Colony Park Project: 1988 Mercury Grand Marquis

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This 1988 Mercury Grand Marquis Colony Park station wagon shows a very low 31,233 miles but has some cosmetic needs that undermine its supposed limited use. This is not an uncommon occurrence with vintage vehicles that were used like any other daily driver – which is to say, not gently – and then left to sit in the garage for decades with an unwashed exterior and tired passenger compartment. Low mileage doesn’t guarantee that a car is a time capsule, especially if it wasn’t particularly collectible when it was new. Nowadays, however, a survivor estate wagon is a bit of an item, so check out the Mercury here on eBay.

The estate wagon design is an American institution. It’s like apple pie, baseball, and skyscrapers – things America just does really well. You could get a few different varieties of wagon bodies in the 80s and early 90s from both the import and domestic brands, which is a far cry from today where the wagon is a dying breed – at least from American car manufacturers. Despite clearly being in need of a good compounding and wax job, the body appears to be reasonably straight and I don’t see any obvious signs of rust, plus it rides on the OEM wheels and period-correct white-wall tires.

This is the most appealing feature to me: the rear-most third-row jump seats that actually unfold to face each other. This must have been pure torture for siblings that didn’t like each other when mom and dad finally got sick of the fighting happening right behind the front seats. Off to the back you go, putting your crude behavior in full view of the drivers behind you. Like many wagons, this disappearing third row looks like it has never been used, with barely any signs of discoloration or staining, which is impressive considering the rest of the cabin is in so-so condition. The seller reports that the A/C is not working.

Under the hood is a familiar 5.0 V8, which will be super easy to find parts for and also wake up a bit if you’re in the mood for throwing some aftermarket performance parts at this classic long-roof. I wouldn’t, personally, and I’d also recommend the seller pay for a proper detailing and then re-list the car; he’s doing himself zero favors showing it as-is. If the wagon was still in the barn, I’d say the dust covering the finish would add to the appeal, but as it sits right now, it just looks dirty. Clean it up and present it like a low-mileage survivor and the seller might see more bidding action than they are at the moment.

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  1. Bakyrdhero BakyrdheroMember

    I don’t know about that interior. Our 88 Grand Marquis sedan had the exact same interior, color and seats. That car went off to the junk yard with over 220k and the interior looked better than this with limited cleaning.

    Like 3
  2. William C.W. Lamb

    The Autocheck report freely available in the eBay listing shows that it has 131k miles, not 31.

    Like 6
    • Big Bear 🇺🇸

      I agree William.. 131k miles on it. The engine compartment way too dirty for 31,000. The velor seats can be cleaned up and make it look almost new by a professional. These cars if maintain properly can run for way over 200,000 miles. I was working for a limousine company and we had a Town car the same year they had over 300,000 miles and look beautiful. 🇺🇸🐻🇺🇸

      Like 4
      • Maggy

        We had a limo account at our repair shop and the 5.0 is a good engine but they were oil leakers compared to the 4.6 which stayed bone dry from cradle to grave with nary a problem. The limo co. would start phasing out the fleets at around 4-500 k.

        Like 3
  3. Maggy

    These were great cars and I worked on a lot of them through my automotive career. Dependable and comfy driving cars for the most part. I agree with the author.I would have done a good cleanup my self and present it better.She probably has another 131k left in her. The 5.0 was a good engine but the 4.6 was better imo.

    Like 5
  4. ChiTownJeff

    I can tell from the body side moldings that this car originally had wood grain.

    Like 8
  5. Carl H.

    What memories this old heep brings to mind. Thinking back to about ’90 on a road trip in a Ford wagon. Raylene and my buddy Chuck and myself. Chucks dad gave us the keys for a long weekend. Raylene was a wild girl who more than entertained us on a road trip to Ocean City! We took turns driving and I’ll never forget Raylene’s bare a*# in the “cargo” area and the truckers honking air horns of approval as we sped by.

    Like 3
  6. Robert Levins

    NOT SPECIAL ENOUGH – to command a high price. Like the other commenters, this particular wagon has to look almost meticulous in order for it to be worth/considered any amount more than about $4,000.00. This would make a great family car. For a young family that needs a start in life. The owner in all good conscience, should “donate the car to charity”. But either way – it’s a good car with a lot of life left in it, just not a high dollar collector. Good luck to the new owner.

    Like 2
  7. William Maceri

    Well first off, as a Colony Park it’s missing the iconic woodgrain panels on the sides and tailgate. As much as a pain they can be, and they can be. If you needed body work, the entire side would have to be replaced. The original panels had clear areas in the grain to better blend with the color of the car. That required fresh paint before repaneling. I often wondered who at Ford thought of that. But it’s the woodgrain panels that make it a Colony Park. I owned a 1975, white with tan interior that I still love to this day. Mine was a 460, duel exhaust that came out with a flare at the tip. They came out under the rear quarters on each side. Sometimes I would sit behind the car and just listen to that deep Ford exhaust. It had the Motorcraft 4300 4 barrel carburetor on it. There wasn’t any thing it wouldn’t do. It had every option available including ATC and the duel facing 9 passenger option. Between the Country Squires and the Colony Parks, those cars were everywhere. However in 1979, Ford downsized everything, and after the 75, I just couldn’t accept the newer, smaller size, and by no means were the new body’s small. The 75’s were huge. When the SUVs appeared and labeled the wagon replacement, don’t you believe it, they’re trucks, not cars, and we want our wagons back. Imagine if they came back with today’s fuel efficient technology and suspension improvements? Now that’s something to dream about. With or without the woodgrain panels, you decide, but as for me, I’ll take mine with the panels.

    Like 4
  8. Michael Berkemeier

    The listing clearly states, multiple times, that the car has 131K on it…why does this writeup even allude to the possibility that it only has 31K on it? Really, anyone should be able to tell that this car is nowhere near a low-mileage survivor. It’s even missing all of the woodgrain trim. Do you really think that extended storage in a “barn” would age a car to this extent, lol???

    Like 1

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