touch intended to let the Marquis wagon driver feel superior to those lowly LTD wagon drivers (with their proletariat flat fuel gauges), or is it an indicator light of some sort?
Under its hood is the 3.8 liter Essex V6 engine, which went on to a lengthy career that included installation in 21st-century Mustangs. This engine has proven to be one of the most reliable in the 24 Hours of LeMons race series (in fact, it is one of the hardest-to-kill engines in the series, much less likely to throw rods and/or blow head gaskets than the Windsor V-8) and the later versions make good power.
The factory AM/FM stereo radio was a $109 option, which is about $260 in inflation-adjusted bucks and not a bad deal compared to the staggering prices once paid for factory radios.
This car was complete, rust-free, and probably still ran when it got towed to this wrecking yard. By now, it has been crushed, shredded, and fed into the global commodity-trading system. Imagine this car with all the go-fast tricks generally applied to its Fox Mustang siblings!
11.9% financing? Where do I sign?