The Mercury Grand Marquis was a full-size rear-wheel drive sedan sold by the Lincoln-Mercury division of the Ford Motor Company; the Grand Marquis was the flagship of the Mercury lineup. The nameplate itself had been in use since 1975 as the premium trim level of the Mercury Marquis; the Grand Marquis became its own distinct model in 1983. The car was essentially Mercury's twin of the Ford Crown Victoria with which it shared its Panther platform along with the Lincoln Town Car. After the discontinuation of retail sales of the Crown Victoria at the end of the 2007 model year, the Grand Marquis had largely taken its place as the entry-level Panther-platform model.
The Grand Marquis was manufactured at the St. Thomas Assembly Plant in Canada though it was also produced from 1983 to 1985 in Ford's St. Louis, Missouri facility. With the discontinuation of the Mercury brand, the Grand Marquis ended retail production in October 2010 while production for fleet sales continued until January 2011. The last Grand Marquis, which was also the last Mercury ever produced, rolled off the assembly line on January 4, 2011.
The Mercury Marquis was introduced as a trim package on the 1967 Mercury Monterey. The Marquis name gradually replaced Monterey. The Grand Marquis trim line was introduced in 1975 as a step up from the base Marquis and Marquis Brougham. For the 1979 model year, all full-size Mercurys were moved from the 1973 1978 full-size Ford to the downsized Panther platform; the Grand Marquis trim line was retained. The Ford equivalent of the Grand Marquis was the LTD Landau, which became the LTD Crown Victoria in 1980.
The Grand Marquis became a model in its own right in 1983 when the Marquis nameplate was shifted to the Fox platform to replace the unpopular sedan and wagon models of the Cougar. Since then, there have been four generations of the Grand Marquis: 1983 1991 (the only version sold in multiple body styles), 1992 1997, 1998 2002, and the final generation, 2003 2011 (this generation was sold as the 2003 2004 Marauder).
1975 1978 Grand Marquis 4-door sedan
First generation (1983 1991)
The Grand Marquis was introduced as a model in its own right in 1983, when the base Marquis and Marquis Brougham nameplates were moved to the mid-sized Fox platform. The Grand Marquis nameplate remained on the Panther platform as Mercury's flagship sedan. It continued to be produced at Ford's St. Louis Assembly Plant, but production was shifted to St. Thomas Assembly in Canada during the 1985 model year. The only changes made in changing the full-sized Marquis into the Grand Marquis was the adoption of Central Fuel Injection (replacing the two-barrel carburetor), new taillights, and a new grille.
The Grand Marquis was available in three body styles: a two-door sedan, a four-door sedan, and a station wagon. After 1983, the station wagon was discontinued, subsequently offered only as the woodgrained Colony Park; it shared much of its interior trim with the deluxe-trim Grand Marquis LS sedan. The 2-door sedan was dropped from the lineup in the later part of 1986 due to slow sales; Grand Marquis coupes are hard to find today.
Interior view (1985 Grand Marquis LS)
- Mechanical details
The 5.0 Windsor V8 was the only engine available from model years 1983 1985, coupled with a four-speed AOD automatic. From 1986 1991 The Grand Marquis was also available with a Windsor V8 but was a rare option according to ALLDATA.
The new Grand Marquis sold well, and remained virtually unchanged until 1986, when it received sequential electronic fuel injection and all production moved to the St. Thomas plant.
In 1988, the exterior and interior received a facelift to freshen the styling. This facelift included a new front header panel with a rounded grille. Other changes brought the Grand Marquis closer in line with the rest of the Mercury lineup. The familiar cross-and-wreath emblems were replaced by Mercury's new "flying M". On the trunk lid and C-pillar, the serif-style script was replaced by block lettering shared with the Sable and Topaz. The standard trim level was renamed Grand Marquis GS, similar to its Sable and Topaz counterparts. The LS version offered many unique options like, JBL audio System with 6 Speakers with Cassette AM/FM and Power Antenna (4 Speakers in 1990 1991), Heated Windshield, Rear Air-Suspension.
