OUR TEN-YEAR ODYSSEY SEARCHING FOR A DAILY DRIVER, part 4
We sold our 1995 Buick Century
in August, 2013 for $1,200 and bought this 1995 Mercury Grand Marquis for $1,400.
It was not the first Mercury that I owned. As a teenager, I owned '39 and '46
Mercury coupes and a '51 that I called my pregnant turtle. I need to tell the
story behind this acquisition.
Our First Mercury Grand Marquis
The last US cars that were sold with rear-wheel-drive were the Ford Crown Victoria and it's luxurious cousin, the
Mercury Grand Marquis. The police and taxi companies bought most of these cars because they were comfortable, robust
and very dependable. When Ford decided to halt production in 2010, pre-owned models in good condition were soon
selling for high prices, often to taxi owners.
When our '95 Buick Century needed repairs that I couldn't do myself, I decided to start looking for a Crown Victoria
or Grand Marquis. One Sunday, I noticed that an elderly lady in our church was driving her brother's 2011 Grand
Marquis (the final year was 2010 but a couple of hundred leftovers were sold in 2011). She said that her brother
could no longer drive and he sold her the car. He had also sold her his 2003 Marquis when he bought the 2011. I
knew the '03 was in pristine condition, so I asked how much she was asking for it. She replied, "$5,000".
That price was reasonable, but we had only gotten $1200 for the Century and couldn't afford the car. On August 23,
2013, I bought a white 1995 Grand Marquis with 120,000 miles for $1,400. I installed new shocks, serpentine belt,
idler and tensioner pullys, ignition cables and sparkplugs, bringing our investment to $1758.78. It served us well
and we were very happy with it -- for three and a half months and 8,000 miles.
On December 5, 2013,
Verna was involved in her first accident. She had been driving 55 years without even a traffic ticket, but while
driving to the Garden Club Christmas dinner at the Scotland Run Golf Course, she was hit by a woman who ran a stop
sign and blinking red light. Verna had been looking forward to eating baked salmon with the girls, but had a hot
dog with me instead.
After the cars hit in the middle of the intersection, Verna's car did a quarter turn to the right and wound up on
the wrong side of Grant Ave. The other car did a 180 degree spin and landed in the trees on the opposite side of
the road. Verna can't remember the crash but remembers seeing it coming and thinking, "This is going to be bad!"
Both cars were totaled. Ours would have been fixable but the airbags deployed and replacement of these would have
cost more than the car was worth.
Speaking of airbags, a police inspector and the ambulance medic both warned Verna, "You need to throw all your clothes
in the washer and take a complete shower before putting on fresh clothes. The stuff in those airbags causes cancer." A
policeman then told her that she should sit in our car until I arrived! Airbags save your life and then kill you!
We spent 3 1/2 hours in the ER where Verna got a tetanus shot, her leg bandaged and cat scans on her head and neck. The
results came back favorable. She was sore and had black and blue marks from the seat belts and airbags but nothing serious.
We thanked God his for protection. A week later, we also thanked him for his provision. The other driver's insurance paid
us $3,734, so we could go car shopping again!
The next car was the 2003 Grand Marquis
I told you about at the top of this page!