PotM GrandMarq.NET - Panther Headquarters Forum Index PotM
GMN Chat Room GMN's STORE!! GMN's Gallery Please!!
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25

Thread: My 1985 Grand Marquis "Eva"

  1. #1
    Land Yacht Fundamentalist Hearsesrock427's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    586

    Default My 1985 Grand Marquis "Eva"

    August 1st, 2014. Effectively an eternity ago. I was just driving around in search of additional projects. I had even less money to throw around then- this was August of 2014. My '89 had just gotten a bunch of maintenance done, but the panther bug was still biting me hard. You know how it is; one is too many and seventeen isn't enough.

    And then I saw the distinctive rear and roofline of a pre '88 panther. It was just a quick glimpse but I knew what it was. I immediately turned back around, and drove up the hill. What greeted me was an '86 or '87 Grand Marquis, or so I thought. Further analysis and discussion with the owner revealed it was a very late '85 car. September of 1985 to be exact! So it was late enough in the production run to get the CHMSL, but not late enough to be a 1986 model year and receive the SEFI 302. Drats. But the more I looked at Eva, the more I liked her. The immaculate chocolatey interior. The beige and brown two tone brightened up by thick orange bisecting stripes. The big wraparound bumpers. The hard creases. And that special something about a box panther. Best part of all? She's literally just down the road! It's about 50 minutes one way on foot, and less than a tenth of that by car! The ideal project? Heh.... if only. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

    So I talk to the owner, learn all about how his dad bought it new in '85, special ordered it and everything. Passed it down the family, where it accumilated only 78,153 miles. Was very well maintained until the owner's college aged son started daily driving it circa 2010. Between the salt and the neglect, it started to get bad. A lack of indoor storage only made things worse; the '85 wouldn't fit in the garage. And so after the son was done with the car, it got parked under a tree in late 2010. It sat there ever since. This already should've been an issue, and I quietly noted it. But I was head-over-heels for this car, and wasn't keen on exploring her faults.

    It all looked solid, and the finger test on both bumpers and rear quarters confirmed my suspicions. Good enough for me! So I threw out an offer. It was close to the owner's number- the closest one yet. It was then that I learned that many, many others had made offers on it before. Of course, none of them were willing to go the restomod route. They either wanted to drive the '85 into the ground or demolition derby it. Told the owner I'd sooner throw my fat ass into oncoming traffic before doing either of those things, and that I understand why he's sitting firm at his price, and why he's not ready to sell the car yet. I gave him a number to reach me at if he ever changed his mind.

    Over the next year and a half, the owner would call periodically and we'd shoot the shit- mostly about his '85 and my '89. I didn't push the selling point. But I could tell he was inching toward it.

    Finally in early March 2016, he asks me when I want to go pick up the '85; he doesn't want her to go to anybody else. Great news, but it didn't come at the best time! I was wrapping up the semester at school, and I was soon going to be up to my eyeballs with the '89, buying parts and saving up money for a long overdue round of upgrades and maintenance. Told him we're looking at mid to late August. I still needed to find indoor storage, too! I would try to come up with something in April or May and help get the '85 ready for the trip back home.

    In my excitement and eagerness, my first test back in 2014 only covered a fraction of the car- the rear quarters and both bumpers. Made it a priority to look further and deeper- but not deep enough as is often the case. All the areas that I checked out befoe were both solid. The frame checked out too- even the notorious passenger side bulk head. Being a frenched rear window car, I was highly suspicous of the tiara bar/upper middle roof trim. But that area checked out too! So far so good. Small hiccup occurred when we went to start the car; AC belt was dragging the starter. No big deal; I never use AC anyway so I cut the belt. We also both noticed the exhaust past the mid pipe was shot. No big deal; I'm getting the entire system replaced from headers to tail pipes. Couple minutes of pulling, cutting, and kicking later, we had the offending pipes pulled off. By this point I was confident I'd be able to drive the '85 back home in all its CFI glory when the time came in August. Note how I forgot to check the rest of the car....

    Fast forward to June. I come by to finish prepping the '85 for the voyage. Unlike before, I made it a priority to check the whole car out. I forgot to do that last time, and I wasn't about to drive a hooptie down the road- even it was only two miles. I was confident that Eva would be fine to drive.

