10k Miles: 1984 Mercury Grand Marquis

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Sometimes, you have to do a double-take when looking at a price for a car on craigslist. Usually, it’s because the number is so mind-boggling high. In this case, I had the reverse reaction: this 1984 Mercury Grand Marquis, here on craigslist, has only 10,000 original miles, yet you can scoop it up for $1,999. 

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As yet another example of a car born from the Panther platform, this Grand Marquis shared multiple components with its Ford siblings. The 5.0L Windsor V8 has seen duty across multiple FoMoCo variants, so finding parts shouldn’t be an issue. Although this mill has only 10,000 miles, the piles of leaves and debris across the windshield cowling indicate this Mercury has sat outside for at least some period of time.

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Comfy bench seat? Check. Fake woodgrain trim? Check. Acres of gray plastic? Check. Yep, it seems like everything is in place! Although I was a little surprised to not see the puffy, sofa-like seating accommodations these old land barges are known for, the leather looks as you would expect for such a low-mileage survivor.

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Though I don’t think this car will ever be a collector’s item, it is nice to think you could own a vintage American coupe in near new condition for under $2,000. Heck, if you’re trying to get your offspring into classic ownership, this could be a great opportunity to teach them how to wrench and appreciate old cars. How would you use it?

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Comments

  1. boxdin

    If it was EFI I would jump, but I just can’t stand carbs these days.

    • Scott

      How do you know it’s not efi?

      • Gary

        Does throttle body count as EFI or carbureted? Because that’s what was used on the 84-85 models along with the EEC IV ignition system.

  2. Gary

    I bought on of these back in 2003 with 153,000 miles on it from the original owner who claimed it was “worn out.” I drove that car up until the beginning of 2014 and was up to 282,000 miles on the original drive train – untouched, just serviced regularly. By far, the best car I ever had when it comes to dependability. By the way, I only paid $300.00 for it in 2003.

    Like 3
  3. Stang1968

    Oh man it literally has my name on it. in the plate frame.

  4. 64 bonneville

    Definitely worth the asking price. Appears it is being sold by a Chicagoland dealer. a really good detail job and maximum cleaning of the engine compartment, and you would have a great riding, semi-economical, good looking car. The 2 doors were of a much lower production. BTW get the fuel tank and injection and the computer from about a 2000 model Crown Vic or Grand marquis and do the swap, if you don’t like carbs’. these also pull a trailer real well. Had a friend who would go get cars with his, pulling a U-Haul trailer (heavy trailer to begin with). he was into Lincolns and Cadillacs’ and would still get close to 20 mpg towing.

    • Brian

      2000 would be a 4.6 liter SOHC. Parts won’t work unless you swap the engine/tranny too. EFI from a 1991 or so should work just fine tho.

      Like 1
  5. hhaleblian

    Fer chrissakes, couldn’t the dealer take a leaf blower to the front cowl? Leaf blower, favorite detail tool of used car lot magicians.

    • Jason Houston

      Dealers don’t super-detail their cars, they just wipe ’em down enough to drive off the lot and into the street, then it’s “Sayonara, sucker!”. Being a dealer, I’d seriously question the mileage claim, and see what evidence he has to back it up, before I’d squirt two grand at it.

      • MountainMan

        The level of detailing depends on the dealer. I worked with a small dealer in Longwood Florida who would “recondition” each vehicle to an amazing cosmetic condition. The car would still be the same turd under it all but would be cosmetically perfect. He also insisted on an air freshener in each vehicle and wiping down every car every day. The lot itself was also clean inside and out, with nice landscaping , windows that were cleaned daily etc.

  6. Glen

    Under the hood is dirtier than I expected for such a low mileage car. Other than that, you’re basically getting a new car for a couple grand, how can you beat that?

    Like 2
  7. jim s

    it has a frame and a V8, with claimed 10k miles, for $1999. i would buy this put a hd trailer hitch on it and tow the bugeye race car, which i would also buy. nice find.

  8. Arthur

    10,000 or 110,000 miles? Is there documentation to prove it? Looking at the engine bay, my bet is on the 110,000.

