Photo: Orlando Classic Cars

In America, we like things big—big deals, big wheels, Big Macs, and big digs just to name a few. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Mercury is a pretty big car, but will its price prove to be a big disappointment?

Today’s youth might think they are living in a golden era, what with all their smart phones and their Insta-snaps and poke bars on every corner. Let me tell you though, they‘re missing out. Few kids today will ever know the dizzying anticipation of dial-up. Fewer still will get to experience the wonder of seeing the world—or at least the freeway—in reverse from the comfort of the rear-facing third row of a big wagon.

That is of course, unless their parent or guardian purchases yesterday’s 1995 Chevy Caprice, which was so endowed. That’s unlikely to happen however, as its $7,000 price earned the longroof Caprice a 55-percent Crack Pipe vote. (insert sad trombone here)

You know what it was that was wrong with that Caprice? I mean, besides according to the majority of you, the price? Yep, that’s right, it wasn’t big enough. At 217 inches long, that Caprice was long on flavor, but admittedly, it could have been even longer.

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That’s where today’s 1977 Mercury Grand Marquis comes in. At fully 229-inches long, and almost 80-inches wide, this red with white vinyl roof over bordello Marquis is not just big, it’s ginormous. If this were Japan it would likely sprout tentacles and do battle with Godzilla. Fun fact, the driver of a car of this size is legally permitted to preside over marriages on the open sea!

Its size is the first thing you’ll notice about this classic Merc, but that will soon give way to marveling over it’s condition. This car is not just clean. With its meager 3,600 miles, it’s like a museum piece. Why would you keep a 1977 Mercury Grand Marquis in a museum? Excellent question. I’ll have to get back to you on that.

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The Grand Marquis was Mercury on full-baroque mode, and as we all know having watched Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, if it’s not baroque, don’t fix it. There doesn’t seem to be anything to fix here as this Merc seems, for all intents and purposes, to be as-new.

The Marquis shared its platform with Ford’s LTD and Lincoln’s Town Car, and all three were pretty much exemplars of the American interpretation of what a luxury car should be. Here that meant lots of chrome, vinyl roofs and matching side molding, and hidden headlights featuring embossed and shield emblazoned covers. The rectilinear styling, with its stand-up corners and gunsight hood ornament, are additional throwbacks to a less enlightened, but far more kitschy time.

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Under the U.S.S. Enterprise’s flight deck… oops, I mean the Mercury’s hood, lies a 460-cubic inch bog block V8. Topped with a 4BBL carburetor, that massive mill pumped out a earth-shaking 197-horsepower and tug-a-lug 353 lb-ft of torque.

These engines were lightly stressed, rarely if ever pushing over 4,000 rpm. They were capable of getting the 4,800-pound Marquis up to freeway speed in an acceptable but sedate 11 seconds. That’s if you weren’t heading uphill.

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Behind the V8 lies an edition of Ford’s sturdy C6 automatic. Offering just three forward speeds, the slusher is well matched to the general mechanical simplicity of the car.

That’s not to say that this Marquis doesn’t have a ton of features. The car comes with power windows, power locks and two-speed wipers! It also has cruise control and two gauges in the instrument cluster, one for speed and another to tell you when to start looking for a gas station. The speedo goes up to just 85, fully three years before that limit was mandated by the Feds. You might imagine that Ford was being forward thinking with that, but honestly, it was more likely that they didn’t want anyone trying to go faster than that in a car with the Marquis’ level of wallow, overmatched brakes, and indifferent steering.

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Making up for that somewhat lackadaisical aptitude is an 8-track stereo in the dash, and seats that look as comfortable as a grandma’s lap. Overall, the interior matches the exterior for as-new appearance.

In fact, aside from some surface rust on the engine block, there doesn’t seem to be a single element of this car actually showing its age. It’s like a time warp from the ‘70s, or at the very least, back to Uncle Buck.

The ad says the car comes with an extensive collection of original documentation. It also claims the color combo to be rare, but Geez, at this point in time isn’t any ’77 Mercury going to be rare no matter what the color combo?

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Rare or not, it’s an impressive piece of architecture and as fine an example of an era as you are likely to see. What might all that cost? How about $21,500? That’s about four times what the car cost new, but adjusting for inflation, and considering that this one seemingly is new that might not be all that out of line.

What do you think, could this nearly new old school Mercury command $21,500? Or, does that price make this a Marquis de-sad?

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You decide!

Orlando Classic Cars out of Orlando, FL, or go here if the ad disappears.

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