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No Reserve: 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis Colony Park

It can sometimes be challenging to decide when a classic has deteriorated beyond the point of no return. Views differ on the subject, and I expect that to be the case with this 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis Colony Park. It has occupied this spot for a decade and is a sad and sorry sight. However, beneath that faded and tired exterior is a classic Station Wagon that is solid and complete. The seller wants it to find a new home, acknowledging that its fate may rest as a parts candidate. The Colony Park is listed here on eBay in Perry, Georgia. It has received a single bid of $499 in a No Reserve auction.

Mercury introduced its Sixth Generation Colony Park in 1979, with vehicles remaining on showroom floors until 1991. The company followed the industry and parent company’s prevailing trend of downsizing its latest models, with vehicles like the Colony Park shedding enormous weight in search of improved fuel economy and performance. Our feature Wagon emerged in 1989, with the original owner ordering it in Twilight Blue. It has occupied the current spot for around ten years, brought to a halt by a mechanical issue. It looks tired and dirty, and the developing mold adds to the forlorn appearance. However, things may be better than the photos suggest. The seller acknowledges that there is surface rust, but there is no steel penetration. That means the body is structurally sound, and when we assess its other positive attributes, some readers may consider it a viable candidate for a DIY restoration. The process will include a repaint and replacement of the faux woodgrain, but a wrap company could address the latter issue without costing a fortune. The deal includes six of the distinctive aluminum turbine wheels and a few sundry parts. Most trim pieces may respond positively to polish, and the tinted glass looks okay.

The 1989 Colony Park wasn’t a muscle wagon, although its fuel-injected 5.0-liter V8 produced 160hp and 280 ft/lbs of torque in its prime. This was fed to the rear wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission, with power assistance for the steering and brakes standard features. It is fascinating to compare this Wagon’s specifications with the last of the Fifth Generation that rolled off the line in 1978. The range-topping powerplant that year was the 460ci V8 that delivered 202hp and 348 ft/lbs. Simple logic says that it should have been faster than the later model, but the additional 850 lbs that the larger motor was forced to move proved an obstacle too significant to overcome. It was nearly two seconds slower through the ¼-mile, but, more importantly, it consumed a whopping 35% more fuel. The seller confirms this Mercury served as their daily driver until ten years ago when it was laid low by a transmission fault. It hasn’t moved since, but reviving the engine shouldn’t be difficult if it turns freely. It requires other work to be considered roadworthy, but doing so could be an achievable goal for those who view the Wagon as a potential project candidate.

Life inside this Colony Park would have been pretty pleasant in its day. Occupants sank into seats upholstered in Dark Blue leather, with the Wagon’s versatility enhanced by the third-row feature. They were kept comfortable by air conditioning, with the interior also featuring power windows, power locks, power front seats, cruise control, a tilt wheel, and an AM/FM radio/cassette player. The interior has some obvious shortcomings, but there are positive attributes worth noting. The front seats have wear and some holes. They may require a retrim, although high-quality slipcovers would be cheaper and hide the problem from prying eyes. The back seat is better and may respond to dye and conditioning to regain its former glory. The third row is excellent, and the carpet might present acceptably following a deep clean. The dash and pad show no evidence of distress, the remaining upholstered surfaces are impressive, and the woodgrain is in good order. A new owner on a tight budget could achieve tidy presentation for only a few hundred dollars.

I am a realist and acknowledge that the fate of this 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis Colony Park will probably be to serve as a donor for another build. That is a shame because it shows promise as a project candidate in its own right. With new Station Wagons from domestic manufacturers seemingly nothing but wishful thinking today, bringing older ones back from the brink is becoming increasingly attractive for those not wishing to slip behind the wheel of an SUV. The lack of action so far suggests this could be one of the most affordable potential projects you will find in the current market, and that may prove sufficient for someone to dive in and accept the challenge. However, it will be fascinating to gauge your feedback. So, what do you think? Is this Mercury a viable project, or is it a parts car?

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Bob_in_TN Member

    Ten years is a long time to be inactive sitting outside, so there is likely more wrong than just a transmission. Upholstery looks rough. If I was trying to get a bit of money out of this, I think I would have spent a few hours giving it a bath and airing up the tires (assuming they would hold air for a while). That might show it to have some potential beyond a parts car.

    Like 20
  2. Avatar photo Driveinstile Member

    I couldnt agree more with Bob…. I mean….C’mon…… At least get some wind in those tires!!!! This just looks like it was used up run hard and put away wet. Not to mention how long it sat bad gas in the tank etc. This is going to be some project

    Like 11
  3. Avatar photo RICK W

    Mercury was great at putting the GRAND in the Marquis. Any GRAND MARQUIS seems well worth the effort of saving. Hopefully someone with abilities, time and some cash will rescue this wagon. Wagons, like Mercury and numerous other brands are unfortunately no longer being built. Even remaining vehicles are now SUVS, crossovers and melted jelly beans. 🤮

    Like 10
  4. Avatar photo george mattar

    A once great AMERICAN wagon. Now it’s just a mess. If you can get it for $500, it’s worth it. Too many good cars for sale; you just have to look and be patient.

