$0.77 Per Pound: 1971 Mercury Marquis Brougham

What can you get for less than a dollar a pound these days? Here’s 4,522 pounds of grade-A American steel for just $3,500—like the title says, that’s just 77 cents per pound for this 1971 Mercury Marquis Brougham sedan. Want more facts and figures? How about 80,000 miles, 429 cubic inches, and 320 or even 360 (gross) horsepower! There’s no denying that this is a lot of car for not too much money, but there’s more to a good deal than raw numbers. Let’s take a look at this LA-based land hugger here on craigslist to assess its finer points (archived ad).

The ad is light on information, but the pictures tell a reasonably promising story. This Brougham should almost certainly have bright trim along the lower bodyside crease and around the front wheel opening, and it looks like there may be a few other boo-boos in the brown paint, but given how much sheer square footage there is here that could have been attracting dings or worse over the last 46 years, this Merc looks remarkably straight and clean. If one of the headlight covers looks a little lazy-eyed to you in that top picture, a second picture confirms that it’s a bit wonky, but that’s pretty nitpicky stuff for an all-original car.

The quality of the photography makes it hard to get a full sense of the interior, but what I can make out looks pretty decent. There’s some warping on the top of the dash pad (or is that a cover?), and a crack in the rim of the steering wheel, but the condition of the pedals and adjacent carpet suggests that the claimed mileage is correct. We don’t get to see the front bench, but the brocade upholstery of the rear seat looks like new.

Rounding out this substantial package is the 429-cubic inch Mercury V8. This mill was offered in 2-barrel and 4-barrel strengths in 1971; we don’t know which this is, but with 320 or 360 horsepower (gross, obviously), respectively, either would be up to the task of moving this beast. And, in either case, we’re told it “runs great.” Again, underhood decals support the low mileage. Based on what we can see here, I’m inclined to think that this Marquis is a bargain-priced cruiser; does it look like a prime cut to you, or have I missed some gristle?


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  1. John

    Definitely looks like a dash cover. I like these Steve McGarrett specials! Too bad I’m on the wrong coast.

    Like 1
    • Keith

      Steve McGarrett drove the Mercury Monterey not the Marquis

      Like 1
    • Rob M.

      Book ’em Danno! Murder 1!

      Like 1
  2. JamestownMike

    Funny, my local Food Lion has shank ham on sale for .77 cents a pound right now……….I’d rather have the ham!

  3. Mark Evans

    Makes me wonder if brown will ever be in style again & why?

    • SAM61

      Brown needs to make a comeback. I remember an early “70’s Buick Centurion convertible in the neighborhood. Cinnamon metallic, tan/beige interior, big v8 and Buick mag wheels…stunning!

      Also another neighbor with a “79 “chic vette”…two tone cream and brown with leather and cast wheels.

      • Miguel

        There was a version of brown on the 2012 or 2013 VW Jetta. I thought it looked horrible.

  4. Miguel

    Oddly enough I was just reading an article in the Motor Trend magazine from August 1971 entitled “Past, Present and Future”.

    It compared the Marquis to the Electra 225 and also to the Oldsmobile 98.

  5. Miguel

    The featured car could be the car from the magazine if it wasn’t for the steering wheel.

    The running theme with all three cars is that all of the instruments were condensed to be right in front of the driver because they expected air bags to be mandated in the next year or so, so they had to leave room on the passenger side of the car to accommodate them.

    I am not sure if you guys know this but the 1973 caprice that was used on Sienfeld as Kramer’s car was an air bag equipped car. It was rare for them to show an inside shot, but it is right there on the steering wheel.

  6. Miguel

    You are right Nathan, this car should have the trim that runs the length of the car as does the one featured in the story.

    • Miguel

      As it turns out, all the trim was in the trunk.

  7. Miguel

    In this short video you can see Kramer painting the lines on the highway.


    If you look close you can see the air bag steering wheel.

    An odd fact of note is that when a Chevrolet was equipped with an air bag, they installed the Oldsmobile dashboard in the car.

  8. Wagon master Member

    Brown is the new black….

  9. RichS

    Streets of San Francisco is a Quinn Martin Production.

  10. Stang1968

    Here’s another CL ad for the same car. It has more pictures of the interior.

  11. Tom Justice

    I was going to do the Steve McGarrett thing but John was first in line. If you can get it a bit cheaper and have a boat and a place to park it you have your hauler and in style!

  12. jw454

    In 1972 while I was still wrenching at Don Kramer Lincoln and Mercury, these were new cars. You get one of these on a single post Joyce Lift over your head and it seems like a whole lot more than 4522 pounds. Drain the oil, change the filter, visit 14 grease zerks with your grease gun and get it back on the floor ASAP.

  13. Pat A

    I don’t think Uber or Lyft allow for cars this old, but how cool would it be if your driver pulled up in this cush barge? Hmmm, an idea for a business?

  14. Dave Mc

    Brown or not, damn nice looking masheen. Another too far away

  15. David Miraglia

    Looks go here and on Craigs.

  16. Keith

    If you couldn’t afford a Lincoln Continental in 1971 you could save $2,000 and get a Marquis

  17. Wrong Way

    Another great car produced by Ford! I had one, my father in law gave it to me! It was somewhat beat up on the outside, but once you sat down inside you felt like you were in a very expensive vehicle! The interiors were very luxurious!

  18. Jack

    I have never seen exhaust outlets look like that. They almost look like channel iron of some kind. Is that stock?

  19. Troy s

    Nowadays the guy who would have bought one of these new, pride of success and a status symbol, now drives a beamer, usually, octaned up on Starbucks coffee, yammering on the cell phone all the while doing eighty with numerous lane changes and complete disregard for all other traffic. Luckily they don’t make BMW’s and Lexus quite this big!

  20. Pat A

    John Candy drove a ’75 2 door in “Uncle Buck”. Not 1/2 as nice as this one.

  21. Jay

    Been repainted? Not seeing any pinstripes.

  22. CanuckCarGuy

    Learned to drive in my father’s 1973…it was a funky gold colour with dark brown roof and interior. Fond memories of hitting the highway to ‘blow the carbon’ out of that sweet old 429…when it died 12 years later, he found a mint 1977 to replace it.

  23. Miguel

    Epilogue: Jeff Dunham bought this car and has two videos on YouTube about the purchase.

    He bought it because a similar one was his first car.

    It was a pretty car.

    Like 1
  24. Jack

    Here is the link to Jeff Dunham’s Mercury Marquis Brougham you tube video that Miguel is talking about.

    Like 1
  25. Miko

    my great aunt had one and when she died in ’77, it was given to my mom and she drove it for the longest time.. It looked just like the one in the picture… brown.. I remember the powered seats. I was a little girl and my daddy entertained me with the seats. lol!

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