  9. JW

    My folks had one of these in the 80’s, I borrowed it to take the family to Florida, that was one of the nicest cars I ever drove. This seems to be a decent deal.

    Like 2
  10. Jose

    Where is Highland Park?

    • JW

      It’s a suburb of Chicago, ILL.

    • Mark E

      Got all excited thinking it was in Highland Park, MN – suburb of Minneapolis but NO, it’s Highland Park, IL – suburb of Chicago… -_-

  11. Brian

    I’d bet $100 that the odometer rolled over and it’s 110k miles. Just because there’s no spot on the odometer to read 100k doesn’t mean it won’t have that many miles.

  12. Mark E

    By the look of the windshield wiper channel thing, I’d say this car has sat outside for at least 3-4 years. And the engine tells me the odometer has flipped over once. Still, two doors are much rarer and this would be a great highway cruiser…

    Oh and finally my friend bought a newer one of these with the EFI which ended up being the reason for it’s retirement, having needed a computer module which was about twice the value of the car.

  13. piper62j

    Not too shabby at 10k miles.. It appears to sit nice and high like it should and the body lines are straight.. Interior is crisp and colorful (for gray).. No wear on the steering wheel.. Nice car..

    If it has one of those variable venturi carburetors, I would pass on it..

    • Mark S Member

      First of all the variable venture was easily swapped out for the Ford 2bbl carb, used the same manifold. Second any engine bay will look like $hit if the car has been sitting around as long as this one has. Third I’ll say this again one of the best indicators for a cars mileage is looking at cylinder wall wear. A car with 10K miles on it would still have cross hatch marks on the cylinder wall as this mileage is not even break in mileage. Scope it through a spark plug hole or pull a cylinder and you have your answer. I assure you at 110K miles there will be no sign of cross hatching marks. And plenty of cylinder tapper along with a pretty good ridge at the top of the compression ring travel engine wear especially on older American cars does not lie.

  14. Mike

    I owned a 85 2 door, Grand Marquis, it was EFI, but it also had the California crap on it, I wanted to take it all off but it would have made it run like crap, I replaced the motor with a 302 long block, ran it a couple more years and gave it to a friend who needed a car cheap. It was a good ride when I had it, would jump in it and take off for a vacation anywhere in it, but like I said a friend needed a car so I gave it to him. He drove it for a few more years and wrecked it one night. My Dad went and got the car and took the motor out of it, because it was still a low mileage engine. Man I miss that car!!

  15. jaygryph

    Grandma’s 87 sedan is sitting in the weeds at my parents place. I think the timing gear stripped as it was running fine, shut it off then it would get fuel and spark but wouldn’t run. Ford loved aluminum timing gears with nylon teeth and with age the teeth would break off and timing would jump. Annoying to fix on these as there’s so much BS in the way of getting it off. On the other hand, maybe the injectors were just plugged from bad gas.

    That was a hell of a road tripping car. 20mpg consistently, plush ride, quiet, handled well. It’s one of the few cars with a little Ride Engineered badge stuck on the dash that I’d actually believe.

    In all honesty, that particular white 87 Grand Marquis is a huge contributor to why I like all things automotive, I grew up in a car I remember very fondly and later in life got to drive. I took my driving test in it, failed, then the transmission blew up and I took the test I actually passed in our 99 suburban which was a hell of a lot different to drive, ha.

    Those AXOD transmissions were a weak point on some of the cars.

    Always kinda wanted to put an EFI 460 in a two door. Would be a pretty stout little box.

    • Gary

      jaygryph, it wasn’t just Ford motor Co. using nylon on the timing gear, GM did it too. Back in the late 60’s the thought was, that by using a design like this, it would help with reducing basic engine ‘noise’. The application was intended to be used in the general public automobiles. Fleet and heavy duty applications still had the benefit of having steel gears. I bought a 68 Chevelle back in 79 that had an ailing 307. When I pulled the engine for disassembly, guess what I found upon removing the timing cover.

