Auction Car of the Week: 25k-mile 1978 Mercury Marquis - $7,500
We've said it before and we'll say it again: There is no better deal in ultra-low mileage vintage automobiles than full-size, American cars from the mid-to-late 1970s. This 1978 Mercury Marquis is in stunning condition, with just 25,000 miles since new, and looks just as fresh as when it came out of the showroom. It's remarkable to think that six years after the first Arab oil embargo, Mercury was still building a 4,500-pound, 229-inch long behemoth like the Mercury Marquis. Nineteen-seventy-eight was the last year before Ford completely downsized all of its full-size cars and moved over to the Panther platform. For '78, the Marquis was built on the same chassis that underpinned the Mercury Monterey, the Colony Park wagon, the LTD and the "Meteor LeMoyne by Mercury" in Canada.
It was a throwback to 1968, the last time this line was completely revised. In old-school American fashion, the Marquis was available in a range of body styles including this two-door coupe, a four-door sedan, a four-door, pillar-less hardtop, a wagon and a convertible. Everything short of a pickup, in other words.
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It's comical to think of a car as large and in charge as this one as a "base model," but this one is about as near stripped as you're going to find. It has the base engine, Ford's ubiquitous 351-cu.in. V8. It's also got vinyl seats and manual windows and locks.
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This Marquis is from that odd period when cars were still steeped in the methods of building cars from the 1960s, but forced to accommodate the government's mandates on safety, so it's got a vestige of a headrest, and gigantic plastic presenters that place the three-point seatbelt in a position where you can reach it.
Its overall condition is remarkable, honestly showing the 25,000 miles it was reported cover since 1978. About the only thing we can point out as a sour note are the El Cheapo chrome exhaust tips that you can chuck in the trash the minute you lay out the $7,500 it will cost to buy this one now.
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Seventy-five hundred dollars. For a 4,500 pound car. That's $1.66 per pound. 80% Lean Ground Beef is going to cost you $2.99 a pound. Where are you going to find a better deal?