    She was far, far, from it. Because the fenders, door bottoms, rockers, and trunk floor were shot. Fuel lines and brake lines were leaking- the latter in two places. I quickly concluded that the very thing that helped protect the roof, frame, quarters, and bumpers destroyed the rest of the car. Literally every single rain channel and panel gap was clogged with plants, water, or some lovely mix of both. So I told the owner to give the aforementioned areas the finger test, and that I'll give him $200 to get the car out of the driveway. He was as surprised as I was at that discovery. He came down to $400. But I wasn't about to stop there. I got inside and tried the brakes. Thankfully the car was in park, with the parking brake set. Because the brake pedal went straight to the floor. No matter how much brake fluid we added to the resevoir to replenish it, it all leaked out too fast. That's how bad the brake lines were. It was at that point I considered backing out. But my affection for the box panther prevailed. I had been lusting after this '85 for almsot two years, and I'm not going to just give up and walk away. So I stuck to my guns at $200. Also said we're definitely going to be doing this in mid to late August; ain't no way am I starting this kind of undertaking when I've still got to get the '89 up to snuff. Needless to say the owner folded. He didn't even know how bad the '85 had gotten. Told him that made two of us, that I was undeterred, and to have the title ready.

    Fast forward to August 20th. Owner calls saying he's got the title all ready to go, and to pick a day to get the car towed out. Naturally I chose the next day. Got some small jobs done early on, and took the rest of the day off. Scheduled the tow, and got her home. Spent the next 3 hours cleaning, vacuuming, stripping, and swearing. But I loved every minute of it. Because for the first time in my life, everything felt complete and correct. Unlike before, I don't find myself browing CL classifieds, lusting after other panthers I've found locally, or anything like that. They say it's not a good idea to meet your idols, or get that which you've been lusting after. I think "they" are full of shit. Because sometimes your idols are just as wonderful as you expect them to be. And sometimes they're even more than that.

    Thanks for reading this wall of text. Your first question is "so what happens now?". General plan is to get her drivable and reliable next summer then get the body work taken care of the summer after that. It's a long, hard, road but it's one I've been down before with Ebyt. Updates will be periodic, especially with me starting school again in September. But you'll see and hear all about Eva's restomodding journey in due time, just like Ebyt!
    Last edited by Hearsesrock427; 08-21-2016 at 10:05 PM.
    My fleet:
    '89 Grand Marquis "Ebyt"
    '85 Grand Marquis "Eva"
    '94 Caprice "Kira"
    '92 Crown Victoria saved from death's door. Coming spring 2021.

  2. #2
    GMN Regular
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Fredericton, N.B. Canada
    Posts
    12,550

    Default

    That was a good read. Please take some pics for us sometime soon
    '79 Continental Town Car
    '90 Crown Victoria LTD
    '94 Crown Victoria
    Quote Originally Posted by Mainemantom View Post
    You may regret selling it. Think it over.

  3. #3
    Land Yacht Fundamentalist Hearsesrock427's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    586

    Default

    Thanks mang! Pictures just finished transferring from the camera. Took them earlier tonight after the dust settled and I finished some work on her.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSCN3449.jpg 
Views:	38 
Size:	49.0 KB 
ID:	45891Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSCN3450.jpg 
Views:	45 
Size:	37.9 KB 
ID:	45892Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSCN3451.jpg 
Views:	38 
Size:	86.0 KB 
ID:	45893Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSCN3452.jpg 
Views:	34 
Size:	41.3 KB 
ID:	45894Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSCN3453.jpg 
Views:	43 
Size:	46.9 KB 
ID:	45895Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSCN3457.jpg 
Views:	41 
Size:	80.5 KB 
ID:	45896

    Curious to hear the story behind your latest acquisition at some point, come to think of it. Guess I'll just have to wait for a readers' rides thread!
    My fleet:
    '89 Grand Marquis "Ebyt"
    '85 Grand Marquis "Eva"
    '94 Caprice "Kira"
    '92 Crown Victoria saved from death's door. Coming spring 2021.

  4. #4
    drink a beer, grow a beard, cut it, grind it, weld it back His Royal Ghostliness's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    3,125

    Default

    Yeah, pics!

    Also what do you mean by the fenders, door bottoms, rockers, and trunk floor being shot? Badly rusted thru? Mind you trunk floor can usually be repaired easy enough, and fenders and doors just get swapped out, but rockers can be a nightmare...
    The ones who accomplish true greatness, are the foolish who keep pressing onward.
    The ones who accomplish nothing, are the wise who know when to quit.

  5. #5
    Land Yacht Fundamentalist Hearsesrock427's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    586

    Default

    Badly rusted through, yeah. Gonna get some build update videos on YT at some point tommorrow, I go into obscene and often obnoxious detail on Eva's many faults, haha.

    And I do know trunk floors from all boxes were the same. Aeros are very likely compatible too; nfldltd got a floor from a '92 Town Car for his '88 Town Car and it worked IIRC. I do remember you describing the many rocker panel woes though so I sent a PM regarding parts and possible early stockpiling.
    My fleet:
    '89 Grand Marquis "Ebyt"
    '85 Grand Marquis "Eva"
    '94 Caprice "Kira"
    '92 Crown Victoria saved from death's door. Coming spring 2021.

