1979 Mercury Monarch: Church Car

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It’s difficult to keep track of the various twins throughout the Ford / Lincoln / Mercury family tree, as platform-sharing and badge engineering could make multiple models and variants out of a single car. The Mercury Monarch is better known as a Ford Granada, but you’d be hard-pressed to find either one in as nice of condition as this ’79 Monarch here on eBay with only 29,391 miles.

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The seller notes that he purchased this car from the original owner, an elderly woman who rarely left her small town in Kentucky. Even then, it was used for going to church and doctor’s appointments. He speculates it never even left the state of Kentucky! I can relate, as my wife’s grandmother drove a Dodge Diplomat that experienced about the same level of travel while stationed in rural Florida.

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These were pretty basic vehicles, not even having power windows. The interior is clean without any tears in the vinyl, as you might expect for a car with low miles. The Mercury brand was eventually phased out by Ford in 2011, but it hasn’t yet attained particularly high levels of collectability despite being extinct. While I’m always surprised there are collectors of vehicles like these, I’m sure some enthusiasts find my passion for old BMWs equally unusual.

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While there were two optional V8 engines available, this car is saddled with the lethargic inline six. I doubt speed was on the mind of an elderly female driver with a limited travel schedule! Bidding is fairly tepid at this point, but the seller does have a reserve price in mind. For a comfortable cruiser (it does have A/C), this would probably fit the bill, but low mileage is really the only desirable quality it has – so would you even drive it that much? It’s a headscratcher for me. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Charles H. for the find.

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Comments

  1. Todd Zuercher

    So pedestrian and yet so cool because of the condition and the fact that so few exist anymore.

  2. randy

    The V-8’s are notorious donor cars for their rear disc brakes and traction lock rear end. 3.00/1 ratio. I put the rear out of one of these into a ’67 Ranchero I had stuffed a 460in.

  3. Donnie

    Did ford use that same steering wheel on ever thing in the 1970s.Had a 1978 mustang same wheel had a 1977 f150 same wheel.

    • Bob

      I think they did use the same steering wheel on everything they made in the 70s. I own a 1979 Lincoln Continental Mark V with the same wheel.

      • PaulieB

        my father-in-law had a ’75 Comet with one of those steering wheels.. the horn button burned out and he found another rather quick. The wrecking yards had a bunch of them..the wheels that is..

    • Karl

      My first car was a ’74 Mustang II–had that steering wheel. My sister had a ’74 Pinto–ditto. I moved up to a ’78 T-bird–ditto. My mother drove a ’77 LTD II–ditto. My father had a ’78 LTD–ditto. He also had two F-150s, a ’77 and a ’78–you bet. The only car I can remember not having that wheel in the ’70s was my sister’s first car, a ’73 Pinto, which had a very simple two-spoke wheel with the center horn button.
      Were we a Ford family or what?

      Like 1
  4. 64 bonneville

    Mercury, the “upscale” cousin to Fords of that era, were surprisingly comfortable cars to drive and ride in. The 3-400 pound weight difference between this and a Granada was due to extra sound deadening material, they also seems to exhibit less wind noise, maybe because they were owned by old people. I did a 1000 mile road trip in 12 hours in a Mercury back in 1979, as didn’t feel tired at the end. In my opinion, even with the anemic 6 the car should be worth at least $2 grand, as a plus, the 6 gets pretty good gas mileage, and makes a good DD.

    • Bob

      What’s a DD?

      • Louie

        Daily driver

      • Cassidy

        DD = Daily Driver

    • PaulG

      1000 mi. in 12 hours = 83 mph average. Not bad, especially since at 20 mpg and a 20 gallon tank you had to stop at least 3 times…But I get your drift about comfort !

  5. Donnie

    I think it is kind of cool every car does not have to be a tire smoking monster .

  6. randy

    I thought he was referring to me, DD = dumb dumb!

  7. Donnie

    I thought they had 4 lug wheels like the mustang fox chases.

  8. randy

    These cars were a step above the 4 lug cars. Weight an comfortwise

  9. Donnie

    Thank you.Did not no that.

  10. Luke Fitzgerald

    Look – it is hideous – but, if you can get it at the right price – owning it will cost you FA – condition is there

  11. Hoos Member

    Ok, my turn.
    FA?

    • grant

      I think it means, ahem “fornicate all”

  12. Dan

    Personally I like the look of these cars. The small Ford six may not have a lot of power but it was one of the quietest smoothest running engines ever built and they were bullet proof. I would love this as a DD

  13. Mark S Member

    These were actually good cars, a small version of the crown Vic’s I’m not at all a ford guy but I do remember these being quite reliable. These were the prelude to the ford fairmont and mercury zephyr which IMHO were lesser cars.

    Like 1
  14. randy

    My oldest sister’s first car was a new ’76 Granada, 4 speed 4 or 6 cyl, I do not remember The clutch lasted her as long as she owned the car, lots of miles on that car. It was a slow dog though.

  15. piper62j

    A 6 cyl in a car of this size just didn’t do well.. However, it rode very smoothly and was quiet on the road.. The only problem I can remember was the vent grille in front of the windshield.. It was Fords’ experiment with galvanized metal to prevent rust.. Well, the galvanization would react with the paint top coat and eventually the paint would peel.. Ford had a massive recall on it, (some of the repaints came thru our shop), but even Fords’ recommended refinishing process failed over time..

    Other than that, these (Mercedes) lookalikes were pretty cool and presented a touch of class for their owners..

    • Mark S Member

      Most of the 6 cylinder cars of this era were long stroke engines, they were not tire burner but did deliver reasonable power. This car would have had a 250 CID they great family cars, which is what they were designed to do

  16. jim s

    this seller also has a very interesting 04 Cigarette 42 tiger and a 2014 rv for sale. i too think this car might make a nice daily driver if the reserve is not to high. i think the 6 cyl can get the job. nice find

  17. Bill Owens Bill O Staff

    Ford had two basic steering wheel designs during most of the 70’s. My first car was a 1971 LTD that had the straight across 2 spoke wheel. Then in 1975 they introduced the what I call the dip down 2 spoke like pictured above. One cover was used if you had cruise control, another if you didn’t on both style wheels. My second car was a 1978 Thunderbird with cruise and a thin horn button went all the way across. When the new 1979 LTD’s came out, Ford introduced a 3rd style wheel, that was 4 spoke with a large horn button in the middle.

    Wheel 1:
    http://oldcarbrochures.com/static/NA/Ford/1971_Ford/1971_FORD_FULL_SIZE/1971%20FORD%20P8.html

    Wheel 2:
    http://oldcarbrochures.com/static/NA/Ford_Thunderbird/1978_Ford_Thunderbird/1978_Thunderbird_Brochure/1978%20Ford%20Thunderbird-10.html

    Wheel 3: http://oldcarbrochures.com/static/NA/Ford/1979_Ford/1979_Ford_LTD_Brochure/1979%20Ford%20LTD-06.html

  18. Charles H.

    Note the “Ride Engineered” plaque on the dash

    Like 1
  19. baines preston

    i have a 1979 monarch coupe, with a in line 6, but putting in a 302 with sloppy cam and alum.heads. i was gonna put ls 5.3 in it but too much work. its rust free and clean as hell. i got 20s on it now but putting 22 or 24 staggered rims soon. maybe minni tub, dont know yet. pics. when it stops snowing

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