Taurus SHO? Early 2000's?
Yeah, the Grand Marquis is the best car on the planet for longevity. I had one ('86) before the one I have now. I bought that first one back in '97 or '98 for $800. Had 205,000 miles on it. Drove the hell out of it all around MA. Even overheated the *censored* out of it due to an air pocket in the cooling system ( failure to remove t-stat & burp air out after flush ). Was so bad it turned the oil to milk. Thought the car was done. Nope! Cooled it down, changed the oil (after driving it back to my apartment), then the following week, towed 1,200 lbs of U-Haul trailer, motorcycle, & everything else I owned at the time to Phoenix, AZ. Only breakdown was a blown heater hose in the mountains somewhere on I-40. I cut the hose in 2 & clamped a 3/8" deep socket in it. Got me to Phoenix, then I left it there & drove around the place in 110° heat for 3 weeks, before I finally got around to fixing it with copper pipe.
Then around mid '00 ( here comes a long story!
), it was stolen by mexicans & registered in AZ with false VIN #'s. Then it went to Bell, CA where the DMV discovered the tampered with VIN & found the correct VIN. This was in March of '01! SO ....... white Smitty took a bus alone from Oakland, CA, to East Los Angeles at 5 am ( just like being in Mexico). Listened to the spanish announcements in the bus terminal until the sun came up, & then it was safe to go outside without getting caught in the gang crossfire. Found Habib standing out there & he gave me a ride to the impound yard. Paid $500 to more mexicans to get my car out. What a sight when that thing rolled out!! Dirtier than *censored*, inside & out. Had this 7 foot wide rearview mirror installed, some stupid wrap on the steering wheel, & a fuzzy dash. The guy drove it out for me & I had to quickly slide under him & get my foot on the gas before it died. Battery was totally smoked! So I thanked the guy & headed out into what looked like a scene from "Boyz in the Hood". Houses with bars on the windows. Trash strewn streets. Gutted hulks of cars. Finally found the 101 ... THANK GOD!! Hopped on that highway, tossed that 7 foot rearview mirror out the window like a javelin, ripped off the steering wheel cover & pitched that out ... then somewhere around I-10 the fuzzy carpet on the dash when fluttering into the breakdown lane. I was free again!!
I wanted to get as far away from that hellhole as the fuel would let me. Made it to the Grapevine (I-10) & pulled off a downhill exit. When I let off the gas, the car bucked once & stalled. That was the end of that. So I coasted to the end of the ramp and tried pushing the car after it rolled to a stop. 4,000 lb Marquis was kicking 150 lb Smitty's ass .. and I had no health insurance then either, so no inhaler with me ... and by that point I was wheezing pretty bad. A truck pulls up behind me & the guy asks if I need a push. I'm like YESSSSS!! So he's like "hold on" ..... then about 30 mexicans poured out of the back of his truck ( no joke!) & they all pushed me across the main road & safely off to the side. He pointed me to an autoparts store about a mile down the road and off I walked ( no room in his truck, lol!!). About a mile later I finally get there, buy the battery, and carry that heavy SOB all the way back, wheezing like a 120 year old man. Tossed in my battery & I was back on the road ... after a greaseball burger at Mickey D's. 400 miles later I'm back in Livermore where I was living at the time. Spent about 7 hours the next day cleaning the car up, changing the oil (had same filter from a year before!) then taking pix for the want-ad. Sold the car in 5 days to a deaf guy. That was my first TTY experience on the phone. Gave me $1,500 for it! So I rented another U-Haul with that cash, and the El Camino ate the rest of it heading back to MA in the form of gas & oil. 256,000 miles on the Marquis when it was sold. Probably still driving out there somewhere ...
We bought the one we have now back in '03. Paid too much for it at $2,800 .. but it only had 68,000 original miles on it & was a creampuff. Not a speck of rust. Knowing how my old Marquis held up to years of full throttle starts in everything from -5° MA winters to 115° Phoenix heat ... and spending a year with a mexican family living in it ... I felt it was worth the cash. I knew I'd have the car forever. Today it's parked for the winter & has 174,000 miles. Just gotta do a rear brake job & axle seals in the spring. Still starts right up & runs like a champ. Wife drives it 80 miles every day for 9 months out of the year.