As the years have rolled on, Vermont salted roads in the winter has taken quite a toll on the car - as happens to all cars around here. It happens to get repair work at the same place my taxi does - and about two months ago when it was parked there, I inquired to my mechanic, Dr. Barry, as to what was going on with it. Dr. Barry told me the owner was done with it, and it was going to the junkyard by week's end. After a moment of a mild but conscious cardiac arrest - my voice started to work again and squeaked out...."uhhh NO it isn't". Dr. Barry told me the car ran perfect - would go anywhere, but the rust in the rear quarters prevented it from passing inspection. He said he was doing the owner a favor by simply parking it and then hauling it to the station that takes old cars to that Wally World in the sky. He told me if I wanted it, I could have it - at a scrap price. Well, at least that's what I thought I heard - truth be told the moment when I heard 'If you wa...." - I blurted out SOLD before he could really finish. So this will sound weird to those who are void of any emotion with an automobile, and I get it - it's fine, but the thought of the car going to a crusher absolutely drove me nuts. I went home knowing I had a few days as to how to pull this off. Challenge 1.) Where do I put it. Challenge 2.) How do I convince the lady of the house this is a wise decision. Anyhow - my challenges overcome - and now that I have it, I sort of look at it sometimes and think 'huh...you would totally not be around right now if I hadn't pulled into Dr. Barry's that day'. Quite honestly, the days of finding big rear wheel drive body on frame cars at junk price have become nearly extinct. In the 80's you could buy muscle cars, wagons etc. from the 60's and 70's for absolutely nothing it seemed. Not so today. This wagon is likely one of the last opportunities for me to do that. Thank you God of Autos!
In any event, this charming 1987 Mercury Grand Marquis LS Colony Park station wagon, was thus immediately saved from the crusher or...worse...demolition derby. Why is a demolition derby worse? Well....a crushing is like when you take your pet to a vet to get euthanized. It's *fairly* quick, and the respectable thing to do. But a demo derby? It's like taking your pet first to the Colosseum and letting it get mauled and beaten first. I've never enjoyed demolition derby's - it's just too much for me. About as exciting as watching in between plays at a high school football game in a town where you know no one. Don't judge me on it, it's just how I'm built. ANYHOW....this lovely wagon was made in the same factory as 8D69 - St. Thomas Assembly Plant in Talbotville, Quebec, Canada. I have an entire blog written somewhere in this nutty site of mine about my visit there once for work - it was AMAZING.
So - I took the wagon home - and indeed, it runs quite well. The interior is actually perfect and rides like a Lazy Boy recliner. Dual exhaust, tow package, power seats all around, cigarette lighters/ashtrays in all the doors in case the kids want to smoke and third seat in the back. But that rust....ugh...the rust. Oh well - I'll do something for it. The wagon and 8D69 have hit if off, mumbling to each other in car speak of their infancy and birth in Talbotville. Here are some pics and video - the first pic above is how I found it - tucked in between other similarly fated vehicles. The wagon seemed to glimmer at me - hoping I might notice it so save it from it's death sentence. It didn't have to wink very hard, I noticed it the moment I pulled into the lot, as usual. So funny, I always knew I would end up with this car:
After I got it home, I later stopped at the old owner's home and informed him I took his wagon home, to which he was very pleased - and hopeful I may be able to fix it's rust. He told me he owned it for nearly 20 years, after purchasing it from the son of a woman who had passed on. The woman lived in Florida and at some point the family drove her car north. I get a lot of ribbing for it from my friends, but in general, car enthusiasts understand it's charm - or inevitably relate it's close existence to the Wagon Queen Family Truckster. I personally love it - and it will have a good home with me. And even if I couldn't have it, I would/will do everything in humanly possible to make sure it falls into the hands of someone who will appreciate it's survivorship and the wholesome memories it invokes in people who grew up in or around the great American Station Wagon. (Even though it was made in Canada). My intention is to make a video called 'Will It Make It?" - and drive this monster to Florida and back - something Orianna and I did years ago in another high mileage woody wagon of mine. Here is a video of that - if so inclined. What's that? You're not? Okay.
Do your part - save a wagon, TODAY! (And don't forget those taxi's!)