The interior received enlarged head restraints with a tilt feature, and a refresh of the dash, as one wood trim piece, along with the instrument cluster being slightly redesigned with a different look. In 1990, a driver's side airbag was added to complement the redesigned dashboard and the tilting head restraints were replaced with smaller ones. These were the only changes the Grand Marquis received, as Mercury was preparing a new Grand Marquis for 1992.
image:1983-1987 Mercury Grand Marquis -- 09-27-2010 1.jpg|1983 1987 Mercury Grand Marquis sedan image:1983 Mercury Grand Marquis LS 2-Door.jpg|1983 Mercury Grand Marquis LS 2-door image:Merucry Colony Park 1984.jpg|1984 Mercury Grand Marquis Colony Park image:Merccury Colony Park 1984 rear.jpg|1984 Mercury Grand Marquis Colony Park
Second generation (1992 1997)
For the 1992 model year, the Ford and Mercury Panther-platform cars underwent their most extensive changes since their 1979 introduction. Like its Crown Victoria counterpart, the Grand Marquis was given all-new sheet metal, much more rounded and aerodynamic than in the preceding generation. After decades of badge engineering had left the Grand Marquis and its Ford equivalent essentially as identical twins, the 1992 redesign provided much-needed differentiation between the two. The Ford Taurus heavily influenced the design of the Crown Victoria while the designers of the Grand Marquis retained a number of the features from the 1991 model. The formal roofline, full-width taillights, and chrome waterfall grille were all carried over into the 1992 model. The latter became a styling cue adopted by virtually all Mercurys produced in the late 1990s and the 2000s.
- Mechanical Details
The redesigned Grand Marquis received the SOHC Modular V8 engine as the replacement for both the 302 and 351 Windsor OHV V8s previously available. The Modular V8 was the first (and as of the 2010 model year, the only) single overhead-cam V8 used in an American-market full-size sedan. Four-wheel disc brakes (with optional ABS) replaced the previous rear drum brakes; traction control became an option. After 1992, dual airbags were made standard equipment (the passenger-side airbag was an option for 1992).
For 1993, the electronically-controlled AOD-E transmission was introduced.
1995 97 Mercury Grand Marquis For 1995, the Grand Marquis was refreshed. On the exterior, the bumpers and side cladding were painted completely in body color and the amount of chrome was reduced. The parking light/turn signal clusters on the front were reduced in size; the front turn signal (with cornering lights on LS models) clusters were also changed in their design.
Up front, the waterfall grille became more rounded in shape and fit tighter to the bumper and headlamps. In the rear, the license plate was moved from the bumper to in between the taillights. For the first time since 1988, the lettering was changed; now it was italicized block lettering.
The entire interior was facelifted in the name of ergonomics, with the most attention paid to the dashboard. On models with analog instrument gauges, round gauges replaced the horizontal speedometer. Rotary climate controls replaced sliding climate controls after switching locations with the radio (a new corporate radio/cassette head unit with large buttons). The power seat controls, if specified, were now located on the door panels along with enlarged buttons for the power windows and door locks.
Mechanically, the major change was the switch to the 4R70W transmission. In 1996, the Grand Marquis dropped the first-generation airbag steering wheel for the smaller one used in many other Ford and Mercury sedans. For 1997, the Mercury logos were removed from the C-pillars.
Digital instrument panel (1992 1994)
Third generation (1998 2002)
The Grand Marquis was redesigned for 1998, with a new front and rear fascia, grille, hood, bumpers, wheels, lights, and mirrors. Although it bore a resemblance to the 1992 1997 model, the only body panels retained were the doors and the roof. It also got some small interior changes, and more optional features. Unlike the previous generation, Ford's Panther-platform cars no longer received direct competition from General Motors (the Chevrolet Caprice and Buick Roadmaster were dropped after 1996); until 2002, Mercury brought in close to or over 100,000 Grand Marquis sales. The Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis together sold over 200,000 a year, giving Ford a profitable market niche to itself.
