Produced by Ford Motor Company’s Mercury marquee, the Marquis ran from 1967 to 1986. At the early stage of its industry life, it was slotted above the Monterey and alongside the Park Lane in Mercury’s lineup to fill in the gap of the discontinued Montclair. Indeed, it served as Mercury’s counterpart to the full-size Ford cars. It was in 1983 when the Marquis was turned into a mid-size car, although its highest trim level, called Grand Marquis, remained as a full-size car in Mercury’s lineup.
1967-1968: The first Mercury Marquis
Launched for the 1967 model year as a member of Mercury’s full-size line, the Marquis came with a plush interior trim and a long list of high-level standard equipment. For this generation, the Marquis was offered in a single two-door hardtop body style. It was initially powered by the standard 330 hp 410 cubic-inch Mercury-exclusive big-block V8 engine. For the 1968 model year, the 410 powertrain was replaced by the 315 hp 390 big-block engine with a two-barrel carburetor. For 1967 and 1968, Mercury offered an optional 345 hp 428 cubic-inch "Super Marauder" engine featuring a four-barrel carburetor.
1969-1978: The completely redesigned Mercury Marquis
For 1969, Mercury redesigned the Marquis in such a way that it had become more of an affordable Lincoln than a pricier Ford. For this generation, the Marquis was offered as a 2-door hardtop coupe, 4-door sedan, 4-door hardtop sedan, convertible, and Colonial Park Station Wagon. On the outside, the most significant change was the introduction of hidden headlights, which were a trademark of Mercury and Lincoln since the ‘70s. In 1973, the Marquis also received a minor restyling, giving it a boxier look with a new protruding 5-mph energy-absorbing bumpers and a new roofline.
1979-1982: The downsized Mercury Marquis
When Ford decided to downsize its models in 1979, the full-size Marquis also became shorter and lighter. Since 1955, it was the first time a full-size station wagon from Mercury’s lineup weighed less than 4,000 pounds. This lighter Marquis was based on the all-new Panther platform, so the engine had to be downsized as well. For this generation, the 302 cubic-inch V8 became the standard engine; the optional powertrain was a 351 Windsor V8. For the 1979 model year, both engines were paired with a 3-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. A year after, the Marquis got the optional 4-speed AOD overdrive automatic transmission.
1983-1986: The mid-size Mercury Marquis
When Ford did an update on the styling of the Fox platform station wagons and sedans, there were several product lines that shifted. As a result, Mercury put the Cougar back into its original slot in the market as a two-door personal luxury coupe. Mercury also shifted the Marquis from the full-size to the mid-size lineup. The mid-size sedan was powered by the 2.3L SOHC four-cylinder base engine while the wagon was fitted with a standard six cylinder. After the 1986 model year, the Marquis was phased out to give way to the Mercury Sable. However, its highest trim level—the Grand Marquis—remained in Mercury’s full-size product line.