1-of-1? 1985 Mercury Grand Marquis

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Claiming unique status for any classic car is a slippery slope. Sometimes the one feature supporting the claim is so minor it is almost irrelevant. However, when it is something as significant as the paint and trim combination, that’s a game-changer. That is what sets this 1985 Mercury Grand Marquis apart from the crowd, with this pampered survivor in fantastic condition. It is loaded with luxury touches, needing nothing but a new owner. The seller listed this gem here on eBay in Cincinnati, Ohio. Bidding sits at $5,950 in a No Reserve auction.

If the backstory for this Mercury is accurate and verifiable, it will add little to its potential value. However, it would be an excellent conversation starter at a show or a Cars & Coffee. The seller claims the original owner ordered the car for his wife and, wanting something to stand out from the crowd, selected Code 1C Black paint, a matching vinyl top, hand-painted Blue pinstripes, and Blue cloth interior trim. He waited patiently for a delivery that never eventuated and running out of patience, he contacted the manufacturer. The company’s representative confirmed that the car existed but was sitting in their “Defect Lot” awaiting destruction. When he enquired why, he was told they believed it had been built in error because they had never received an order in that color and trim combination. He convinced them to remove it from the Lot, and delivery occurred soon after. The car has led a sheltered existence, remaining garage-kept when not in use. Its paint shines deeply, and like the vinyl top, it appears close to perfect. There are no signs of flaws or defects, with the panels as straight as an arrow. The lack of exposure to adverse weather means the Mercury is rust-free, with the seller stating the underside is as immaculate as the exterior. The chrome and wire hubcaps are spotless, as is the glass.

The stunning presentation continues when we examine this Mercury’s interior. Although Blue cloth trim is not unusual in itself, buyers usually teamed it with White or Blue paint. I admit to having never previously seen this combination, with most Black cars ordered with Maroon or Black trim. I even Googled it and failed to find a similar vehicle. That is not iron-clad proof, but a spot of detective work could prove satisfying. Considering the exterior presentation, the interior condition is unsurprising. There is no evidence of wear on the upholstered surfaces or carpet, and I find the seller’s claim that the back seat remains unused plausible. The dash is spotless, there is no UV damage or aftermarket additions. Adding to the car’s unusual flavor, the original owner ordered it from the factory with a CB radio and cell phone. These items are intact, while air conditioning, power windows, power locks, a six-way power driver’s seat, remote mirrors, cruise control, and a tilt wheel make life pleasant for the occupants.

Powering this Mercury is the venerable 302ci V8 that sends 140hp to the road via a four-speed automatic transmission. Power assistance for the steering and brakes was standard fare, adding to the luxury feel of this classic. Buyers were less concerned with the ability of the Grand Marquis to storm the ¼-mile in 18.5 seconds than cruise calmly at freeway speeds. The car proved capable of doing so while comfortably topping 20mpg. This Mercury has seen little recent use, with the seller stating it drives beautifully most of the time. It does occasionally stumble, suggesting a tune-up might be required. Considering its recent history, that sounds like a wise move before the buyer undertakes any longer journeys.

This 1985 Mercury Grand Marquis is stunning, and its backstory is fascinating. The fact that it could so easily have been scrapped before it left the factory adds an extra layer to its story, although it adds nothing to its value. It would suit a meticulous enthusiast, and its condition has attracted twenty-three bids with time remaining on the auction. Is this a survivor you would be tempted to pursue further? If you do so successfully, we’d all love to know whether it is everything the listing claims it to be.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TNMember

    Nice car.

    Wouldn’t a Marti report tell us if this is the only black/black/blue cloth 1985 Grand Marquis?

    As for the rest of the story, well maybe. I can see a car in the “to be destroyed” lot for a safety or serious manufacturing defect, but for a trim error? Wouldn’t Ford try to unload it on a dealer (“if you take this Grand Marquis, I’ll increase your allocation of F-150’s”). I’m just speculating, I don’t have any experience in this area, perhaps some of you do.

    That said, the back story doesn’t really matter, it’s about the car and its condition today. Which looks to be excellent.

    Like 25
  2. nlpnt

    It’s a great color combo, though. Very elegant, limousine-like, the only possible improvement would’ve been vinyl roof delete instead of a matching one (why did people insist on blunting these crisp-edged designs with puffy padded tops?)

    Like 8
  3. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    Beautiful Mercury and someone is going to lucky to buy it! It looks like it came off the showroom floor. It’s still has the car phone. I wonder if it still works?🤔 I had that phone in the Town cars and Mercury Marquis when I was a chauffeur part-time. Fun job and this car rode beautiful. Another car I love to have. 🐻🇺🇸

    Like 10
    • Tony Primo

      I doubt that this phone would work on the current 4G/5G service. I had his and hers Motorola flip phones that we had to get rid of because they were no longer supported.