  6. #6
    drink a beer, grow a beard, cut it, grind it, weld it back His Royal Ghostliness's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    3,125

    Default

    You can see the rocker panels woes personally soon enough, it's a pretty good eye-opener I'd say. Do make the videos tho, better know what you're getting yourself into at an early point.
    The ones who accomplish true greatness, are the foolish who keep pressing onward.
    The ones who accomplish nothing, are the wise who know when to quit.

  7. #7
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Warren, MI
    Posts
    6,056

    Default

    Leather wrapped steering wheel. Me want a beige one for my Townie something fierce.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  8. #8
    I post a lot... knucklehead0202's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Southern Commiefornia
    Posts
    2,350

    Default

    Way to stick to your guns buddy. Getting what you want far outweighs any ribbing you may receive, and if it's worth it to you, a labor of love like this can be a very rewarding experience. I'm going through a period of limbo myself, having had my car wrecked last month. I've since acquired another one, and while some people questioned "why all that trouble for a silly old car", now everyone says "hey it's just like your old one, maybe a little nicer. That's a clean car".

    We might all be crazy but something about these cars gets under your skin. Kinda want to collect the whole set. Anyhow, the interior looks pretty nice and the body obviously has a ways to go, but hey, it's not called a project for nothing right? Can't wait to see your progress. Cheers!

  9. #9
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Bedford, VA
    Posts
    5,851

    Default

    I am in the rotten rocker panels club too! Is it in your door jambs yet?

  10. #10
    Member Salty Dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    372

    Default

    1991 Mercury Grand Marquis LE SOLD

    1972 Ford F100 Custom - 5.9 - Stock

    2011 Ford Fusion SE - 2.5 - Stock

    2018 Toyota Highlander XLE


  11. #11
    Domestic Tourist Lincolnmania's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Birdsboro PA.
    Posts
    17,526

    Default

    awesome!

    dont look too bad, if it's only surface rust, it can be ground out and a thin fiberglass resin/filler mix goes over the previous damage. id the metal is crunch, then it has to be replaced. it also gets sealed with fiberglass to keep the water out. rocker panel work can get interesting, if you want 100% metal and only a skim of filler that takes a while, quick patches that arent close and then packing the area with filler is the norm that almost all body shops do.

    was it a coach roof car? I cant tell 100% from the photo, if it is, you will need a rear window from a non coach roof car.

    i love chocolate brown interiors and exteriors......i would paint the whole car chocolate brown metallic to save money.

    does it run at all? if it needs brake lines, it probably needs fuel lines also, i'm sure you know the drill...............these cars were in much nicer shape when i started my quest in 2004.

    1986 lincoln towncar signature series. 5.0 HO with thumper performance ported e7 heads, 1.7 roller rockers, warm air intake, 65mm throttle body, 1/2" intake spacer, ported intakes, 3.73 rear with trac lock, 98-02 front brake conversion, 92-97 rear disc conversion, 1" rear swaybar, 1 3/16" front swaybar, 16" wheels and tires, loud ass stereo system, badass cb, best time to date 15.94 at 87 mph. lots of mods in the works 221.8 rwhp 278 rwt
    2006 Lincoln Town Car Signature. Stock for now
    1989 Ford F-250 4x4 much much more to come, sefi converted so far.
    1986 Toyota pickup with LSC wheels and 225/60/16 tires.
    2008 Hyundai Elantra future Revcon toad
    1987 TriBurner and 1986 Alaska stokers keeping me warm. (and some pesky oil heat)

    please be patient, rebuilding an empire!


  12. #12
    Land Yacht Fundamentalist Hearsesrock427's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    586

    Default

    Finally got enough prep work done, update video is saving as we speak. Should be up late tonight or early tommorow.

    @HRG: I covered that rocker issue in update 2.5, along with general plans for the car. You'll see what I mean later. Will also need a new headliner; stock one had a couple rough spots that tweaked my automotive OCD.

    @DTG: Oh yes! Was really surprised at how nice it is- all the leather wrapped wheels I've seen in junked boxes (or even in the wild, curiously) are cracking and peeling. But this one is literally perfect. Even after 78,153 miles and 30+ years. Probably has something to do with a lack of UV exposure. Would also explain the mint dash pad and minimal baked paint. Surprised there's not a decent aftermarket solution; leather wrapped wheel would be a finishing touch on your Townie's interior.

