Junkyard Treasure: 1993 Mercury Grand Marquis LS

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

Ford introduced a newly rounded Crown Victoria on the late-1970s-vintage Panther platform for the 1992 model year, and the Mercury Division was right there—as it so often was, from the very beginning in 1939—with a Mercurized version. The 1992-1997 Grand Marquis has become a rarity in the big self-service car graveyards I frequent, so I decided that this worn-out '93 deserved to be documented for this series.

junkyard treasure 1993 mercury grand marquis ls

As was the case with most 1939-2011 Mercury models (with the notable exceptions of the 1991-1994 Capri and the 1999-2002 Cougar), the Grand Marquis never differed much from its Ford-badged siblings.

The Grand Marquis name began life in the 1974 model year, as an interior trim package on the Marquis Brougham, itself based on the Ford LTD. For 1975 through 1978, the still-LTD-based Grand Marquis was a luxurious trim level for the marquis Marquis, and then the first true Grand Marquis debuted for 1979 and stayed in production through 1991.

Of course, the 1992-2011 Grand Marquis will always be known as the "Grandma Keith" to many of us, thanks to a hilarious speech-to-text glitch. This one is an upscale LS, but don't get too excited about that—there were just the GS and LS trim levels for 1993, and they weren't much different. The LS got power seats and some nicer cloth inside, and that was about it.

The MSRP on the 1993 Grandma Keith LS was $22,609, while the GS cost $22,092 (that's about $47,060 and $45,980 in 2022 dollars). If you didn't mind Mercury owners glaring down their snoots at you for saving a buck, the $20,493 ($42,655 now) Ford Crown Victoria was more or less the same car.

Nobody knew it at the time, but the then-newish Modular 4.6 engine would turn out to be one of Ford's most reliable engines of the era. This one was rated at either 190 or 210 horsepower, depending on whether the car had the optional dual exhaust (which appears to have been buried in a many-item option package).

The aluminum wheels added $440 to the cost ($915 today).

This car appears to have backed into a pole at a pretty good clip, or perhaps it spun out first.

The driver's-side front window was plastered with "Move This Car Or Else" red tags from Greeley, Colorado (about 30 miles to the north of this yard). Eventually, the tow trucks arrived.

This sticker is a bit redundant on a Grandma Keith.

This car appears to have the $543 "Electronic Group" option package ($1,130 in 2022 bucks), which included a digital instrument cluster and automatic HVAC temperature control.

All 1993 Crown Victorias and Grand Marquis came with air conditioning as standard equipment. A decade earlier, such would not have been the case.

The Securicode combination-lock feature goes way back for Ford products, all the way to the early 1980s.

The original owner's manual was with it to the very end.

As you'd expect, advertising for the Grandma Keith emphasized a long list of standard features. In hindsight, we can say that these were pretty good cars for the money.

This commercial for the '97 Grandma isn't the usual thing.

[Images by the author]

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4 of 30 comments
  • TDIGuy TDIGuy on Oct 18, 2022

    Had one as a rental "upgrade" years back for a drive through Florida. Has the strange double effect of blending in because every old person in Florida drove one of these, yet on the interstate everyone gets out of your way because it looked close enough to a Crown Vic and was the same colour as the Florida Highway Patrol cars.

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    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Oct 19, 2022

      @Spookiness - a buddy of mine was the local police fleet manager. He occasionally was sent 500 miles south to pick up new police cars. He buzzed through a speed trap on the freeway once. Fortunately for him he was familiar with the police communication codes. They thought he was a fellow cop so he just got a lecture over the VHF radio.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Oct 18, 2022

    Back in the mid 70s my brother and I traveled out West in my 73 Chevelle Deluxe 4 door with dog dish hubcaps. We were going anywhere from 90 to 100 mph when we noticed in Arizona cars were slowing down or pulling over to let us by. Later I found out that my Chevelle resembled some of the Arizona highway patrol cars and was close to the color of them. I believe my Chevelle was mistaken for an unmarked police car.

  • Jwee More range and faster charging cannot be good news for the heavily indebted and distracted Musk.Tesla China is discounting their cars. Apart from the Model 3, no one is much buying Tesla's here in Europe. Other groups have already passed Tesla in Europe, where it was once dominant.Among manufacturers, 2021 EV sales:VW Group 25%, Stellantis at 14.5%,Tesla at 13.9%Hyundai-Kia at 11.2% Renault Group at 10.3%. Just 2 years ago, Tesla had a commanding 31.1% share of the European EV marketOuch. https://carsalesbase.com/european-sales-2021-ev/@lou_BC, carsalebase.com changed their data, so this is slightly different than last time I posted this, but same idea.
  • Varezhka Given how long the Mitsubishi USA has been in red, that's a hard one. I mean, this company has been losing money in all regions *except* SE Asia and Oceania ever since they lost the commercial division to Daimler.I think the only reason we still have the brand is A) Mitsubishi conglomerate's pride won't allow it B) US still a source of large volume for the company, even if they lose money on each one and C) it cost too much money to pull out and no one wants to take responsibility. If I was the head of Mitsubishi's North American operation and retreat was not an option, I think my best bet would be to reduce overhead by replacing all the cars with rebadged Nissans built in Tennessee and Mexico.As much as I'd like to see the return of Triton, Pajero Sport (Montero Sport to you and me), and Delica I'm sure that's more nostalgia and grass is greener thing than anything else.
  • Varezhka If there's one (small) downside to the dealer not being allowed to sell above MSRP, it's that now we get a lot of people signing up for the car with zero intention of keeping the car they bought. We end up with a lot of "lightly used" examples on sale for a huge mark-up, including those self-purchased by the dealerships themselves. I'm sure this is what we'll end up seeing with GR Corolla in Japan as well.This is also why the Land Cruiser has a 4 year waitlist in Japan (36K USD starting MSRP -> buy and immediately flip for 10, 20K more -> profit) I'm not sure if there's a good solution for this apart from setting the MSRP higher to match what the market allows, though this lottery system is probably as close as we can get.
  • Jeff S @Lou_BC--Unrelated to this article but of interest I found this on You Tube which explains why certain vehicles are not available in the US because of how the CAFE measures fuel standards. I remember you commenting on this a few years ago on another article on TTAC. The 2023 Chevrolet Montana is an adorable small truck that's never coming to the USA. It's not because of the 1.2L engine, or that Americans aren't interested in small trucks, it's that fuel economy legislation effectively prevents small trucks from happening. What about the Maverick? It's not as small as you think. CAFE, or Corporate Average Fuel Economy is the real reason trucks in America are all at least a specific dimension. Here's how it works and why it means no tiny trucks for us. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eoMrwrGA8A&ab_channel=AlexonAutos
  • Gabe A new retro-styled Montero as their halo vehicle to compete against the Bronco, Wrangler and 4Runner. Boxy, round headlights like the 1st generation, two door and four door models, body on frame.A compact, urban truck, Mighty Max, to compete against the Maverick. Retro-styled like the early 90s Mighty Max.A new Outlander Sport as more of a wagon/crossover to compete against the Crosstrek and Kona. Needs to have more power (190+ HP) and a legit transmission, no CVT.A new Eclipse hybrid to compete against the upcoming redesigned Prius. Just match the Prius's specs and make it look great.Drop the Eclipse Cross, I am not sure why they wanted to resurrect the Pontiac Aztec. Keep the Mirage and keep it cheap, make the styling better and up the wheel size. The Outlander seems fine.I like the idea of some sort of commercial vehicle, something similar in size to the Promaster City but with AWD.