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Beautiful Music Machine: 1979 Mercury Grand Marquis


The famous composer Irving Berlin (composer of White Christmas, the biggest-selling single song of all time) was the original owner of this 1979 Mercury Grand Marquis wagon, now located in Chester, New York and up for sale with only 72,000 original miles here on eBay with a low opening bid and no reserve.


From a distance, the wagon looks to be in excellent shape, although there are a few cosmetic issues when you look closely at the pictures. It appears the seller is trying to highlight both the good and bad points of this car in the auction; it’s nice to see a seemingly honest seller that doesn’t gloss over the warts that a car has. However, please note the seller’s feedback before bidding (always a good policy anyway!)


Shiny chrome blends well with the great green color. Well, I like it anyway! While some of the styling features of this generation of Grand Marquis may not appeal to everyone, I think what we have here is a usable classic that can be pressed into use on a daily basis. No, in this case it can’t really replace a minivan, at least one with the third row of seats, because this one didn’t come with the rearmost row for the little ones. But it can sure hold a lot in the rear!


The interior really is superb looking in green. I wish there were still colored interiors in modern cars in addition to the tan, black and gray that seem to be universal now. This seems like a nice place to spend some time! The seller tells us that the power windows operate intermittently and the air conditioning isn’t blowing cold. The seller also mentions some bodywork, but doesn’t go into details.


The 351 V8 may need a carburetor rebuild; the seller explains some driveability issues that I’d want to resolve quickly. These engines are known for long service, though, and there are plenty of performance upgrades available should the next owner decide to pursue them. My wife looked over my shoulder as I started to write this car up and expressed an interest in it, but it’s not in the cards for us right now. I do like the idea of a family classic, though! Do you?


  1. Stang1968

    So when Irving Berlin was 90 years old he decided he needed a people hauler?

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    • JW454

      I was thinking the same thing. If true, I’d like to know the story behind that one. LOL

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      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        Maybe he owned it but was the one being hauled around?

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    • Joe

      For the Seinfeld fans out there–Reminds me of the episode where George thinks his LeBaron convertible was previously owned by Jon (John) Voight.



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  2. Nessy

    This is really nice. First year of the new body style look of the 80s that lasted until 91 while the color combo is very 70’s. I like this car! A rare find today.

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  3. Joe B

    I love how the seller doesn’t want bidders with zero feedback yet his feedback is -1.

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  4. Gerry

    Great looking wagon, I think it would be great to tow a vintage travel trailer !

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  5. piper62j

    I agree.. nice find and well worth the money IMHO.. Ford was on target with these bodies and with a 351 in the cradle, it had plenty of pep for it’s size.. The gas crunch had come to an end by 79 and these big boys were still in demand..

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  6. jim s

    this one looks good but needs to much. if you live someplace where they smog test vehicles of this age this one is missing its converters. seller has another car for sale on ebay also. interesting find.

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  7. Steve

    Now this is the Family Truckster. Terrible on gas but still a true station wagon. Cool for what it is but who cares who owned it.

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  8. Jim Powell

    I am the Previous Owner of this wagon. I have been the caretaker of the Irving Berlin estate in the heart of the Catskill Mountains for almost 30 years . This car was given to me by the family after Mr. Berlin passed away in 1989. He and his wife ,Ellen drove it all the time when they were here for the summers.I owned it for years and then passed it to a friend of mine who had to own it because he loved Berlins music. He kept it for years and then passed it back to me and I kept it for a few more years but since I own 26 old cars I rarely got to drive this one . I sold it to the current owner this past summer thinking he wanted it for himself . It is in good shape and does need some help ,but well worth the effort and money . You won’t find another as nice as this. Jim

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    • Joe

      Jim, thank you for sharing the history of the car. I just read that he had another “woody wagon” perhaps back in the 50’s 60’s?? Does this sound correct? See fourth section down on this posting site about the writer’s (Bill Merritt) sister getting ride home from Berlin’s Chauffeur in woody station wagon.


      Perhaps Berlin had a long time affinity for woody wagons?

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    • Rancho Bella

      Thanks Jim for keeping us in line. If you have a nice ’70 Boss 302 in your collection, please keep ol’ Rancho on the West Coast in mind.

      The horses need a Mustang alfa male.

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  9. grant

    Am I the only one who noticed the Lincoln hood ornament?

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    • CJay

      That is a Mercury hood ornament look closely you will see notches on the top and scallops on the sides. Lincoln emblems do not have these. Although they are extremely similar.

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      • Gerry

        Cross hairs to guide a big Merc or Mark !

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  10. Joe

    As Jim S mentioned above, Jim Powell the seller of the current wagon has a second car on ebay–well worth a look see– a 1975 Lincoln Mark Series with 13,500 orig miles. Very nice for 41 years old.


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  11. Gerry

    You’re right, that is one gorgeous Mark series Lincoln !

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  12. Jim

    Just add more sets of head and tal lights and you’ve got a clone of the Family Truckster from “Vacation”. I cried from laughing in the theater when that movie came out. Someone is going to get a very clean car. There’s room for all kinds of tastes when you’re a car guy(or gal), if this is your kind of toy go for it. I’m in NYC, if anyone feels like shoveling tomorrow or Sunday feel free to stop by!

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  13. piper62j

    Hey Jim.. I gave over 60 years to Mass. and fought snow storms in the winter.. Seemed my weekends were always spent out in the driveway shoveling, then helping neighbors clear theirs.. I don’t miss that stuff..

    As soon as I heard “free snow removal” in Florida, I moved here.. LOL

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  14. Jim

    That’s funny, I understand, my health isn’t what it used to be and my wife has passed so I’m looking forward to moving with my son to Atlanta in 2yrs or so, he’s a jet mechanic for Delta. I have a feeling I will get used to hoping in the pool on Christmas!

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  15. piper62j

    Wow.. Small world Jim.. My youngest son lives in Lawrenceville, GA.. He’s 7 1/2 hours from me.. He constantly gives us stories of how Atlanta shuts down if there is any snow.. Be aware that it does get cold there in the winter..

    On the other hand, we’re in the 70’s here in Fla and my pool is heated.. Ahh,, what a life.. LOL

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  16. Jim

    The weather affects me in a big way, mostly the changes(I have multiple problems)and humidity us my worst enemy. I’ve been in Florida, the heat and humid days are too much for me. Atlanta is not quite as hot or humid and the winter isn’t as bad. I get around pretty good but my son would never let me be far away, I do need some help from time to time. I guess we did something right!

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  17. piper62j

    That’s great Jim.. Enjoy.. We only go this way once..
    I’m just the opposite.. I can’t stand the cold and love the heat and humidity here in Fla.. The only way I’m leaving here is feet first in a rolled up sheet..

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    • Gerry

      You all should live in California, no high humidity, no bugs, snakes, or alligators. The snow is just up in the beautiful Sierras!

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  18. LD71 :D

    4th of July paradesI hope a kid buys it & puts a HUGE audio system in it! I could see it parading around our New England town every December with ‘White Christmas’ blaring out the windows. I remember riding with my good friend in Nj, he drove his Classic Mini race car in 4th of July parades, stereo cranked playing John Philip Sousa…. LD71 :D

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  19. piper62j

    You’re right Gerry. I just returned from a vacation trip there and had a great time until we ran out of money..LOL…

    Walked across the Golden Gate bridge, visited Alcatraz, ate at some of the great restaurants (the Princess Hotel was one of them), watched elephant seals on the beach, and completely enjoyed the weather.. Yes, there were no bugs like around here..

    Great state, and great to visit..

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