    Like 6
  5. Avatar photo Threepedal

    Ten years. Long time to accumulate the particular essence generations of mice can create in an unattended luxury interior.
    The hardcore around here would be installing a known value trans before entering it in the derby anyway.

    Like 4
  6. Avatar photo Effort Gets Rewards

    Agree
    Clean it…,put some pleather wax on seats and air up the tires.

    This is not a rare car that’ people will chase looking this way.

    I suggest put a temp battery in it and pull the plug and put some oil in there and let it sit over night.
    Then see of it will turn over.

    If yes clean the plugs, check dist cap to see underneath and clean corrosion . You could get lucky snd get 4-6 extra Benjamin’s for a small effort.

    Like 4
  7. Avatar photo Re

    Buyer beware that windshield can kill you,if don’t know what I mean by that Google it.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Big Fins Member

      If you cannot briefly tell us here…

      Like 3
      • Avatar photo Re

        They were high voltage to defrost instantly

        Like 2
  8. Avatar photo Jim

    Maybe if it had the “de Sade” package.

    Like 0
  9. Avatar photo Puddleglum

    This is one for Derek Beiri of Vice Grip Garage.

    Like 5
  10. Avatar photo Gary

    Original right down to the rubber cover on the distributor cap, which is one of the first things to be tossed after a new tune-up.

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo Fox Owner

      If it was salvageable I say give it the Marauder treatment. Monochrome paint scheme and go fast parts, as long as the engine and trans can get off dead center.

      Like 3
  11. Avatar photo Driveinstile Member

    I remember on Home Improvement, Al had a Mercury Wagon. I dont remember the color, I just remember Tim Allen being impressed with it. I dint know why buy thats what I was thinking of when I saw this if someone fixed it up.

    Like 1
  12. Avatar photo Roland

    Not sure what the issue with the windshield is, and I did a web search. I remember when these came out, it seemed like a good idea. What I do remember is that police departments did not like them because they could not see the driver clearly with traffic cameras. When they worked, apparently they worked well, but the wire grid could fail. According to the web search, the grid does interfere with toll transponders and cell phones.

    The rest of the car is rough from sitting, but much worse seem to get a lot of attention on this site.

    Like 1
  13. Avatar photo Robert Levins

    The big question is – how many miles are on this 1989 Mercury Colony Park ? My Dad’s 1991 ( last year for the wagon), transmission went out at 90k miles because it wasn’t shifting up into overdrive. The engine made it to 170k and then it went too. And he took care of his cars. We surmised that even though these cars were “body on frame and V-8 (302) RWD , they were “pretty well built “ but not quite as good as the predecessors. He junked it. They are nice and collectible but I’d be careful with this one. Great article!

    Like 0
  14. Avatar photo Robert Bernardo

    Heh, as an owner of an ’88 Mercury Colony Park wagon, I say that if the transmission needs to be rebuilt, do it! Cost – $1,500 to $2,400. My 302 V8 needed a rebuild at the 260K mark, but I blame the former owner for not taking are of it. My ’90 Ford LTD Crown Victoria made it to 480K before its engine needed a rebuild. $3,800 to $4,000 for a rebuilt engine and install.

    Like 1
  15. Avatar photo Yblocker

    I’d say it’s in pretty good shape for it’s age and sitting outside for 10 years in Georgia. Fix what needs fixing, clean it up and drive it

    Like 1
  16. Avatar photo Randall Tefft Sundeen

    I had this very car and if I were in a position to buy it I would get it drive able and wait to see what the market does! I loved these cars and 91′ was the last year it was available! Woodgrain would be the tricky thing to get, everything else is probably attainable!!

    Like 0
  17. Avatar photo Harrison Reed

    Yikes! I drive a 1988 Mercury Grand Marquis with 370,000 miles: the engine still seems fine, but the transmission is beginning to go. I have the defroster windshield, and I never knew it to be a problem: since I don’t use a cell’-‘phone in the car, I wouldn’t know about that! I’d like to see this wagon back on the road in good repair. The dash looks the same as my ’88 sedan, and my wood-grained plastic is like new. I prefer the velour upholstery that I have; thank you! I have the AM/FM/cassette, and the cassette is sometimes dead on one channel. FM reception is okay, but not the greatest. AM reception SUCKS! But the air conditioning still will freeze you out on a sultry day. Mine has no rust, but the paint is as bit dull and worn: it is essentially worthless, except as reliable daily transportation. No MICE in my car!

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Randall Tefft Sundeen

      My parents had a country squire with the insta clear heated glass ,it worked great and as long as you didn’t get a stone chip it was awesome! I NEVER use My phone while driving and this option was only available in 88′ and 89′ vehicles ( who had a cell phone then???)

      Like 0
  18. Avatar photo Harrison Reed

    My Insta-Clear STILL works great — 36 years later!

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Randall Tefft Sundeen

      I remember seeing a Cadillac ( late 80s, front wheel drive) with a similar windshield device and am surprised no one has tried to revive it!

      Like 0

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