Junkyard Find: 1983 Mercury Marquis Sedan

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
Ford squeezed every possible nickel of value out of the rear-wheel-drive Fox platform during its near-20-year production run (longer than that, if you accept the SN95 Mustang as a Fox), and I enjoy tracking down as many Fox variants as possible while I march up and down the rows of my favorite car graveyards.I think the period of Peak Fox came during the first half of the 1980s, as the Malaise Era shifted into the Conspicuous Consumption Era (and we haven’t seen a Fox Ford here since 2019), so this 1983 Mercury Marquis deserves inclusion in this series.
While Americans could buy the Grand Marquis all the way through Mercury’s demise in 2011, the Fox Marquis — in production for the 1983 through 1986 model years — ended up being the very last Marquis. The Grand Marquis during this period remained on the full-sized Panther platform.
Like nearly all Mercuries, the 1983 Marquis had a near-identical twin with Ford badging: the LTD.
This car must have been parked outdoors and neglected for years, because its cowl vents had enough built-up soil to support a crop of grass during Northern California’s rainy winter.
With Whorehouse Red™ velour upholstery and plenty of hard red and fake-chrome plastic, the affordable opulence was real.
Yes, there was a time when aspiring luxury sedans had hand-cranked windows.
The federal government mandated 85 mph speedometers in U.S.-market cars from late 1979 through late 1981, but plenty of new cars retained them long after that. The silver-gauge-face fad, mostly seen in Oldsmobiles, Buicks, and Mercuries, reached its zenith during this period.
AM/FM cassette and air conditioning!
Marquis buyers could choose among three engines for 1983: a “Pinto” 2.3-liter four cylinder with 90 horsepower, a 200-cubic-inch straight-six with 92 horses, or a 3.8-liter V6 with 112 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. This car came with the top-of-the-line V6; the 5.0-liter V8 became available for the 1984 and 1985 Marquis. An automatic transmission came as standard equipment, though I’m sure a persistent buyer could have forced a dealer to order one of these cars with a manual.
You know the junkyard lies just down the road when a car has taillights made from taped-on shards cut from a red plastic storage tub.You’ll find links to 2,000+ more Junkyard Finds— including dozens of discarded Mercuries— at the Junkyard Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™.
Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Lightspeed Lightspeed on Apr 13, 2020

    I believe there was a Mercury version of the Ford LTD-LX, those must be hen's teeth rare.

  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Apr 13, 2020

    This brings back memories...our HS Driver's Ed car, complete with assistant coach driving instructor, was a Fairmont. I recall it mostly as the first car I ever legally drove, and the horn wasn't normal. You had to push the turn signal stalk...in. I've no idea whose brilliant that idea was....

  • Ted Lulis Head gaskets and Toyota putting my kids through college👍️
  • Leonard Ostrander Plants don't unionize. People do, and yes, of course the workers should organize.
  • Jalop1991 Here's something EVangelists don't want to talk about, and why range is important: battery warranties, by industry standard, specify that nothing's wrong with the battery, and they won't replace it, as long as it is able to carry 70% or more of its specified capacity.So you need a lot of day 1 capacity so that down the road, when you're at 70% capacity with a "fully functioning, no problem" car, you're not stuck in used Nissan Leaf territory."Nothing to see here, move along."There's also the question of whether any factory battery warranty survives past the original new car owner. So it's prudent of any second owner to ask that question specifically, and absent any direct written warranty, assume that the second and subsequent owners own any battery problems that may arise.And given that the batteries are a HUGE expense, much more so than an ICE, such exposure is equally huge."Nothing to see here, move along."
  • Roger hopkins The car is in Poland??? It does look good tho...
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X The push for EV's is part of the increase in our premiums. Any damage near the battery pack and the car is a total loss.