Wednesday, June 19, 2013

5k: Hoffa Hauler: 1973 Mercury Marquis Brougham

James "Jimmy" Hoffa was a labor organizer turned mobster (or was it the other way around?) who disappeared mysteriously in 1975.  For the past 38 years police have been digging up yards in search of Hoffa's remains, but in 2001 Police matched DNA samples from Hoffa's hair brush with a strand found in the back of Charles "Chuckie" O'Brien's 1975 Mercury Marquis Brougham.  Today's feature isn't Chuckie's actual car, but it does do a pretty good impression.  Find this 1973 Mercury Marquis Brougham for sale in Asheville, NC for $5,900 buy-it-now on ebay.

This car is so big that the entire vehicle cannot be captured in one single camera frame.  Or maybe the photographer is completely incompetent, but given the chances that the seller is a gangster, we won't say anything nasty.

Under the hood is Ford's 429 cubic inch (7 liter) monster, not smog rated at 202 horsepower and 330 ft-lbs of torque.  Like the Mafia, the glory days of big blocks were numbered.

Inside is pure '70s Brougham goodness.  Faux-wood trim covers every possible surface, but the steering wheel is adjustable to for tilt and the air conditioning was designed to warm the earth.

Fitting that a boat is pictured in the background of this image...sort of like seeing double.  It doesn't get any better than a brown vinyl top over baby-poo bronze paint.  Forget the hot tub, this is a time machine straight to the '70s.

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  1. I wonder if it's equipped with the ultra-rare deSade option.

  2. This car is also known as a Hoffin.

  3. This thing is AWESOME!! Use it to drive your teenage daughter to school to ensure her continued virginity....

  4. These 2 door coupes are not found very often. If you own a few wells and a refinery, this might be a the ride for you.

  5. unfortunate the pics don't include a full frontal of that marquise grill

  6. oh, and are those some camo trousers in the dash pic?

  7. Holy crap. My first car. Largest doors I have ever seen on a car. Truly massive. Mine was dark green, dark green interior, white vinyl top. The trunk was also immense. Very deep, and still held a full size spare tire, but nicely out of the way. Rear seat was close to 6 feet from one end to the other. I could just about lay down fully stretched out back there. Bench seat. 8 track.

    My dad bought it with 50k in 1975, I got it around 1988 or so with 190k or so. I got rid of it due to transmission problems and a jumped timing chain at about 230k in 1992. At the end, it used a qt of oil per tank of gas, but it always started. I don't think it ever left me stranded too badly.

    I recall a poorly designed entrance ramp to the highway near my house, where the highway forked just after the entrance ramp so if you wanted to go east you had to merge, then get over a 2 lanes, if you didn't make it you ended up on a different road going south. I remember being a passenger in the car while my dad made this maneuver. The roar of the 460, the rising of the front and squatting of the back, and the feel of something massive getting up to speed. I know the car wasn't that fast, but to a little kid whose other family car was a beetle, it was like the hand of god was pushing.

    I believe mine was pretty well loaded, even by today's standards. I had the 460 engine, instead of the puny 429, power windows, locks, proper climate control with temperature settings instead of warm----cold, cruise control buttons on the steering wheel, 8 track with 4 speakers, power seats (passenger and driver), and a rim blow horn. I even think it had a primitive rear-wheel only ABS system, at least according to the shop manuals I had for it.

    I made many NY-->FLA round trips in this car as a kid in the 70's and 80's. We used to record gas stops, time, mileage, gallons etc. I found that little book a few years ago, did some calculations and was surprised to find that we were getting in the 18 MPG range on the highway in this beast.

    The front grill of the 73 is unique, they made changes in 74 and up I believe. In 73, the pattern of the grill merged with the headlight covers which looked so much better than in later years. The headlight covers (and may other things) ran off vacuum. The actuators would rust through and the light covers wouldn't stay closed. When the actuators were only a little damaged, they would stay closed when the car was running, then slowly open when shut off. Mine looked like a waking giant as one eye would slowly open followed by the other.

  8. >This thing is AWESOME!! Use it to drive your teenage daughter to school to ensure her continued virginity..

    But don't let her borrow it for a night out considering the size of the rear bench seat.

    John Candy in 'Uncle Buck' drove one. Great Movie. Launched Macauly Culkin's career.


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