Fantastic Options List: 1968 Mercury Colony Park Wagon

While it might be looking pretty battered and bruised, below the surface, this 1968 Mercury Colony Park Station Wagon is a solid and nicely equipped vehicle just begging to be restored. I really have to thank Barn Finder Pat L for referring this classic wagon to us. The Mercury is located in Livermore, California, and is listed for sale here on Craigslist. If you would like to lay your hands on a really promising project car, all you need to do is to hand over $3,750, and this one can be yours.

The Sea Foam Green paint on the Mercury looks quite tired and faded, while the existing woodgrain vinyl is only fit for the nearest trash can. There are few fairly significant dents in the car, but when you peer past these, the news is actually pretty good. This Mercury is a solid old car, with no rust issues to speak of. The owner states that the floors are good, while the rockers and lower quarter panels also look solid. There might be a few spots of rust visible in the tailgate, but anything else looks like it is nothing more than surface corrosion. So what we’ve seen to this point is essentially little more than a cosmetic restoration.

The Colony Park is not a light-weight vehicle by any means, so a heavy vehicle will always be happiest with a decent engine. In this case, what you will find is a 390-4V V8 engine, which produces 315hp. This power is sent to the rear wheels by the 3-speed C6 transmission. The vehicle also comes equipped with power steering, and thankfully for a car of this weight, power front disc brakes. The good news here is that the Mercury is said to run and drive well. It looks a bit dirty in the engine bay, but it would be interesting to see how it responded to a good clean.

It’s when we climb inside the wagon that things really start to shine. The interior is in surprising condition, especially when you compare it to the external condition of the car. The carpet is faded, and the headrest on the driver’s side might need a new cover, but the rest is pretty reasonable. As for the equipment levels, the next owner will potentially want for nothing when they hit the road in this giant. A good starting point is the air conditioning. To this, we can add power windows, power rear glass, power locks, a 6-way power front seat, cruise control, a tilt wheel, rear-facing third-row seat, a dual-action tailgate, AM/FM stereo radio with twin rear speakers, and the rather cool Visual Check Panel. Some of these items don’t currently function, but it sounds like fixing these problems won’t be particularly difficult.

Once restored, this Mercury Station Wagon could be a really great family classic. The fact that it is not only solid but is so nicely equipped, would mean that the larger family would want for nothing when they hit the road for some classic cruising. Considering how many of these that Mercury sold in 1968 (21,179), you really don’t see them coming onto the market very often today. It might well be that the early 1970s Oil Crisis saw many of these retired because they simply drank too much gas. Today, a nicely equipped example like this that is in good condition can fetch up to around the $25,000 mark. With the asking price on this car, that leaves a lot of room to move on a restoration before it no longer makes sound financial sense. That also means that it is a project car that is well worth considering.


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  1. EmmyJ

    I need this (in exactly this condition) and two dogs to stick their heads out the back window so I can have an exact replica of one of my favorite long-lost Matchbox cars.

    Like 12
    • CCFisher

      Same color as the one I remember, but wasn’t it a Commuter rather than a Colony Park?

      • EmmyJ

        CCFisher, it was, but I painted woodgrain on mine. And it looked about as worn-out as this one did!

        Like 1
    • Johnny Cuda

      Oh man, I still have that Matchbox car! With the box! I think I got that one from the Life/Chex Cereal promotion. Send in some boxtops and maybe 25 cents, and get a Matchbox car. I think the Esso tow truck came from that promotion also. We ate a lot of Life/Chex to get those Matchboxes.

      Like 9
      • Little_Cars

        Other cereal promotions (not sure which product)included Mercury premiums from a long defunct toy company called F&F. They did 1/64 scale depictions of 68-69 Mercury Marauder fastback, a sedan, and various Cougars. Lots of color variations, and all with the same generic wheel/tire combo in solid white or solid black.

        Like 1
  2. MikeW

    I see mention of a Visual Check Panel, I googled image searches for it but nothing came up. Is this sort of an engine warning system?

    • scottymac

      Ford started using this in 1965, nothing really as fancy as an engine warning system. Seat belt buckle reminder; door ajar warning light; low fuel warning; and “Park”? Not sure what that is, my ’66 panel had a four way flasher button in my panel, but by ’68, that had moved to the steering column. Hope the craigslist photo link from the ad works.