- Mechanical Details
A fail-safe cooling system with a dual speed electric fan was put in place, along with a coil-on-plug ignition system. Larger dual piston brake calipers were added to the front, requiring 16 inch wheels to be standard. A Watt's linkage was added to the rear suspension. Fuel lines were moved to the passenger side frame rail. A coded ignition key (known as Passive Anti-Theft System, or "PATS") system was introduced and a 72 amp/hour battery replaced the previous 58. Other minor changes included a redesigned engine cover and the power steering fluid reservoir being moved to the front of the engine. Interior view, front seats
Fourth generation (2003 2011)
After five years on the marketplace relatively unchanged, the Grand Marquis received new exterior sheetmetal; this consisted mostly of new headlight clusters and a larger grille (shared with the Marauder). The bumpers and trunklid fascia were also redesigned for an updated look. Inside, the interior was updated, with new door panels, door handles and switchgear and an optional overhead console (standard on the LS Series). On GS-trim models, the B-pillars were now painted body-color. Side airbags were also made available and a dual media (cassette/CD) player made standard. A shoulder belt was added for the rear middle passenger and a valet key was made standard.
From 2003 05 a "Limited Edition" version of the LS model was sold. The Limited Edition included an appearance package that featured chromed mirrors, body colored door handles, and a two-tone leather interior. Limited Edition models also came with side airbags standard.
In 2005, several interior upgrades were made; theses included new wood trim, chrome interior door release handles, a redesigned steering wheel, and an Audiophile 6 disc in-dash CD changer (optional on the LS Series). The 2005 model year is the only year where the car had a whip antenna, instead of one integrated into the rear window. In mid-2005, a top-of-the-line LSE trim level was added. The steering wheel lock feature was eliminated.
For the first time since the 1991 Colony Park station wagon, Mercury sold two variations of the full-size Panther platform; the high-performance Mercury Marauder muscle sedan was sold from 2003 2004.
- Mechanical details
Under the skin, the differences between 2002 and 2003 models were far more extensive than the redesigns of 1995 and 1998. Ford had redesigned the frame of all the Panther-platform cars from the ground up. The frame rails were now fully boxed and hydroformed. In an effort to improve handling, the front and rear suspension were redesigned along with the brakes. The new suspension changes required changing wheel designs to those with a high positive offset. Rack and pinion steering replaced the old recirculating ball system in an effort to increase steering precision.
An engine knock sensor was made standard along with a six-quart (5.7 L) oil pan (20% larger than the 2002 model). A quiet EBD brake booster with a mechanical panic assist system was added. Other changes included an intake manifold with aluminum water crossover and an electronic returnless fuel system. Minor changes included a redesigned engine cover with a chrome V8 logo, the oil fill cap being moved to the passenger valve cover and the power steering fluid reservoir moved to the radiator surround (previously on the front of the engine).
A number of mechanical changes were made for the 2005 model year. The introduction of electronic throttle control moved the cruise control function to the main computer. Occupant weight sensors were added to the front seats, allowing the driver to disable the passenger airbag. Other changes included two new front crash severity sensors, a new steering column with a two-spoke steering wheel, and the addition of a mast antenna on the right quarter panel.
2006 2011 Mercury Grand Marquis
Interior view, 2011 Grand Marquis LS
2006 2011 Mercury Grand Marquis (rear view)
For 2006, Mercury gave the fourth-generation Grand Marquis a facelift. From the rear, the trunk panel between the taillights was changed from red to gray. From the front, the changes became more substantial. In an effort to look like the 1988 1991 models, the rounded grilles that had been used since 1992 were replaced with a rectangular one. Fog lights became a first-time option.
Interior changes included a new instrument cluster, which featured the addition of a tachometer and digital odometer/tripmeter. The mast antenna on the right rear fender was integrated back into the rear window and new wheel designs were made available. This was the first year for the 4R75E transmission.
In 2007, the "Palm Beach" trim package became an option for LS models; it consisted primarily of special upholstery and badging. On all models, flex-fuel capability (E85) was added. Other new options included a conventional spare tire and an auto dimming rear view mirror.
For 2008, the Handling and Performance Package as well as the 5-passenger front bucket-seat option were both discontinued; both were similar to the Crown Victoria's LX Premium Sport and Handling Package. These were the only post-1992 Grand Marquis variants produced for North America to be equipped with dual exhaust.
