Welcome back to Found Around Town! We at Jalopnik are always finding cool or weird stuff just sitting around parked on the street. It’s been a hot minute since we had a weekend carspotting series here, so let’s dive back in with gusto.
This extremely clean example of a 1985 Mercury Grand Marquis (in rare Minions trim) was parallel parked on the street just outside of Wayne State University in Detroit.
I took this picture when I was interning for Autoweek over the summer. This car belonged to a student of the University. They said that the car was their grandmother’s and had around 40,000 miles on the odometer when they got it.
Fun fact about old Mercurys: No one ever actually buys a Mercury, they just inherit one from their grandparents after MeeMaw can’t see well enough to drive to church.
This Mercury is an early full-size Ford Panther platform car and its siblings are the Ford LTD Crown Victoria and Lincoln Town Car. The Grand Marquis was equipped with Ford’s 5.0-liter Windsor V8 engine that made a surprisingly sad 140 horsepower when new. That’s 18 less horsepower than a new Honda Civic.
But this American barge wasn’t designed to go fast. It was designed to luxuriously waft around traffic. This was right towards the end of the Malaise Era. American cars and their engines were huge and their power numbers were very small due to increased environmental and emissions regulations.
Aside from single-digit miles per gallon, a big American luxury sedan is great for city driving. It may possess the turning radius and size of a small cruise ship but it can fit just as many people. It’s the ultimate carpool car; you can fit the entire office in the back and have enough money from people chipping in to pay for gas.
Even though it has Massachusetts tags, it belongs in Detroit, where this college kid is keeping the ’80s luxury dream alive. I hope it’s driven for the next 32 years so they can give it to their grandchildren and complete this Mercury’s lifecycle.