By on July 21, 2012

We’re on a 1973 roll here in Junkyard Find land, with a ’73 Luxury LeMans yesterday and a ’73 Super Beetle the day before, so I’m going to keep it going with another car from the year everything went to hell. The Montego was the blinged-out, gingerbread-encrusted sibling of the Ford Torino during this era, so it made sense that Mercury would sell a Brougham edition.
As can be seen from this car’s surroundings, I shot these photos at the Brain Melting Colorado Yard.
This car was locked, so I couldn’t open the hood and take a look at the engine. This car could be purchased with a 92-horsepower 250 L6, a 137-horsepower 302 V8, and an assortment of 351C, 400M, and 429 V8s with distressingly low power ratings and OPEC-gratifying thirst.
Still, I think these things are cool. I’m sure Sajeev agrees.

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30 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1973 Mercury Montego MX Brougham...”


  • avatar
    jjklongisland

    Thats the ultimate flat black murdered out ride! Bad A$$!

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Wow, so is this one in some kind of “for sale” section? That thing even has 4 fully inflated tires and looks like it drove there under its own power.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      I was thinking the same thing, especially since it’s locked. Why would a car in a junkyard be locked?

      Although the ’68 Cutlass on one side definitely looks like boneyard material, the sixties’ Mercury hardtop on the other side looks like it’s in really good shape to the point of actually being driven by someone (why else would it have a sun-screen in the windshield!).

  • avatar
    Loser

    My first car was a dark green 2 door ’73 Montego with the 351W. I paid $300 for it back in 1982. Other than replacing a u joint, it took my endless abuse for almost a year. It then wound up in a police impound yard (long story) and I was unable to get it out. I still find these cool looking cars and would love to own a GT version.

    For some odd reason I find the ’73 with the impact front bumper more attractive than the ’72 thin front bumper.

  • avatar
    raph

    The old man had traded his T5 Mach for a ’70 Montego Cyclone Spoiler with a 429 Super Cobrajet (heh… losts of testosterone inducing flavor there), he loved that car and really loved muscle cars in general having owned a hemi Belvedere and Coronet 440 RT before that.

  • avatar
    thalter

    That is odd. Other than the lack of a license plate, this one does look fully roadworthy.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Hmmm. When did the domestics start using remote hood releases? I’d always assumed these boats just had a release latch buried in the grille someplace.

  • avatar
    markholli

    “This car could be purchased with a 92-horsepower 250 L6…”

    Ha ha ha ha!! Ninety-two horsepower in this barge!! Just the thought of trying to get up to highway speed on an on-ramp with this thing cracks me up. Planning to go up any canyons? Don’t even try.

    I wonder how the sales brochure read…maybe something like, “If you’re frightened by the modern pace of American life, you’ll love the 35 MPH drag-limited top speed on the Montego 250 L6!”

    • 0 avatar
      dejal1

      Considering the trailer hitch, this one is probably a V8. Unless the owner was a glutton for punishment.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      Those land yachts with I6 engines are the opposite end of the rarity spectrum of the Hemi, Boss 429, ZL1, etc. powered cars and, ironically, are even more rare. I would love to see an immaculate base, six-cylinder, 3-speed manual intermediate or full-size car at a car show.

      But I doubt many of them are left. Few of those base-engine big cars were likely ever built and suspect it was a holdover from decades of some dealer marketing genius’ scheme to lower the MSRP of a car for the good old bait-and-switch. The only possible market for such vehicles would be commercial/government fleets where the people who bought them didn’t have to actually drive them.

  • avatar
    MadHungarian

    My grandparents had one of these; it might have been a ’72. Nice car to ride in as a kid; I can’t imagine any adults voluntarily using the back seat. Also, it was the first car anyone in the family had with an FM radio, and it was horrible. It kept cutting in and out of stereo mode, giving a very choppy sound.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    It’s a shame that a collector hasn’t rescued this car, it looks in good shape for its age. It must have spent a long portion of its life under a roof.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    The MX Brougham may have had standard 302, but would have to confirm that. But, the 74+ Cougar killed off the Montego, eventually taking the whole middie line by ’77.

    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      The Montego really lived on as the Ford Elite. Those were practically identical.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        This generation of Montego and the Elite were contemporaries, they were sold at the same time. Sometimes at the same dealership!

        Their replacements, the LTD II, the Thunderbird and the Mercury Cougar (in all of it’s variations) killed off the Montego and Elite nameplates. At least through the end of the last century.

        To be accurate, the Elite and the Mercury Cougar of the same time period were almost identical, except for front fascia and some other trim items. The Montego was the bread and butter car, like the Torino. But everything got brougham-ized back then…

  • avatar
    texan01

    We used one of these as a car bash victim in 1994 for my high schools homecoming fund raiser.