      Like 2
  3. Marshall

    This looks like the station wagon that Buford Pusser (Joe Don Baker) drove in the original 1973 “Walking Tall”, which he said (in the movie) cost about $3500 new. The price of this vehicle is only a little bit more than that now.

    As for that faux wood siding that
    is banged up on one side, I would think that could be straightened out and repainted, rather than throwing it in the trash.

  4. art

    There is a company that makes reproduction wood grain applique’s for wagons, even matching the wood lines. Not cheap but what’s nice here is that the trim on the edges of the wood grain is polished aluminum, not faux wood vinyl covered, a further cost.
    Depending on the condition of the drive train and interior, the cost to restore this puppy could get pricey.

    • CanuckCarGuy

      With the popularity of vinyl, the woodgrain can be found fairly reasonably from companies such as 3M. I’m planning to refinish the tailgate on my F100, as they make a vinyl grain/colour that matches near perfectly Ford’s original and it’s a DIY job.

      Like 2
  5. CCFisher

    The days of a large family loading into a wagon and heading off for a road trip like the Brady Bunch heading for the Grand Canyon are long gone. No more “punchbuggy” or “I spy” for road trip entertainment. Today’s family, in this car, would be whining about the lack of screens, cupholders, bluetooth, and power ports.

    Like 8
  6. 71FXSuperGlide

    A quick scan on eBay shows a bunch of NOS tail lights, but not a single parking light. Wonder how tough that would be to source?

    This seems like a fair deal overall.

    Like 3
  7. Andrew Franks

    If I had the room and no other projects I’d be all over this. I think SUVs are dumb, and Wagons are versatile, stylish and a perfect idea. I had a Ford Country Squire for a while, and it was the perfect parts and grocery hauler, as well as taking a bunch of people to lunch. I was made an offer for it I couldn’t refuse. Someone buy this and enjoy.

    Like 3
  8. Shawn Findlay

    Can you believe that Speedometer!

    Like 1
  9. 71Boss351

    71FXSuperGlide – I found a used front left parking light assembly on eBay for $130 that looks complete.

    The engine looks to be complete and mostly original. I can’t remember if this engine came with the T/E smog. If it had a Holley carb, it would have had the smog equipment.

    Like 1
  10. TimM

    It’s a nice car in pretty good shape in my opinion the 390 with the four barrel is worth the asking price!!!

    Like 1
  11. Butchb

    All those options. .maybe it’s got a locking rear diff???
    That would be some nice icing on the cake.

    Like 3
  12. Steve in KC

    Hate to sound negative, but seems crazy overpriced to me at $3750. I bought a ’76 Buick Estate Wagon in ’02 sight unseen for $1k in similar condition to this car…well-optioned replete with 8-track stereo, a/c, some rust/bondo and peeling “woody” paper; inoperable heater, horn and gas gauge.

    Fairly clean interior (no vinyl rips but missing glove box), power seats. Power rear window and power clamshell gate worked. It did have 3 other operating power windows, and a buttery smooth 455 engine that profusely drank oil. Yeah, that was nearly 20 years ago. But yeah, um…that was nearly 20 years ago. I sold it 4 years later for what I gave for it (after replacing brakes, tires, radiator, thermostat, hoses) to a guy who was gonna restore it, but his wife felt otherwise…and he sold it to a derby’er.

    Let’s face it, neat as they are, there’s not a huge demand for these (note the comment above about lack of screens, etc) — and 2 or 3 dented panels and the rest looking rough doesn’t help. Were I in the market, I’d consider $700-900 for this ride.

  13. Little_Cars

    By my calculations, 2002 was 17 years ago. Let’s not add time to our already rapidly spinning nostalgia clock. Agreed most of these wagons went the route of the demo derby circuit. Lots of panels to crush before the passenger cabin collapses in on the drivers.

  14. Andreas

    I just bought this very car and currently it’s on it’s way over to Europe where it’ll be converted to our new old patina family cruiser!

    Just in case you come across some of the lower mouldings on the passenger side or the marker/indicator lens on the same side – please let me know!

    Best regards from Austria!

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