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Rough Start: A Super-Clean 1982 Mercury Zephyr Z-7 That Needs A Second Lease On Life!

Rough Start: A Super-Clean 1982 Mercury Zephyr Z-7 That Needs A Second Lease On Life!

Matt Graves’ article about potential first car fodder in today’s market was spot-on. Face facts, folks: twenty years ago was 1996, and the cars you would rather see young guns getting involved with are thirty, forty, fifty years on. Imagine going back to 1985, and trying to locate parts for a 1935 Chevrolet. There was a reason you went for that Chevelle, that Coronet, that Javelin that nobody else seemed to want at the time: they were cheap enough to own, and not old enough yet to re-appreciate in value. Frankly put, cars from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s are going to be the next big jump as people hitting their mid-30s start going for the cars they grew up riding in that make sense to own.

zephyr 2

Key words: “That make sense to own”. If anybody besides my mentally-challenged self goes after the real weirdos, they will be onesie-twosie. You’ll see more and more G-bodies, IROCs, hotter K-cars like Daytonas and anything from Mopar with the name “Shelby” emblazoned on it’s haunches being returned to a pretty to look at spot, but I promise you that they will have more than stock horsepower figures under the hood. Ford already has an advantage, since the Mustang pretty much regained itself in with the Fox platform. The 5.0 was legendary from the moment that Ford did away with the boat anchor 4.2L V8 and that train hasn’t stopped yet. But there were other Fox bodies…the Mustang and Mercury Capri were the second cars on the platform. The first ones were the Ford Fairmont and Mercury Zephyr, the replacements for the Ford Maverick/Mercury Comet, and they have a following, but not because they are particularly pretty or were powerful…they weren’t either. What they are is light…and that they share parts with the Mustang. It doesn’t take much to turn either one into a stomper, no matter how you go about doing that.


Take this 1982 Mercury Zephyr Z-7. The shape was a styling design originally meant for the 1980 Ford Thunderbird, and can be spotted from a mile away. That strange “basket handle” B-pillar treatment gives it away. But it’s still a featherweight, and this one has managed to live 34 comfortable and easy years with nearly no damage whatsoever. Even the fluted wheel covers are in place! It’s a six cylinder, automatic, red cloth bench car, and it’s the perfect start for a project car: it’s super clean and needs nothing but a horsepower injection. At $4,000, it’s budget friendly for acquiring and looks ready to putt around town as is. That last $1,000? We’d be hunting down the parts for a 351 swap and a five-lug conversion ourselves. Actually, we might wait on the five-lug swap…it’d be tons of fun to leave those hubcaps on as you go out hunting, wouldn’t it?

Craigslist Link: 1982 Mercury Zephyr Z-7


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2 thoughts on “Rough Start: A Super-Clean 1982 Mercury Zephyr Z-7 That Needs A Second Lease On Life!

  1. floating doc

    Love this potential sleeper, but would need to take a close look to rule out the rust belt tin worm.

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