Last year, I received a call from Mrs. Burt, wishing to donate her beloved 1983 Mercury Marquis station wagon to the Museum.
Mrs. Burt was downsizing her home and the family car was an item that she reluctantly realized she needed to give up. She inquired if her Marquis might be welcomed at LeMay, and after speaking on the phone with her for a few minutes (along with at least one trip to see the car), I knew we would definitely want this vehicle and it would be a great addition to the LeMay collection.
The Burt family purchased the car in April of 1983 from Bill Gill Lincoln Mercury dealership in Tacoma. It was delivered brand new to the Burts, equipped with every luxury option available on the Marquis at the time. It was obvious upon the first viewing that this Mercury Marquis only had one owner and it was almost like a member of the family. This Mercury had been meticulously maintained as well as garaged all of its life. The original faux wood grain siding looks new, the paint is original and all of the bright work is polished and beautifully shiny.
Mrs. Burt is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma. A former elementary school teacher, she is the proud mother of three children. Both Mr. and Mrs. Burt were avid golfers, and enjoyed traveling around the country in the Marquis. The Burts revealed that their golf clubs fit perfectly in the back whenever they went to tournaments; it was one of the favorite things that they loved about the car. The cargo area also features bench seats which fold up and out, allowing additional passengers to ride along if desired. The tailgate is also an interesting mechanical innovation for the day, a two-stage operation that opens horizontally like a car door, as well as offering a traditional fold down, tail-gate style opening.
Following a tour in the armed forces and his subsequent graduation from medical school, Dr. Robert Burt set up a general surgery practice within the city of Tacoma. On days off, Dr. Burt enjoyed taking his grandchildren out for rides in the Mercury Wagon. All of the Burt grandchildren remember that, when they would ask grandpa where they were going, he would always reply "Oh, let's just see where the car will take us".
The kids unanimously agree that grandpa's car almost always found its way to the local ice cream parlor.