    @Khead: I heard about that- fricken unbelievable how people can wreck nice things without a care in the world then try and make YOU pay for it. If anyone deserves credit for sticking to guns, it's you man. I'd have just about lost my mind if anyone did that to either of my panthers. You seriously cannot move out of CA quick enough.... rent out a car hauler and bring 10 panthers with you! I know what you mean about wanting the whole set..... it's amazing just how many varities you could get from the factory, each one delicious in its own unique way. The box panthers are proof positive that mass produced doesn't have to mean boring or unoriginal!

    @Tiggie: Oh yeah, all four doors are flaky and rotten on the bottoms. Haha. Eva's had drainage issues since before I found her in 2014 though so the rust's had plenty of time!

    @Salty: I can't help but notice the irony; you're called SALTY dog, and yet you own one of the cleanest, straightest, rust-free box panthers on this site. That is all.

    @Lincolnmania: She's a coach roof/frenched rear window car. That fiberglass shell and no rear window trim is unmistakable, haha. Even if it wasn't a coach roof car, I'd still want you take both windsheilds out to replace the seals due to age anyway. Either way it's perfect time to replace with a non coach roof rear window! I cover pretty much everything in the update videos so you'll get a taste of what's coming down the pike. Will have link to the latest one either late tonight or early tommorrow.

    Definitely needs new fuel and brake lines. But she runs pretty well all things considered. Idles very high yet turns over within half a crank even with low fuel and cold. Just pump the gas twice and crank it. Motor's likely still got good compression! Good candidate for SEFI conversion next summer methinks. And didn't you guys work on a chocolate '84 Grand Marquis a while back? That thing was beautiful, had that matching interior and everything.
    Last edited by Hearsesrock427; 08-24-2016 at 03:13 PM.
    My fleet:
    '89 Grand Marquis "Ebyt"
    '85 Grand Marquis "Eva"
    '94 Caprice "Kira"
    '92 Crown Victoria saved from death's door. Coming spring 2021.

  13. #13
    Land Yacht Fundamentalist Hearsesrock427's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    586

    Default

    Update video is finally UP! Had to try four different times today; upload kept randomly aborting itself! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2ZZelypWtQ

    Since the video I've taped all the trim holes closed. Gonna start her up tommorow and park her while I finish the '89 and build up finances.
    My fleet:
    '89 Grand Marquis "Ebyt"
    '85 Grand Marquis "Eva"
    '94 Caprice "Kira"
    '92 Crown Victoria saved from death's door. Coming spring 2021.

  14. #14
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Lewisville, TX
    Posts
    21,799

    Default

    that trunk lip. Still not as bad as the Mark I sold to Nick... but I did at least try to stop the rust if I wasn't successful.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSCN7350.jpg 
Views:	31 
Size:	54.8 KB 
ID:	45917Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSCN7351.jpg 
Views:	28 
Size:	47.9 KB 
ID:	45918

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 93 Crown Vic LX (The Red Velvet Cake), 2000 Crown Vic base model (Sandy), 2003 Expedition (the vacation beast)
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  15. #15
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Warren, MI
    Posts
    6,056

    Default

    Rust in Tey-has?
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  16. #16
    drink a beer, grow a beard, cut it, grind it, weld it back His Royal Ghostliness's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    3,125

    Default

    It does rain there ya know... Snows too!
    The ones who accomplish true greatness, are the foolish who keep pressing onward.
    The ones who accomplish nothing, are the wise who know when to quit.

  17. #17
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Warren, MI
    Posts
    6,056

    Default

    Yeah, but us northerners have a skewed view of life down south.. Guess southern Arizona is where we want to retire?
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

  18. #18
    I post a lot... knucklehead0202's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Southern Commiefornia
    Posts
    2,350

    Default

    I should just save about 20 grand and buy a shitload of panthers here. Load 'em on a car hauler and deliver them to you guys here and there as I cross the country, lol. Only problem is that i'd end up just wanting to keep them all!

  19. #19
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Lewisville, TX
    Posts
    21,799

    Default

    It was a Kansas car.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 93 Crown Vic LX (The Red Velvet Cake), 2000 Crown Vic base model (Sandy), 2003 Expedition (the vacation beast)
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  20. #20
    GMN Regular DerekTheGreat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Warren, MI
    Posts
    6,056

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by knucklehead0202 View Post
    I should just save about 20 grand and buy a shitload of panthers here. Load 'em on a car hauler and deliver them to you guys here and there as I cross the country, lol. Only problem is that i'd end up just wanting to keep them all!
    Dude, you'd be like Santa Claus!

    Quote Originally Posted by sly View Post
    It was a Kansas car.
    Dust in the wind eh?
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - SOLD
    1988 Town Car Signature - Current Party Barge

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
GMN Approved Links!


www.rockauto.com www.adtr.net