Junkyard Find: 1982 Mercury Zephyr

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1982 mercury zephyr

The super- Malaise-y Granada/Monarch was replaced by the Fox platform-based Fairmont/Zephyr in a process that lasted through the late 1970s and early 1980s (a Fox-based Granada lingered on until 1982). The Fox was like science fiction next to the well-seasoned early-60s chassis that came before, and car buyers who wanted a sporty two-tone coupe went right to their Lincoln-Mercury dealers to buy Zephyrs like this one.

You’d never know the 1970s had been over for a while after a glance at this tan-and-gold disco cruiser.

The good old Ford 250 inline-six engine— which I just learned came with the official name of “Thriftpower Six”— was a straight early-60s flashback for the purchaser of this Zephyr.

Ford certainly got its money’s worth out of the Fox platform; depending on the strictness of your definition of new-versus-upgraded chassis designs, it was built until either 1994 or 2003.

I couldn’t find any ’82 Zephyr ads, so here’s one for its Fairmont sibling.

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  • Nrd515 Nrd515 on Sep 27, 2012

    I had a Chevy Caprice rent a car from Detroit to Toledo, and then it died, dead battery, so they swapped it for a Zephyr that looked exactly like the one in the pics. I really liked the Caprice and wasn't thrilled to get stuck with the Zephyr. It had a six in it, and I drove it to Indianapolis to go to the 1981 US Nationals drag races. It was tolerable for the most part, until I hit a huge crater on the way home and all the way back, it was trying to turn hard left. By the time I turned it in, the left front tire was all chewed up. It was the second best rental car I ever had.

  • R0ckf0rd R0ckf0rd on Sep 28, 2012

    I remember these as a kid -- my dad had a white 1980 Zephyr wagon with a red vinyl interior. 2.3L engine with a ... wait for it ... 4 speed MANUAL transmission!! This thing was one of the $995 specials sitting in the back of a shady used car lot back in the late 80's. It was in an accident years before making it to that lot(I found a notebook under the spare tire one day that detailed the thousands in repairs done to the front end after an accident -- gotta love the pre carfax days!!), repainted and lasted until 2001 or so. The amazing thing was -- it never rusted. In all the time it spent in WI winters, the only rust on the car when the engine gave out at 170K was on the hatchback area. Whoever had that car repaired did an excellent job on getting it repainted/rust protected!! I drove it a few times in High school -- could not get over the manual transmission & want one in my car stable if I can ever find one... I know its wierd, but these had the strangest door "clank" i've ever heard on a car.

  • Bullnuke With his choosing sides in the current labor negotiations, the President should cut through all the red tape of the process and, using his executive powers, cause his Secretary of the Department of Labor to order the Big 2.5 to accept whatever is asked by his choice - the UAW. This would save the strike fund money and allow the automakers to restart the assembly lines quickly.
  • THX1136 Maybe Mark Worman/Graveyard Carz will see this, buy the thing and restore it to it's original condition.
  • THX1136 Fain's comments are ridiculous to these ears. "Struggling to get by. . ." - really? The only reason any would be struggling is due to living beyond said individuals means (spending money like the gubment does). Both political entities 'visiting' the situation is one more reason for this baby to vote for neither.
  • Sgeffe 400 horsepower? In a German 2-point-zero-tee?My God, that'll blow sky-high the day after the warranty expires!
  • EBFlex Did he deboard the plane with the baby steps? Anyway I called it. Right yet again:Jeff-“”I doubt President Biden would join striking UAW workers. It’s one thing to give support to strikers and another to join strikers on the picket line.”Well he’s a complete and total moron. So it wouldn’t be surprising at all if he joined them on the picket line. If an idiot would do it, then it’s something Brandon would do..”