Junkyard Find: 1983 Mercury Marquis Sedan

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1983 mercury marquis sedan
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™.
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2 of 43 comments
  • 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....

  • Ravenuer The Long Island Expressway.
  • Kwik_Shift A nice stretch of fairly remote road that would be great for test driving a car's potential, rally style, is Flinton Road off of Highway 41 in Ontario. Twists/turns/dips/rises. Just hope a deer doesn't jump out at you. Also Highway 60 through Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario. Great scenery with lots of hills.
  • Saeed Hello, I need a series of other accessories from Lincoln. Do you have front window, front and rear lights, etc. from the 1972 and 1976 models
  • Probert Wow - so many digital renders - Ford, Stellantis. - whose next!!! They're really bringing it on....
  • Zerocred So many great drives:Dalton Hwy from Fairbanks to the Arctic Circle.Alaska Marine Highway from Bellingham WA to Skagway AK. it was a multi-day ferry ride so I didn’t actually drive it, but I did take my truck.Icefields Parkway from Jasper AB to Lake Louise AB, CA.I-70 and Hwy 50 from Denver to Sacramento.Hwy 395 on the east side of the Sierras.