1984 Mercury Grand Marquis LS 302 CID V8
An uncompromising cruiser
Fuel injection system needs an overhaul.
Some rust around the trunk lid and left rear fender.
Power antenna does not work.
Instrument panel lights work only partially.
Front right door power window does not work.
Headliner sags a little in some areas.
Just purchased this vehicle, so my review is based on my initial impression of the car.
I bought the car for fun (and rather cheaply at 2,500 euros) and intend to keep it for a long time.
Other than the defects mentioned, it is in very good shape considering its age and mileage.
The fuel injection system lets the engine run rough sometimes, especially when idling. On some occasions, the engine stalled. This is the first thing that will be fixed.
Once on the road, the big Mercury runs like a full-size American car of yesteryear should - smooth and quiet, at least as far as engine noise is concerned.
Wind noise is quite high though, due to the car's boxy shape and so-so build quality. That's the way it is with US cars, especially those from the Eighties and older. All my US cars were like that and I can live with it.
Unsurprisingly, the Grand Marquis handles like a land yacht. The steering ratio is quick however, so there is no endless twirling of the wheel as in 1960s American cars.
The Mercury never lets you forget that you're moving two tons of metal, especially when cornering.
The high weight also shows during acceleration. A five-liter V8 with a mere 155 horsepower is no match for a car as big and heavy as the Grand Marquis. Once you reach highway speeds anywhere between 55 and 75 miles per hour, the car is in its comfort zone and does not feel underpowered at all. The Standard FoMoCo 4-speed Automatic Overdrive Transmission is very smooth, even after 30 years of service.
The Merc is good for a 13-14 second 0-60 mph run and a top speed of 100 mph, maybe just a little more, but it does not encourage the driver to try it out. Once again, I don't mind. My other car is a 1995 Buick Park Avenue that gives me plenty of punch and speed whenever necessary; the Grand Marquis is definitely a cruiser with zero pretensions of sportiness. Small wonder all those retirees in Florida loved this car. So do I, even though my retirement is way off.
A word about practicality: Like all older US cars, the Grand Marquis is not an efficient vehicle. Interior space and trunk space are pretty poor given the car's 214 inches (5.44 meters) of overall length and 77.5 inches (1.96 meters) of overall width. My Park Avenue is significantly roomier in all categories except shoulder width, which is on a par with the Grand Marquis. Again, no surprise here, all my older US cars, including an even bigger 1973 Chevy Impala, were poor utilizers of space.
My Grand Marquis is the top-shelf LS version that comes with almost everything: Power driver's seat, power windows, power door locks, cruise control, air conditioning, etc., etc. and almost everything works.
One thing is a bit of a puzzlement to me: According to the car's VIN, it was assembled in Canada for the Canadian market. To my knowledge, it should have a 2-barrel carburetor, not throttle-body injection, which was exclusive to the U.S. market, I understand. Needs some looking into.
I've always been sold on the unpretentious classic looks of 1980's Grand Marquis and Crown Vics, so my specimen is definitely for keeps.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th February, 2014
6th Feb 2014, 14:26
Panther bodied cars of the eighties are a nice sight to see these days, but like all boxy square US cars of that era, they were basically a long hood and trunk with a short cabin area. Even the old boxy Volvo 740 of those years had way more distance from windshield to rear window, resulting in loads of legroom for the tallest of passengers. But that traditional look of the big 3 in those times defines the last true original American style, for even the untrained eye would know it was an American car from yesteryear.