  16. Robert White

    Good buy if you are purchasing for an ultimate winter beater. Frankly, nothing soaks up salt better than a Ford. And the ride is smooth with great traction and heat. The trunk can hold enough groceries for a family of eight for a week or two.

    Bob

  17. Troy

    10,000 Miles NO WAY !!!

    5 digit odometer, so every 99,999 it goes back to 0 !!

    Just about every old car with mileage under 100,000 is Bogus !!

    It does look in good condition and probably 110,000 and that is low and lots of life left…

    Its like the 60’s early 70 cars and muscle cars,they all claim 80,000 miles etc..they are 180,000,280,000 etc..You should see my 300,000 mile 1968 Charger I had since 1983 ..And it had 250,000 on it when I bought it…

    My Uncle had a car lot back then and a 1969 car by 1977 had 150,000 miles or more on average..

    This car I would guess is 110,000 but then again it could be a well kept 210,000 mile car,I have seen tons like that…

  18. Troy

    I would add my uncle had a car lot and cars with a 5 digit odometer that actually had 150,000 miles he sold them as 50,000 original miles as even the Private person did and still does today…

    I worked for him in the 80’s,I know…My 1968 Charger had 250,000 miles in 1983 ! And was owned by a 57 year old female !! She bought it when she was 42 !!! It had paperwork for repairs done,it looked like new and drove nice no shakes or rattles..interior even had no rips !! I put new carpet it had a slight hole from high heels lol,stitching was lose in 2 parts,fixed it..I drove it as a nice weather car until 1992,then restored it but it took longer as I had other old muscle/classic cars and new cars to keep me busy,by 1999 it was on the road again,but rarely driven..its a #440 Magnum 68 Charger RT I knew it was a keeper back then…

  19. piper62j

    Throttle body EFI back then was commonly known as TBI (Throttle Body Injection) which was the production fore runner to MPI (Multi Port Injection). Both were computer controlled fuel injection for economy. Somewhat obsolete by todays standards where engineers can squeeze even more mileage from a drop of gasoline..

  20. Ralph Robichaud

    What’s all the fanfare about the mileage- who cares for $2K, unless the underside has been ravaged by the Illinois tin worm- there a lot of nice Detroit iron to love,here… and at Bargain Benny’s low price.
    The cowl design of these panthers is terrible for collecting leaves, twigs,etc. , not to mention hidden wipers encrusted in ice in the winter.. I know, I have two of this fellow’s family members.(88 & 89).

  21. Pedro

    Estes carrões americanos, tidos como vorazes, máquinas magníficas enlevaram muitos espíritos, construíram uma história que o tempo não apagou, mas fez inexoravelmente passar. É que na vida nada acaba, mas tudo passa. Eu particularmente vivi ainda que timidamente este passado que por graça de Deus passou. Quando jovem vaguei a bordo de um dodge dart fabricado no Brasil. Doces e ingênuos tempos…:)

    (edit, took the liberty of translating from Portugese):
    These American carriages, regarded as ravenous, magnificent machines have carried many spirits, built a story that time did not erase, but did inexorably pass. It’s that in life nothing ends, but everything happens. I have lived this timidly past, which through the grace of God has passed away. As a young man I wandered aboard a dodge dart made in Brazil. Sweet and naive times … :)

  22. Steve

    My uncle had one of these, also a 2 dr. for a few years back in the 80’s. Light blue. It was fairly new then. He bought it for less than $1k as it has a run in with an 18 wheeler and the whole driver side had gouges and swirled rubber marks. It needed the while side replaced but the door still operated and otherwise it was a nice car. He figured he could pick up a replacement door and fender in the wrecking yard and fix the quarter panel himself. He found a fender from a four door (black), fixed the quarter and primed it, but never located a replacement door. It seems the two door was more rare than he originally thought. He even had the yard go on their watts line or whatever it is called to try and find one elsewhere with no luck. I believe It was this car that had some weird features, like pressing in on the turn signal to blow the horn and where you would what you would think was a dimmer switch was a radio tuning switch for the presets.

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