A Chimera is a mythical beast that’s both one thing and another. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Mercury is a car that’s an example of ‘70s fanciness and of that era’s performance potential, truly a chimeric mix. Let’s see if its price doesn’t make it just another crazy mixed up kid.
Hey, you hungry? How about trying these bath salts first before you go finding something to eat? Or, how would you like to deliver bibles to ISIL fighters in Syria? You want to give that a go?
Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Another thing apparently low on the To-Do list for many is owning a car powered (for as long as it lasts) by one of Olds’ legendarily unreliable diesel V8 engines from the Reagan era. That’s a nope even if it were as nice as yesterday’s 1981 Caprice Classic Coupe appeared to be, and - according to 71% of you - definitely not at at that one’s current asking price.
Okay, I have to say that I’m unlike Donald Trump in almost every way, but one thing that I do share with the presidential hopeful and serial bankruptcy filer is that I prefer winners over losers.
That means that this week’s string of Crack Pipe losses has left me in a total funk. I’m in a funk, people! Oh well, let’s see if today’s candidate foils the funk.
This 1977 Mercery Monarch is, like yesterday’s Caprice, a two-door and an example of how the American middle class used to roll. This Monarch however, despite being the froo-froo up-market edition of Ford’s Granada, packs both a 302 and - more amazingly, a four-speed (3+OD) stick.
That all makes this a lean, green, three-pedal machine, by which I mean that (A) it will “lean” through the corners like the door handle’s a third tire, (B) it’s hued like mint jelly both inside and out, making every day St. Patrick’s Day, and (C) that it has that stick shift and a clutch pedal, can’t forget about that.
The four speed is a factory install, and sits in a center console between two wide and flat bucket seats. The entire interior is awash in glorious ‘70s vinyl and serves as a reminder of an era when auto makers went the extra mile to ensure that every freaking part of a car’s interior was color coordinated. This one is unapologetically green and looks intact with only a small dash crack and a headliner tear to detract.
The exterior is equally well preserved all the way down to the plastic gas filler door under the trunk lock that typically these cars lose like baby teeth. Even the plastic filler between the body and bumpers - usually lost to pollution and age - look to be it fine shape. Deep dish alloy wheels with new tires spruce things up as does the copious amounts of brightwork and general upright styling. The styling on these is really something you have to like in order to, you know, like.
Mechanically, the car should be dirt simple to keep on the road. The 2bbl 302 put out a thundering 122-bhp in ’77 and a more reasonable 222 lb-ft of torque the same year. Zero to sixty time was clocked at around 12 seconds (15 if it had the automatic!) and the car should get mileage in the teens. At least will run on regular, right? The ad notes that it is a “Code 6” car with a final drive set for acceleration. Look out, electric mobility scooter drivers!
This one has no A/C, which makes you wonder just who exactly optioned this car? The seller says that it has a “heavy duty vent system” that will keep you cool as long as you’re moving. On a plus note, it only has 64,000 miles on the clock. It does not however appear to have a clock, the space for the digital drum unit common in these cars being taken up by a plug.
The asking price is $7,250 and it’s going to be tough to equate that to any other example because I’m pretty sure this is - like a chimera - about as rare as they come these days. Obviously rare doesn’t necessarily equate to desirable, and so we need to decide if that $7,250 is a fair deal for someone looking for something exactly like this particular Monarch.
What do you say, is this old school Mercury worth that $7,250 asking? Or, is that too much money to crown this Monarch the king of the deals?
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