Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Mercury Grenada

I was wandering around South Williamsburg admiring the blooming flower mural next to a tattoo shop when something caught my eye.
Wait a minute! What is that blue box with its arse hanging over the crosswalk? A Ford Grenada?
Whoa! This unexpected find is a 1976 Mercury Monarch in 2-tone Silver Blue Glamour Poly and Light Blue. This was the Mercury version of the Grenada which meant a plusher interior and better appointments overall (though much of that amounted to useless glitz in '76 like this wheels). That mural really presents it well though.
Both the Grenada and Monarch were intended to replace the Falcon in 1970 but the annual safety regulations were such that Ford decided to start from scratch with an entirely new design. This held the project up for 5 years. When they were finally released people claimed (some with pride some with anger) that they stole their looks from Mercedes Benz. I find this pretty laughable myself and file it along with the comments that the Pontiac Fiero was too far ahead of its time.
Ah yes the upholstered gas cap cover! A feature all too rarely seen on ANY ride. This being the heart of the '70s you would encounter taped-on "luxury" cues everywhere.
This thing is in close to perfect condition for sure. Those outsized bumper guards are practical. 
Being a Mercury also gets the owner a strip of upholstery between the front and rear windows. 
The round headlights lasted from '75 through '77, being replaced with big square examples in '78. The technology on this ride is really basic; front engine with a carburetor powering the rear wheels.
The fine tooth grill and chromed-out turn signals are the most recognizable difference between the Monarch and Grenada. While the eyelids are an aftermarket add-on the body colored headlight surround is a nice touch. This is certainly trying to be a big luxury car in miniature. 
This M in a circle hood ornament is Monarch-only from '75-'80.
She's a stately little brick if I do say so myself.
Oh yeah people step inside and shove that mighty 8-track home for sweet hi-fi sound! There was a high-end version of the Monarch called the Ghia that would've included leather bucket seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, but even this regular model has plenty of options. The power window switch looks like the tacked-on box that it is, having nothing to do with the rest of the door panel or interior.The subtle door opening is interesting; you reach down through the armrest opening and squeeze. The fake wood couldn't look any more faux than it is!
*Under the dash below the radio you can just see a small chrome switch hanging down. I believe this is the passenger-side mirror control which was basically a little joystick connected via cable for adjusting the mirror from the drivers seat.
These wheels are confounding because at first glance I thought they were hubcaps with a fake-spoke treatment. I believe these are the 14-inch cast aluminum wire wheels that were advertised as standard with the Ghia. They might have been options for the regular or were found used.
Well there we have it. The old saying goes; "In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king". In the mid-'70s the Mercury Grenada was a Monarch. It's all relative!

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