1981 Mercury Zephyr Z-7 3.3 straight 6 from North America


The car is in good shape, and the body has very minute rust; just little spots, not really noticeable.

The interior is in okay shape, it's just 27 year old wear and tear.

General Comments:

The car runs like new. Very reliable for an everyday car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th May, 2008

1978 Mercury Zephyr Straight Six from North America


Horrid car, but God I loved it


Carburetor broke - no idea what was wrong, just didn't work.

Fuel pump broke.

Water pump broke.

Radiator hoses cracked.

Electrical system has been total crap.

- Head/tail lights occasionally failed

- Electric starter often didn't get enough power, it would make a clicking noise

- Sometimes the power to the radio would go out

- Right blinker stopped working.

The switch for the blinker broke off one time.

Horn hasn't worked for 6 months.

Brakes went out, replaced master cylinder.

Door locks have been a constant problem.

Today it just overheated for no apparent reason, so bad it may have cracked the block, done something to a piston, and something else. Pretty much when I try to start it it turns over, the whole body shakes violently and an ungodly roaring noise comes from under the hood. It won't go over 20, and when I have to stop at a light, smoke rises out of the hood and smoke shoots out of the exhaust pipe. I'm going to have to go try and find a new car tomorrow, I can't deal with the service this car is going to require.

General Comments:

This was my first car. I love this car. Even with all these problems, the car has never left me completely stranded.

Before I replaced the carburetor, it literally fell off one time, the only thing keeping it attached was the weight and proximity to the hood of the air filter. I unscrewed the air filter holder and I picked the carburetor up right off the engine. The car was running through this, I did have to pump the gas and it was dying, but it got me home.

I have driven this car 20 miles with NOTHING in the radiator, it didn't die until I was a 10 minute walk from my house where I could get new radiator hoses and water to repair it. Ran fine since, that was probably 5 months ago.

I put in a decent sound system, CD, 2 full range speakers, 2 woofers, 2 four way speakers, and 2 three way speakers. It sounds great, I'll probably buy another beater car and install the same sound system, maybe with a sub if there's room.

I have gone 6000 miles plus without changing the oil, ran just fine. As I paid $400 for this car off ebay, I have treated it like complete crap and have more than gotten my money's worth. It's gotten me to work, play, and everything in between. I'm sad to see it go.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd September, 2006

8th Feb 2007, 16:23

Would you be interested in selling your Zephyr??? Send me an email at terry_copeland@email.com Is yours a six cylinder???///

11th Jun 2007, 01:53

I rented a Mercury Zephyr in either 1984 or '85 - does anyone remember 'Rent-A-Wreck'? I didn't have any problems with it, but only had it for a weekend. Back then I didn't own a car, and with nothing to compare it to, that Zephyr felt like driving a Cadillac!

1981 Mercury Zephyr Z-7 Coupe 3.3 liter inline 6 from North America


A great car for its time


The transmission blew.

I have to rebuild the carburetor at least once a year.

The power steering pump locked up.

The rear suspension bushings and springs got really noisy when you hit bumps.

General Comments:

This has been an overall great car. It is identical to the Ford Fairmont Futura. The car was not one of Ford's better ideas though. It is hard to start in cold weather and takes a lot of gas to get started. Gets great gas mileage when its running though. The carburetor starts dumping too much gas in the engine and causes the spark plugs to foul, the only fix I found was to rebuild it.

This model of car was the first of the fox body cars, which is what a 79-93 Mustang was based on. A couple of weeks ago the transmission stopped going into reverse. So I am going to put a 302 and a 5 speed manual in to fix this problem. The straight six is a great reliable engine, but only puts out a whopping 92 horse power. So it's not much for performance. I don't have to drive any more because I bought a 1992 Chevy S-10 for $500 dollars. The people I bought it from thought the computer was fried, which would have cost around $1300 to fix, and all it was is a $100 ignition module. Now I could get $5000 out of it. Lesson: always make sure what the problem is before you sell for dirt. And the guy that buys it makes it gold for a cheap part.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th February, 2003

16th Jan 2004, 08:58

$5000? For a 92 S-10?

I don't think so!

15th Jul 2004, 18:01

I find that a lot of American manufactured cars from the early 80's tend to have a few quirks. Odd part is, it seems no one actually junks them, since you see them rolling around all day every day everywhere. I think it's more that they are generally reliable, but small things often come up that need work.

As for the previous comment...I've seen early 90's S-10's go for $14,000 (highly modified. Mechanically and aesthetically). It's all in what you put into the vehicle. Sure, bone stock, they are dirt cheap. Customized, they can be pretty pricey. So, in the spirit of good natured, friendly fact-sharing; yeah, it's very possible to squeeze five grand out of an S-10 (even more if you have a good eye for modification).