Rare Rides: This 1976 Mercury Monarch Is Both Grand and a Ghia

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

Our own Sajeev Mehta pointed out this grey brougham box the other day. He always keeps his ear to the pulse of the Internets for any old Ford, Ghia, or Ford Ghia vehicles which come up for sale.

It’s luxury and elegance on a Grand level! Come have a look.

Mercury was no stranger to using the Monarch name on cars; it first appeared in Canada in the 1940s. Ford rebadged higher-end Mercury vehicles and sold them over the border as Monarchs. Lower-level Mercury cars became Meteors (once Monarch disappeared; Ford provided the bodies earlier on). Canadians must hate the word “mercury.” But why?

In the United States, the Monarch nameplate was a short-lived one. On offer at Mercury dealerships between 1975 and 1980, the good people at Ford used the Granada as a starting place for an upmarket Mercury version. Mercury customers received a different grille and light arrangements front and rear, as well as luxurious trim. Trim is an important consideration for our Rare Ride today, as it’s the least common Monarch.

For the 1975 and ’76 model years, the Monarch was offered in the luxuriously equipped Grand Monarch Ghia trim. Intended to slot in right under the full-size Grand Marquis, the Grand Monarch Ghia was the only one to get four-wheel disc brakes. Additionally, a central hydraulic system supplemented the standard electrical system.

Leather was standard on all Grand Monarch Ghias. Your author would be remiss in failing to point out the luxury and exclusivity provided by the Ghia badge on the dashboard (and embedded in the richly landau-ed c-pillar).

Other standard features on the Grand Monarch Ghia included a leather steering wheel, special 14-inch multi-spoke wheels, whitewalls, a solid state ignition, and higher-quality carpeting and soundproofing.

This one’s equipped with the 302 V8, which was not the largest on offer. That honor goes to the 351 V8 of the same Windsor family.

The Grand Monarch Ghia was perhaps too luxurious for the Mercury M badge it wore on the front. While the regular Monarch’s official replacement was the Fox body Cougar for 1981, the Grand Monarch Ghia was replaced in 1977 by the Lincoln Versailles.

A brougham lesson on the dangers of being too aspirational, perhaps? The Lincoln Versailles was not available in Ghia trim, and that’s a step down no matter which way you look at it. Today’s Rare Ride is on eBay presently, and is yours for just $4,600. If it were brown, Sajeev would’ve clicked that Buy It Now button days ago.

[Images via seller]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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  • Road_pizza Road_pizza on Mar 27, 2018

    Funny how time changes one's views... when I was a young'en in the Seventies I despised the new-for-'75 Granada and Monarch even tho I was a true-blue Ford kid, but now I'd have no issue cruising one. Especially if it was one of these Grand Monarchs. Give me one in this particular shade of grey but make mine a 351W, thanks.

  • Ronald MacDonald Ronald MacDonald on Sep 13, 2023

    In September 1976 I ordered my 1977 Monarch Ghia Coupe, black on black vinyl roof with maroon leather, 302 with the four speed overdrive transmission. The 302 was smog'd, the standard at that time, reducing the hp rating. The car was a "drivers car". [It] did everything right. The suspension was taught, the cabin was near silent, the standard transmission allowed effective use of the 302's available hp , (my friends '77 Camaro with the small block V8 never once failed to have a good view of my tail-lights), and I had a useable back seat. Suspension, brakes, lights, HVAC and general ergonomics were well designed and "creature-comfortable".

  • Lou_BC Ironic, the Honda Ridgeline, a truck that every truck guy loves to hate is in 6th place.
  • 28-Cars-Later I keep forgetting I own it, but the space look on the ext cab reminds me of my 'Yota pickup of the same model year. I'm pretty sure there is some vintage of Hilux which features the same looking ext cab window (maybe '88?) its a shame these things are mostly gone and when available are $1,000,000,000 [INSERT CURRENT CURRENCY].
  • Sayahh Imagine if Ford had Toyota design and build a Mustang engine. It will last over 300k miles! (Skip turbo and make it naturally aspirated.) Maybe Yamaha will help tune it...
  • Sobhuza Trooper Isuzu's crime was to build some damn good trucks.Shame on them.
  • El scotto Listen, unless you were Lord Headly-Stempmoor or such when you got off the off the boat, boot in Canada, you got the short end of the stick. People got on the boat, these days a plane, to escape famine, becoming cannon fodder in yet another stupid war, or the government thought it was A-OK to let soldiers kill you. Juneteenth is just a way to right one of the more bad ideas in the American experiment. Instead we have commenters who were buying tater chips and diet soda at Wal-Mart and got all butt-hurt because they heard someone who wasn't speaking English. I'm going to go fix a couple of frankfurters with salsa and guacamole and wash them down with a lager or three
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