      Like 5
    • PRA4SNW

      That phone goes back to the analog signal days, before the digital “xG” technology, so this phone is just a decoration at this point.

      Even 3G is history at this point – all of the first generations of iPhones are now relics as well.

      Like 0
  4. Robert Levins

    It’s a beautiful 1985 Marquis and I think it will be enjoyed by a very lucky new owner. Personally though,as much as I love American luxury cars from almost any decade I probably wouldn’t choose this car. If we’re talking 1985 here, I would choose GM’s Buick LeSabre, Oldsmobile Delta 88, Pontiac Parisienne. These were “THE LAST “ RWD body on frame cars produced, save for the Pontiac. I think it went until ‘86. Ford and Mercury soldiered on and they were smart, continuing on past 2010. I applaud them for that, fantastic cars, luxurious and they “ gave you what you wanted “. But – for 1985 I’ll take a Buick Le Sabre Collector’s Edition – make it a 2-door please. Great article and best of luck to everyone.

    Like 2
  5. Stan

    More rare than the illustrious ‘de sade’ ✨️ pkg

    Like 4
  6. Bamapoppy

    Back in this timeframe I was looking at a late 80’s Grand Marquis at a dealers lot in Memphis when I happened to meet a regional sales rep. I asked her about the differences between the Grand and a Ford LTD I was also considering and one thing she told me is the Mercury’s all got thicker sound deadening padding under the carpet. This one is a great find for the winning bidder.

    Like 3
    • Zen

      Someone I used to work with said a Mercury is a Ford but with lock washers.

      Like 6
      • Gary

        The back story is BS. They wouldn’t scrap the car for the color choice, which in my opinion is awesome. Unusual, yes. One of one, doubtful. A real one of one is the 70 Boss 302 my dad’s friend repaired back in 76, it got backed into and he was replacing the drivers door. I was a 10ut old kid and when I looked at it he said ” There’s a seat for every ass”

        Like 1
  7. Butch Smith

    Wow! Somebody grab it before some kid does and throws chrome 22” rims under it and big megaphone exhaust out the back!

    Like 7
    • DEE-Yo

      I’ve been looking for this exact car! So far I’m winning! Got the perfect set of rose gold 26” rims picked out already and plan an 18 speaker set-up with 6 LED TV screens. I’m gonna call her Black Betty

      Like 5
  8. Big C

    Ford always had a leg up on their rivals over at General Malaise, when it came to mid level luxury cars. These were much better built, much more reliable vehicles. And, if I had room? I’d zip over to Cinci and check this beauty out.

    Like 3
  9. Jack M.

    Back when I worked at a Lincoln Mercury dealership, only the owner could drive a Lincoln. The senior salesman always ordered himself a black with red interior, fully loaded Mercury Grand Marquis LS for his demo. Closest thing to a Lincoln Town Car out there.

    Like 5
  10. Chris Platt

    It’s doubtful the manufacturer would be talking directly to the customer. The dealer would be the point of contact with Ford and they may have given this guy the info about his car direct from the factory, although it’s still highly unlikely it would be destroyed because of a trim/paint error. So, maybe that IS a tall tale. The more believable version is that he tried to place the order for a trim/paint combination that was not authorized by Ford and his dealer may have had to go through hoops to finally get it build, possibly resulting in a delay for him to finally receive the car.

    Like 4
    • Clarke Morris

      I ordered a new 1994 Chevy extra Cab Stepside from the factory, and ordered pretty much every extra available option on it. The salesman tried to get me to order it with less, and have the dealer add some of the extras at the dealer, thus saving me some money. I declined. Even though “my” paperwork showed all the add-ons, I suspected it would not be ordered from the factory that way. I waited two weeks, then called GM and inquired about my truck (I was able to speak to them directly). Turned out the dealer did indeed order the truck without the extras the dealer wanted to add on themselves. I set the record straight by providing a copy of my original build/order sheet, and was guaranteed the truck would be built the way I wanted. A week later the dealer owner called me in and questioned me about my call to GM. I explained that I did not contact him first because I suspected the dealership of being dishonest about the order. He did not like the fact I made him look bad to GM, and he was forced to fire the salesman. I was there when my truck rolled off the semi, and it had everything I wanted on it, from the factory.

      Like 11
    • Walt Reed

      Having worked for two manufacturers I can tell you that it actually does rarely happen. Back in the late 1980’s an upset customer called American Honda. At the time, our president was Mr. Munikuni. The customer asked to speak to the “Moon man,” and the receptionist put him through!

