Junkyard Find: 1983 Mercury Marquis Station Wagon

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1983 mercury marquis station wagon

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?

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  • Purple Purple on Nov 19, 2015

    California sure has clean cars in their junkyards. I live in suburbs NW of Chicago, not the kindest place for cars. I love station wagons. If I only had the room and money. The wagon needs to be saved by someone? Make it a sleeper. Throw a lot of Mustang parts at it. A Coyote with a supercharger or a big block or how about a new twin-turbo 6. Im a dreamer.

  • FalconRTV FalconRTV on Nov 22, 2015

    Interesting fact: that model shared its rear tail gate with the Australian designed and manufactured 1979 XD Falcon station wagon.

  • Analoggrotto Too bad they don't sell Kia Telluride, the greatest selling vehicle in it's class over the pond in the UK who burned Washington DC down but that's ok.
  • Analoggrotto Kia Telluride never faced such problems and now offers a superior offroad trim for those times where soccerdad needs to go get the white claws from costco.
  • Zerofoo There's a joke here somewhere about Tim's used car recommendations, Tassos, and death traps.
  • Tassos Subaru really knows how to take fugly to ever higher levels, and sell every one of the (of course very few) it makes. As if the number of sales negates the fugliness.Don't hold your breath. I bet this will NOT be the vehicle James Bond arrives at the Casino in Monte Carlo with in his next flick. (if any)
  • ToolGuy Government overreach. Park the Ford in your air-conditioned garage on a maintenance charger and this won't be a problem.Here's some (old) general background if you are interested.@ILO, there are 3 Fords, and Ford Pro™ is the one with the bright future 🙂