    It was a rather tough car to flatten with a sledgehammer.

  • avatar
    threeer

    The last domestically nameplated car my mother and father owned (save for dad’s 1996 Dodge Ram he had for one year before he passed away) was a 1976 Montego. 351W, vinyl bench seats, manual windows and steel wheels with silver “FoMoCo” wheel nut covers. We owned that car for 13 unbelievably reliable years. It serviced us through years in Germany (ye Gods…trying to get that thing through towns was, um, interesting) and then back to the States, where as I turned 17 I had my first “personal” encounter with a fully-fleshed out female form in the expansive seats. I remember driving that behemoth with that tiny, thin and fragile plastic steering wheel! But it ran…and ran…and ran. When my parents returned to Germany, my mother made the fateful decision to sell it to our local junkyard, as rust had finally(after 13 years) started to creep into some less than desirable areas of the car. About six months after they left (I remained behind to finish going to college), I saw the faithful barge being piloted down the road of the town I lived in. Long live Mercury…(at least that one!).

  • avatar
    DownEaster

    Nice looking cars for a junkyard. Probably a lot of them could be shipped to the East Coast and could be sold to be restored. The Montego looks like a nice car and in 1975 and 1976 (Maybe also 1974 too.) Ford took this car, changed the trim, and created the Ford Elite. It was basically a 2 door Ford Torino with the Montego front end. They sold it to compete against the Monte Carlo and Old Cutlass “Personal Luxury” cars that were becoming popular at the time. Then the 1977 Ford Thunderbird and Mercury Cougar XR-7 came out. They were a heavily restyled version of this car but were the same underneath. A great junkyard and I’d love to spend a week there!! Wow! Would like to bring several of the cars home too.

  • avatar
    Joss

    73 good sales year for MX-B. Heck why does my memory believe opera windows should be in there?

    Politics: While Maryland’s most honest governor EVER resigned the vice-presidency.

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      The opera windows were on the Cougar. Yes, that 70′s Rococco look and you wonder where the Cordoba got it from. In the mid-80′s I owned a higher optioned 74 Cougar w/351W in silver with a maroon interior and landau roof,Magnum 500 wheels, buckets, console and gauges. It drove well in fact quite well for a malase era car with the handling pkg but not as agile as the 70 Mustang coupe w/302 which I owned previously and was similar to the original and much better regarded,less bloated 67-73 Cougar. The rear main seal on the Cougar started leaking and I did not want to invest the time or money so I sold it.

      • 0 avatar
        Moparman426W

        Opera windows also came on the higher optioned Montegos, but they didn’t come out until the 74 model year. Even Gran Torino Broughams had them after 74.

      • 0 avatar
        MRF 95 T-Bird

        True after 74 they had the opera windows and the Torino Elite had the split rectangular ones. My next door neighbor had a 76 Gran Torino Brougham 2 dr which not only had opera windows but rear fender skirts which made it look like a beached whale. You could see how bloated these cars got compared to the 72-73 models. The replacement all-new for 77 LTD II and Cougar are large but seem svelt by comparison due to their boxy design.

      • 0 avatar
        Moparman426W

        Call me weird but I thought the Torinos looked kinda cool with the fender skirts :)

  • avatar
    Moparman426W

    A girl that went to my school had this exact car, only it was beige. I don’t know what size engine it had because I barely knew her, but I know it was a V8 because of the sound.
    A friend of mine had a white 76 MX brougham with the 351W, and another friend of mine had a 74 Cougar with the 351C, and a 75 Cougar with the 351M with bucket seats, console and floor shifter. At some point Ford made the V8 standard in the intermediates, but I’m not sure which year it was. In 76 the 351 was standard in all midsizers, then in 77 the 302 was again standard in the restyled midsized cars.

  • avatar

    Agreed. 100% agreed!

  • avatar
    geozinger

    This being an MX Brougham, it was standard with a 302 V8.

    My father bracketed this car with 1972 and 1974 model Montegos. The 1972 was a leftover of his ‘economy’ phase, it had the 250 I-6; the thing was a POS, in every sense of the word… He replaced with a lipstick red 1974 Montego with a 302. He wanted his next car to be a then-new for 1977 Cougar XR-7, but he passed before that took place.

    That’s a really nice example of one, especially because it has all of the brightwork still attached. I don’t know if anyone reproduces that stuff, but it’s got to be worth something. At least it would be to me if I had the car. I wish I had the time/space/money to do something with that car, but alas, I don’t. I hope it finds a good home and doesn’t become a Chinese washing machine…

  • avatar
    gkhize

    Love it, like others said, looks ready for the road. Drove a Pea Green version of this with a white vinyl top for a while. The drivers seat springs were shot so you sat low and could barely see out over that long hood. Would love to get my hands on that ’66 Merc coupe sitting next to it too.


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