The Ford Crown Victoria moved exclusively to fleet sales beginning with the 2008 model year, leaving the Grand Marquis with no distinct competition (in terms of price). In Canada, the Grand Marquis (a Ford since 1999) was replaced in retail markets by the Fifth-generation Ford Taurus (formerly the Ford Five Hundred).
For 2009, the base GS trim level was dropped from the lineup; leaving 2 variants, LS Fleet and LS Retail. The LS Fleet is available for fleet purchase only in Canada and the United States, and the LS Retail is available on dealer special orders only in the United States. Also, Lincoln-Mercury dealers in the United States have a "No stock" rule in effect for the Grand Marquis, as incentives as high as $4000 were becoming a requirement to remove them from dealer lots, usually after several months. A change made to the Grand Marquis due to federal legislation is the standardization of side-impact airbags and the addition of recessed window switches. 2010 marked the 35th year of Grand Marquis production, overtaking the Cougar as the longest-produced Mercury. Due to a government mandate, the VIN designations were changed for 2010, replacing the seventh character with a letter instead of a number. The Grand Marquis LS now carried an M7F designation, whilst the export-only GS carried an M7E designation. As the Mercury brand was phased out, a short run of 2011 Grand Marquis models were produced, with retail production ending in September; the last fleet model was produced in January, becoming the last new Mercury-brand vehicle made by Ford.
On June 2, 2010, Ford announced that it would end production of all Mercury vehicles by the end of 2010 as it discontinued the brand after 72 years. As a result of an unplanned delay in parts shipments, the final Grand Marquis was produced on January 4, 2011. The St. Thomas Assembly plant in Ontario, Canada closed in September 2011, bringing an end to the production of the Ford Crown Victoria and Lincoln Town Car.
In continuous production for 36 years, the Grand Marquis was the longest-produced Mercury. In total, over 2.7 million were produced, making it the best-selling vehicle sold by the brand. Among Ford Motor Company models in North America, only the Ford Econoline, Ford Mustang, Ford Thunderbird, Ford F-Series, and Lincoln Continental nameplates have been produced longer. The Panther platform served as the basis for Grand Marquis design for 32 years. Nearly unmatched by other automakers for longevity, the external appearance of the Grand Marquis remained largely unchanged for the last 19 years of its production life (along with its engine, the 2011 model shared a number of body panels with its 1992 counterpart).
Production Totals (1992 2009)
During its production, the Grand Marquis was sold throughout North America, although it was not always badged as a Mercury. Outside of North America, exports were concentrated on the Middle Eastern market, where its large size and V8 power were attributes still sought by buyers towards the end of production.
In Canada, after the Mercury brand was phased out in 1999, the car was sold as the Ford Grand Marquis; it wore its Mercury grille despite being renamed Grand Marquis by Ford in all Canadian sales literature. After the demise of its short-lived Mercury Marauder twin in 2004, the Grand Marquis was the last remaining Mercury vehicle sold in Canada. The Ford Grand Marquis replaced the civilian version of the Crown Victoria, which was now sold exclusively to commercial fleets and law enforcement in Canada (as a Police Interceptor). Sales continued until the 2008 model year, when the Ford Taurus became the next full-size Ford.
The Grand Marquis was sold in Mexico from 1979 to 2004 as a Ford, from 1992 kept the Mercury badge on the front grille (and in the rear, besides, until 1998 sports the blue oval Ford bagde located upper in the right of the trunk lid, from 1998 this badge was centered replacing the rear Mercury logo). It was replaced for the 2005 model year by the Mercury Montego, due to slowing sales attributed to the sedan's size.
Although the revived Montego was intended to invigorate full-size Mercury sales, it was dropped after the 2007 model year due to lack of sales.
Middle East (GCC)
The Grand Marquis and its twin, the Ford Crown Victoria, were popular sedans in the Middle East, especially in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Vehicles manufactured for this market were known as GCC Spec vehicles, available in all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
GCC-spec 2003 Grand Marquis LS
Due to their age, the Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis lost some market share at one point to more contemporary rivals, such as the Chevrolet Caprice (imported from Australia) and the Dodge Charger. For large car buyers, they were popular due to their simplicity, reliability and affordability.
