ACID FLASHBACK: 1978-83 Mercury Zephyr

1978-83 Mercury Zephyr
I want a hamburger. No, cheeseburger. I want a hot dog. I want a milkshake. I want potato chips…

There can’t be too many left. Especially if you drove them like my brother and I did. It seemed like a good idea in the winter of 1980: replace the 7 seater Oldsmobile with a smaller, lighter car. The choices were basically Fairmont vs. GM A-body.  Even my Dad knew that the AMC Concord and the Aspen/Volare twins were decrepit old shitboxes rooted in the 1960s.

I can tell you first hand that:

  • it’s woefully underpowered.  88-hp is just not enough.
  • The only thing imaginative is the hybrid strut front suspension and aluminum bumpers instead of heavy chromed steel.
  • Everything else is derivative. The headlight/running light pattern is from every other American sedan of the day. The vents are leftovers from Mark V production. Everything is a rectangle.
  • It’s not that efficient.  The trunk is shallow. The seats are basically amorphous slabs of foam on the floor.
  • Did I mention cheap? Everything inside is brittle plastic, thin vinyl or flimsy urethane.


Still, I have a soft spot. This humble civil servant mobile (eventually) begat the Mustang GT/LX 5.0/SVO, the dork ‘birds, the aero ‘Bird/Cougar, the Mark VII LSC and the Continental. I just can’t hate it any more than I can hate the 1960 Falcon that gave us the 64 1/2 Mustang.  A

And of course, it was the source of many adventures.
1978-83 Mercury Zephyr

1978-83 Mercury Zephyr

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