11 MPG Beauty: 1976 Mercury Marquis Brougham

At $237 a foot, this 1976 Mercury Marquis Brougham two-door hardtop is cheap if you break it down into 12-inch sections. Or, looking at it another way, 0.58 MPG per foot. This big brown beauty can be found here on Craigslist in Manhattan, but not that Manhattan. It’s in Manhattan, Kansas, a state that knows a thing or two about long stretches of highway which seem to have been made for a car like this Brougham. The seller is asking $4,500 or best offer for this one. Thanks to Ikey H. for submitting this Merc!

Are you looking at me? Are you looking at ME?! What a great looking car. This is a second-generation Marquis, but in 1973 Mercury restyled them enough that they barely even resembled the earlier cars from the start of the 1969 second-generation cars. They were restyled again in 1975 and in 1979 the third-generation cars were almost a foot shorter and were extensively restyled using Ford’s Panther platform.

I always get worried when I see a dark band across the bottom of a vehicle like this, thinking that someone has done rust repairs and just painted it an accent color rather than trying to match the paint color. The seller says that this Marquis is “all original” but they don’t mention the body condition at all. It looks good but it’s hard to tell if anything is lurking on this one. I sure love that two-door hardtop body style.

The interior looks plush and perfect from what I can see. They mention that “all the lights, gauges, wipers, cruise control, seats work also has AM and FM radio, the previous owner had the tachometers installed, the clock on the dash does not work which is common on these old cars and the original antenna was replaced with a new aftermarket one, it has leather seats with no rips or tears in them headliner is perfect, heat works good as well as the A/C it just needs recharged and I have a few cans of the original R-12 Freon for it.” I’m not sure if they mean the temp/battery/oil gauge cluster below the dash when they say “tachometers”?

Even though by 1976 this 460 cubic-inch V8 was down to 202 hp, it had 352 ft-lb of torque which helped to haul this 4,800-pound monster from 0-60 in 11.2 seconds. That isn’t anything to brag about by 2019 standards and neither is the 11 MPG. Thankfully, speed and high MPG aren’t what most of us get into old car hobby for. Have any of you owned this era of Mercury Marquis? And, on a fun side note: what MPG do you get with your classic, and does it even matter? I could care less myself but maybe some of you use your classics for road trips so MPG is on your mind.

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  1. Bob C.

    I can’t remember seeing a coupe in this vintage Mercury, mostly sedans. Very unique. Hope it finds a good home with someone who will appreciate it.

  2. LT1 Mike

    Well if we could go back to 1976 gas prices, (around $0.59 a gallon) 11 MPG wouldn’t seem so bad today. My ’71 Corvette LT1 isn’t much better, but the ride sure is fun when the tank is full ! This is a really nice Mercury, and that wheelbase is impressive. It would look great at a car show where people would admire it and wonder, “how and where did people park these big beauties ?” Good luck to the new owner.

  3. ed

    I’m always weary of the comment “the AC just needs recharged”…

    • scott

      At over 40 years old, I occasionally need a recharge!

      But seriously, what’s a can or so a year if it keeps you cool. I never understood why people get bent about adding an occasional can.

  4. Rock On

    Be careful, that dark stripe running around the lower portion of the body used to be a cheap way to hide the rust on these vehicles.

    • Bob_in_TN Member

      Back in the day I did this on my dark green 1973 Pinto, including around the wheel arches, in a semi flat black paint. Set it off with a pinstripe. From ten feet it looked decent, when you got closer you could see the amateur Bondo rust repair work (done by me).

    • Duaney Member

      No rust in Manhattan Kansas, dry as a bone there

    • Ltdpi460 Member

      This car has the factory tu-tone paint option with the lower belt line painted the same dark brown as the hood and roof. FYI it does not have leather seats, those seats are vinyl, leather was only available on the Grand Marquis.

  5. That AMC Guy

    If air conditioning “just needs recharged” (a common disclaimer on many of these ads) why doesn’t the seller just do it and sell the car with working AC? (And of course, there’s not much difference between ‘tachometers’ and an aftermarket triple gauge cluster, is there? :) Though a tach is about the last thing you need on a cruiser like this.)

    Nice car though assuming the dark lower color isn’t hiding poorly-made rust repair. Whoever buys it will be on a first-name basis with the owner of his local gas station!

    • Francisco

      The air conditioner needs to be recharged, or
      The air conditioner needs a recharging, or
      Someone just needs to recharge the da*n thing!

      • Dave

        I’ll bet that it blows cold air this time of year. ..

  6. egads

    Uncle Buck will be looking for this cruiser!!!