      Like 2
  11. z1rider

    No way Ford would have scrapped a vehicle for a trim error. I used to work in a Ford plant and I know first hand that at the end of a model year where the next year had significant changes, they would save the orders calling for white paint till the last few days of that model run. That was so that if they ran out of a particular interior color they could use what they had on hand to be able to build out all of the orders. The thinking being that any interior color goes with white. If the ordering dealer objected on delivery they could give them some $$’s as compensation.

    Like 6
  12. Keith

    Cool car. Definitely not a factory ordered phone though. I don’t even think we had this type of phone until 92ish.
    My hunch is that it was a salesmans car of some sort. With 181,000 miles.

    Like 2
  13. LMK

    These drove as good as Lincoln Towncars of the 1980’s. They were extremely reliable too. Used by many livery & limousine company’s. I had a 1985 fresh from the dealer which performed flawlessly for hundreds of thousands of miles.
    Perhaps some of you saw this ””great”” chase scene which showcased a Grand Marquis of this era.

    Like 2
    • Keith

      That’s awesome! I had that exact same model GMarquis, identical color and everything! Love it. Thanks for sharing.

      Like 0
  14. Trophest John M JonesMember

    Definitely a beautiful car but the passengers front carpet is filthy it’s got that brand new carpet insert on top look at the edges it’s filthy

    Like 0
  15. geezerglide 85

    In reading the E-bay listing it said the original owner was a retiring Ford exec. If so i’m sure he would of had the Connections to get what he wanted. But I don’t know what’s so wrong about a black car with a blue interior. If it was green or red maybe. When I was h.s. ’74-’76 and worked in gas station there was local funeral director with a black Mercury wagon with a blue interior and I think it looked just fine.

    Like 2
    • Gary

      Green interiors look really good with black paint

      Like 0
  16. CCFisher

    The seller’s story is complete BS. It’s very possible that it wound up on the defect lot, but not for the trim combination. Black with blue interior is a bit unusual, but not unusual enough for such drastic measures. Being a customer-ordered car, someone could have easily checked the documentation and verified that the car was ordered this way. If it was on the defect lot, it likely had an actual manufacturing defect that needed to be corrected, or it was ordered with equipment that wasn’t available at the time the car was built and it was sent to the defect lot to wait.

    Like 0
  17. George Mattar

    Who cares about one of one? There are so many claims and it is total BS. Back then you could order almost any combination you wanted, but it was likely the dealer would require a non refundable large deposit if the car was really strange? Black with blue interior is very rare and I love it. While covering a Mecum auction back in about 2006 in Chicago for Hemmings Motor News, I interviewed Dana and asked if I could sit in a black 67 Corvette coupe L71 with Bright Blue interior, which was roped off in a corner. I got in the driver’s seat and didn’t want to get out. What a beauty and it sold for $650,000. As for the Grand Marquis, I own a 2003 model, which will never be sold. I bought it for $11,000 from the original old lady owner in 2008 with 7,700 actual miles. Today, it has 140,000 and is over maintained and never winter driven to preserve the original body and paint. One of the best cars ever made. Take that Toyota.

    Like 2
  18. Gary

    I had a car in my shop back in 79 or 80. Full size LTD wagon, metallic gold, woodgrain, factory mag style wheels, loaded with about every option. Tan bucket seat interior, console and four speed. He swore he ordered it that way and it all looked factory. It was clean as could be, really pampered so I believe the story. I know Chrysler built four speed wagons, most going to the western mountain region for down shifting on steep grades. The ones built in 70-71 had pistol grip shifters from what I was told by a high up Chrysler employee back then

    Like 0
  19. 64 Bonneville

    “Ford Executive Walk Thru” is how the cars are coded. Don’t remember if code is on door label, or window sticker. In 1978 we bought a 1975 Mercury Montego MX Village Brougham station wagon. 460, C6, 3.0:1 traction lok, HD cooling, electrical, suspension, police handling package, A/C 9 passenger, wood grained, Lincoln Continental Metallic Ivy Green, green leather interior, both front seats 6 way power, tilt, cruise, windows, locks, AM/FM 8 Track. I don’t remember what else it had. DSO was for Chicago, we bought it in Oklahoma. Went to get plugs, wires and cap to tune it up and was told you can’t get a 460 in a Montego. 400 was the biggest motor available. At the time an auto parts store called Whitlocks was in Tulsa, and they had a reference library, Basically shop manuals for the big 3. that is how I found out the info on the wagon. So when I chased parts for it, would say it was in a pick up or a colony park or LTD. BTW Mercury sold at no reserve, for $7750.

    Like 2
  20. khaled almotairi

    My father had a blue 1985, and its interior was blue. It was a really beautiful car in every climate and road that works, but its only defect is the heat of the fuel pump, which causes cutting, and we stop on every road for one hour to cool the pump and continue

    Like 0

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