OUR TEN-YEAR ODYSSEY SEARCHING FOR A DAILY DRIVER, part 5
From 2013 until the present, our daily driver has been a silver 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis purchased with 81,000 miles for only $2,750 in December, 2013.
After 5 years, an unscheduled interruption...
At an All-Way Stop intersection, a teenage girl barreled into the intersection without stopping.
She saw our car and drove into the opposing traffic lane trying to avoid it. She struck the end of our car's bumper driving it over a foot to
the right and peeling the plastic skin off (no frontal impact
whatsoever!). The rest of the car was undamaged except for the tip
of the left fender and edge of the hood. Our airbags were not deployed but fortunately no one was injured. My wife
was driving and had nearly stopped when the car hit her or damage would have been considerably worse. After
striking our car, the other driver tried to correct her car and flipped it over on its side.
At least three police cruisers and an ambulance crew arrived on the scene and I also arrived within 15 minutes.
Since both drivers claimed to have stopped before entering the intersection, the New Jersey "No Fault" law kicked in.
That means neither driver can expect remuneration for damages unless they hire a lawyer. The other car was totaled,
but I fixed our car for less than what a lawyer would have cost!
I bought a high-mileage 2007 Grand Marquis for $1500 to serve as a donor car.
After removing the front end and selling many other parts, the car looked much different!
A friendly neighbor welded the bumper support to the frame for us.
Except for the lights and grille, the 2003 and 2007 Grand Marquis are almost identical
One week after repairs were completed, I hit a deer!
I repaired it the second time in a month!!! This time, I bought all new parts (headlights, turning and marker lights, grille, grille surround and bumper) at Amazon for about $500.
In July 2019, I found another 2003 Marquis for sale in West Chester, just across the river. These cars in good condition are usually grabbed up by taxi owners. They don't make cars like these any more!
This Grand Marquis had spent all of its life in Las Vegas (never saw snow or salt!). The elderly lady-owner had driven it less than 70,000 miles in sixteen years! A relative in West Chester, PA
inherited it, but with a Porsche, a Mercedes and a Harley Davidson in his garage, there was no room for a Mercury! We got it for $4,000 and drove it home. According to the new car window sticker,
the car sold for $31,000 and is the "LS Ultimate" model with extras such as leather seats and a CD-Changer. It also had 4 new Michelin tires.
This car sits in the garage most of the time while we drive the silver Grand
Marquis. "Blue Bird" won't see salt until "Silver Bird" dies!