  7. Beatnik Bedouin

    Tons of fun for someone who loves ’70s road barges…

  8. Mike

    Wow, 11mpg, that’s great. I love 12 ft long rear quarter panels.

  9. CanuckCarGuy

    Nice – I learned to drive on my father’s ’73 sedan, it was a great car. They seemed to lose something as they approached the ’78 model year, but assuming the body is solid this would be a nice driver…despite the MPG. I’d replace that antenna with an original, and this boat is crying out for fender skirts to finish off the look.

  10. Vance

    I had the twin to The Uncle Buck car same color, same rust, same smokey exhaust, and I am about the same size as Uncle Buck. It was my winter beater and I loved it. 2 cops showed up at my door one morning and accused me of stealing 5 dollars in gas . I laughed and told the cops that if I was dumb enough to steal 5 bucks of gas I would be smart enough to FILL said gas tank. It held 24 gallons and that 5 dollars wouldn’t even get me home. They apologized and left. I drove that beast for 2 years and sold it for what I paid for it. Loved that old car.

  11. Joe Defelice

    LOL 11 MPG would be a 2 MPG improvement over my ’05 Saab 9-7X!!! I barely average 9 MPG around town.

  12. Beaver Prince

    I had the LTD cuz of this car and loved it we took a road trip UT /TEX and it nearly broke the credit card HA! HA!

  13. dave brennan

    If I cd get my 66 tbird up to 11 mpg I’d be a happy camper!!

    • Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Ha! I had a friend with a ‘66 T-Bird and he got 7 mpg!

  14. KevinR

    I took my driver’s license road test in the station wagon version of this car. ’76 Colony Park. White with faux wood paneling and the same brown and tan interior. But it wasn’t leather, it was leatherette… Our car had a factory 8-track quadrophonic stereo too!

    With the 460 you could bury the throttle and watch the speedo needle sweep to the right while the gas gauge needle simultaneously moved to the left.

    I don’t know if this car has any rust in the rockers, but that is a factory paint scheme from 1976.

  15. Wrong Way

    I had one except the 4 door model! I also lived in Wakeeney Kansas at the time! Great car, ride was awesome in the big boat! However I don’t believe that the seats are leather! Vinyl or pleather! Not leather! Mine was white on white! I like the price on this boat, looks like a great deal to me, if it looks this good in person, I would buy it, and give the asking price with no dicker!

  16. jimmy

    Makes me wonder “if thats whats wrong,why didn’t they simply recharge it”.However this is a beautiful car…

  17. Tom Henderson

    Cash for clunkers called, they want their car back.

  18. Del

    Dad had a similar car that he bought new.

    It was his 4 th straight Ford in 30 years.

    It was so bad qualty-wise that he switched to Chevy.

    He never looked at another Ford till the end.

  19. Barry L Klotz

    I believe this is the color scheme of that year. It probably wasn’t just to cover up rust. I in my years of knowledge of Classic Cars, have seen these Mercs when they fairly new. Barry Klotz

  20. victor sanchez

    The dreaded MPG I have a 69 DZ 302 Camaro Z/28 11 MPG on the highway around 8 in town, by comparison my 2006 Corvette 24 MPG highway 19 in town. I had the Ford Crown Vic version of this car, the ride was amazing

  21. Frank Novack

    Just call me “Uncle Buck”

  22. Alex K

    That is my old car. Interesting had it for less then a month and now selling it. Weird

    • Scott P

      Sadly Alex, this is one of the new “in things” to do, a person posts a car (sometimes a stranger just walks up and asks if you would sell it) another person buys it, and, of course haggles to your breaking point, then , seeing it has extra value, cleans it up (sometimes they don’t even touch it) then lists it. It’s now called Flipping. It used to be called Curbing.

      That list place really opened the door, but, those TV shows and that book place everyone belongs to just broke the doors off the so called hinges. Now, everyone is a car flipper.

      Hope you got the amount from her (the car) you wanted. 😊

  23. P Wentzell

    If this were the “Crème and Gold” paint job similar to the T-Bird that year, I would’ve making phone calls and planning on driving this beast home. Love it.

    • Miguel

      P Wentzell Wrap it. It can be whatever color you want.

  24. Jon

    I owned a 1978 Mercury Marquis Colony Park station wagon, what a highway cruiser, heavy but solid comfort and 11 MPG. The hood seemed like you were looking at an aircraft carrier deck. I loved that vehicle because it was such a gun boat. Had it in Pennsylvania but moved with it to Texas, five years after I got it, the entire underside was total rust from PA salt. Traded it before it fell apart, but enjoyed every minute driving it.

  25. Del

    Previous owner here but no comment on black paint.

    I think its been added . Not original.

  26. Alex K

    I was the last owner of the car. It is an original 2 tone paint job.

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