By Vern Parker
Even though Ken and Shirley Wines were
saddled with mortgage payments on a new house they had recently purchased the
year before, the couple decided in 1971 to purchase a new car.
Wines had always favored Ford automobiles but
his long-time friend Phil Keller convinced him to consider a Mercury. After a
trip to the O'Brien-Rohal Lincoln-Mercury dealership in Arlington, Va., Wines
and his wife were enthralled with the two-door Mercury Marquis Brougham model.
"I would have liked to have had side-marker
lights and power door locks,” he says. But money was tight and the luxurious
Mercury was well equipped with standard equipment.
The no cost equipment included:
- Power steering
- Power windows
- Power disc brakes
- Luxury rim blow horn
- Concealed head lamps
- Color key wheel covers
- Select shift transmission
- Power ventilation system
There were a few other options the Wines would
have liked but the budget would not be stretched that far. The Mercury they did
order was equipped among other items with:
Whisper air conditioning: $441.70
- AM/FM stereo radio: $239.60
- 429 cid w/4bbl-V-8: $64.80
- Rear window defroster: $63.50
- Traction lock axle: $51.90
- Tinted glass: $51.90
- 78x15 white sidewall tires: $35.00
- Intermittent wipers: $25.90
Before the Wines signed on the dotted line she
took an 18-foot, 5-inch-long demonstrator car, exactly like the one they
wanted, to their home to see if it would fit in their garage. The bumper guards
that Wines had wanted would have prohibited the car fitting into their garage.
Once that question was answered on Jan. 22,
1971,Wines placed a $100 deposit on the car and began waiting for his car.
It was a happy day for the Wines family on March
2,1971 when the very black on very black on very black Mercury arrived.
When the black beauty finally arrived the couple
retrieved their chrome-laden Mercury and in the interest of fair play, husband
and wife each took turns driving the car half way to their home in Falls
In the three or four years thereafter Wines'
wife drove their children in the car until, tiring of protecting the car she
replaced it with a beater car less vulnerable and parked the still pristine
Mercury in the garage.
Wines reports that the Mercury has been driven
to Nashville once and to Florida at least three times.
Wines recalls that when the car was new he could
fill the 22.5-gallon gasoline tank with premium grade fuel for about $9.
Economics aside, he enjoys the 360 horsepower
V-8 that is ready to respond and the comfortable ride provided by the 124-inch
With no regrets, he says, "I'm glad I bought