- Trim levels
Middle Eastern versions of the Grand Marquis are equipped with slightly different options and features than their North American counterparts. Prior to 2009, six different trim levels were available:
- GS Convenience
- LS (LSE limited to mid 2001 to mid 2003 and 2005 model year)
- LS Premium
- LS Ultimate.
The pre-2009 LS model (previously known as LSE) featured 5-passenger seating with a floor-mounted shifter and center console. In 2009, the LS models were only available with a column shifter and 40/20/40 Lincoln Town Car seats, available in luxury cloth or leather trim. The GSL is a long-wheelbase model offering of extra leg room for rear passengers. It is equipped like an LS model, with standard features such as an 8-way power driver's seat (2 way manual passenger seat), side airbags, leather-wrapped steering wheel, automatically dimming rearview mirror, electronic climate control, power-adjustable pedals, premium sound system with CD and cassette, 17" wheels with 235/55WR17 Goodyear Eagle RS-A tires, heated door mirrors, fog lights and special "GSL" badging. The once-optional gauge cluster is standard, with controls located on the centre of the dashboard, between the headunit and climate controls. In North America, this model is only available to fleet customers as a commercial (taxi) version of the Ford Crown Victoria.
For 2009, the Grand Marquis was only available in two different trim levels: GSL and LS, both of which were near identical in terms of features and options. The LS was a Fleet model, which was heavily de-contented, losing once-standard features such as an overhead console with compass and a power passenger seat. The Export Handling Package was dropped, eliminating features such as the Mercury Marauder spoiler and rear air suspension. In Kuwait, the 2009 GSL retailed for KWD 6,500 (USD $22,000) and a fully equipped LS for KWD 7,500 (USD $25,425).
C-pillar badging on a 2009 Grand Marquis GSL
For 2010, the GS model reappeared in the line up, and several features (such as the Mercury Marauder spoiler) became available as standalone options. The Export Handling Package was made standard along with a power passenger seat. In Kuwait, the LS model (M7F) was not available to the general public in 2010, as they are heavily sold to fleet buyers, such as the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Health and state-owned Kuwait Oil Company, where they are given to employees as fringe benefits.
For 2011, the long wheelbase GSL was replaced by the GS, and the LS model is made available again to the general public in Kuwait. The LS Ultimate Edition remains a Fleet model and differs only slightly from the GS, equipped with features such as leather seats, Electronic Automatic Temperature Control (EATC) and an automatically dimming rear-view mirror. Lumbar support is no longer available.
- Mechanical details
All vehicles destined for the Middle East feature the High Ambient Temperature and Speed Package, true dual exhaust (except GSL), a heavy-duty battery, an engine oil cooler, an auxiliary transmission fluid cooler and Arabic language labels. Lincoln Town Car seats have also been standard equipment on vehicles manufactured after 1998. Vehicles manufactured prior to 2002 also featured a catalytic converter delete option.
The American Handling and Performance Package (HPP) has been changed to "Export Handling Package" (EHP) for the Middle East. The package consists of rear air suspension, unique springs, an upsized front stabilizer bar, and a heavy-duty rear stabilizer bar. The rear axle ratio remains unchanged (2.73:1 for 2003 and newer models or 3.08:1 for vehicles manufactured up to 2002 as opposed to 3.27:1); as a true dual exhaust system is standard equipment, it is not included as part of the package. Vehicles equipped with this package also feature a rear trunk lid spoiler from the Mercury Marauder (not available on GS-L models).
EHP is a standard feature on the LS. The LS Premium and LS Ultimate models equipped with this option share the same 16" 9-spoke wheels as their LS counterparts. The 9-spoke Crown Victoria LX wheel (with a Mercury center cap) replaced the 2003 2005 LSE wheels with darker inserts for 2006 and 2007.
|Ford 5.0 Windsor V8
|Ford Windsor V8
|Ford Modular V8
- (1992 1997; dual exhaust)
- (1998 2000; dual exhaust)
- (2001 2002; dual exhaust)
- (2003 2011; dual exhaust)
- (1992 1997; dual exhaust)
- (1998 2000; dual exhaust)
- (2001 2002; dual exhaust)
- (2003 2011; dual exhaust)
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