- The Washington Times - Friday, August 22, 2008

On Aug. 28, 1978, almost 27 years to the day before Hurricane Katrina savaged New Orleans, the local Lincoln-Mercury dealer delivered a new Mercury Grand Marquis to Elmo Davis.

The two-tone green Mercury had a base price of $7,290. Mr. Davis treated his car to a life of leisure and by April 2005 the odometer had yet to record its 28,000th mile. That is when the car was offered on the electronic auction block on the internet.

Jeff Weatherholtz was at the computer in his Annandale home when he saw pictures of the Mercury along with a detailed description of the car. The beautiful car brought back memories to him of the popular television program “Hawaii Five-O” which aired from 1968 to 1980 in which the hero drove a black Mercury. “I want that car,” Mr. Weatherholtz remembers thinking. His was the successful bid and then, since green has never been one of his favorite colors, he began worrying about the color.

His anxiety was for naught because when the 4,342-pound car arrived, “I was more than happy and thrilled to learn that it had a sunroof,” he said. He had overlooked that feature on the Internet. The glass sunroof is tinted as is the windshield.

Mr. Weatherholtz discovered that the sunroof on his car was installed by the American Sunroof Corp. in California through an arrangement with Ford Motor Co.

The big Mercury is supported by 15-inch wheels mounted on a lengthy 124-inch wheelbase, all of which combine to provide a cushy, luxurious ride.

“It’s great in a straight line,” Mr. Weatherholtz says, “otherwise the handling is poor.” Occupants of the car can tell that it is “Ride Engineered” because it says so on a dashboard label.

The original owner loaded the car with accessories including power operated:

cSeats.

cBrakes.

cAntenna.

cSteering.

cSunroof.

Other surprise and delight features on the car include an automatic temperature control and a tilt steering wheel.

The cruise control is operated by switches on the two spokes of the steering wheel. The AM/FM radio also can handle an 8-track tape recording.

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