Junkyard Find: 1989 Mercury Sable LS Sedan

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1989 mercury sable ls sedan
The first-generation Mercury Sable, like its revolutionary Ford Taurus sibling, was a smash sales hit. Then, well, the plastic in those cool-looking “lightbar” grilles yellowed after a few years, sales of later Sables declined, and then the 1986-1991 Sables were just about all gone. I don’t see many first-gen Sables at U-Yank-It yards these days, though they were not uncommon just a few years ago.Here is an appliance-white ’89 that I found in a Denver yard recently.
This lightbar doesn’t seem too bad. Perhaps I should have purchased it for our resident Mercury lover.
The Ford Keyless Entry keypad dates all the way back to the 1980 model year, and continues in use on 2016 Fords (though the hardware looks a bit different than it did in the 1980s).
The LS was the top Sable trim level in 1989; the MSRP on this car was $15,095, versus $12,874 for a Taurus GL with V6 engine.
The interior is a symphony in hard beige plastic and tan velour.
It’s true, other car companies were copying the looks of the Taurus/Sable.
Mercury: it’s worth it. Which is something of a defensive-sounding slogan.
How about a full minute of Rod Stewart scmhaltzily pitching the Mercury line, with emphasis on the first-gen Sable?Big-haired ’80s women prefer the Sable!
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  • Guy922 Guy922 on Mar 24, 2016

    My parents had a 1986 Sable LS Wagon, fully loaded sans the sunroof. We got the car in 1994 and It was a good car at first but it had sat in a barn for a few years before being bought by my folks. Beige with tan leather and basketweave wheels, the car looked great but had many electrical gremlins. Wipers would come on at random, radio would work when it wanted too, died on my mom a few times. We finally sold it in 1997 and it apparently caught fire after the sale because the guy my dad sold it to, called with complaints. Gremlins aside though, that car holds many of my fondest memories as a child. And it looked great when compared to the 1983 and 88 caprice wagons we had owned before. When I got my license, my first car was a 1992 Taurus GL sedan and then we had another 1993 GL Wagon. A 1997 GL sedan and my mom still using her 2004 SES. We have had a few Tauruses and always loved them. They are much better cars than they get credit for. We still have a 1992 Camry and that is a great car still in a lot of ways but I always liked the six passenger seating of the Taurus and the first two generations of style were great. I can think of no car that was as quintessential in the 1990's as the Taurus and the Sable.

  • Hifi Hifi on Jun 27, 2016

    When this came out, it looked like the future. Prior to this, most non-german mainstream cars looked and felt very pieced-together. The Taurus/Sable was a unified and clean design... relative to what else was on the market back in the 80s. And I love cars that have keypads. My Maxima had something similar, and I was able to leave the keys and everything locked in the car when I went to the beach or biking. Today it's not as necessary as long as you have a car where you can unlock the doors with your phone.

  • Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
  • Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
  • ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
  • ToolGuy Presented for discussion: https://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper2/thoreau/civil.html
  • Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?
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