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Lipstick on a pig! Mercury LN7 Out of Box review


Faust
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It’s one thing for a car’s styling to be weird or polarizing (or both – ask AMC), but it’s another to be both of those things and STILL be forgotten! If you think about the Ford EXP (which I do, more than I should), it was pretty odd and polarizing too. Weird bug-eye headlights and  odd two-seaterness certainly made it a car that most people recognized, even if they didn’t want to.

 

Now imagine being even weirder looking than that, and then being almost totally forgotten! That’s what it’s like to be the EXP’s upscale brother. That’s right, the EXP had a twin: the Mercury LN7! Most of the time, Mercuries don’t get kitted for some reason. However, back in the early ‘80s, Monogram came to the rescue and re-tooled their EXP mould to produce the bubble-backed Mercury version.

 

It may be a small kit, but it certainly captures all the increased awkwardness of the real thing! Check out the 1/32 Mongram LN7 at the link below. Remember, sometimes we forget things as a favour to ourselves; you’ll see what I mean!

 

https://adamrehorn.wordpress.com/model-kits/out-of-box-reviews/monogram-132-mercury-ln-7-sport-coupe-oob/

 

ln7-oob-002.jpg?w=468 

 

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I remember those kits when they first came out back in the 1980s, and didn't think the 1:1 were that bad (at least in comparison to the competition). For some obscure reason, R-M put out a run of bagged kits back in the mid '90s, and I grabbed another one. It's not for everyone, but at least it's more adventurous than the Cavalier/Omni/Horizon hatchbacks that were modeled at the same time.

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I don't mind the early EXPs, but I really think the grilles on the LN7 were overdone. Still, as a kid, I had a poster of an LN7 in my room, so I can't say much! I wish I still had that poster... drat.

There's a lot of similarity in the EXP and Omni-024 in both styling and overall role/genesis. It's funny how the O24 evolved into the Charger/Daytona, but the EXP just ended up a kind of useless Escort it's whole life!

Glad you guys enjoyed it!

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I have that Glidden one; but without the box. I'd never seen the box. Apparently, the 1:1 was taken to races to promote the Glidden/Ford team, and to be raffled away at the end of the season. I've looked, but can find nothing to corroborate this anywhere. I do like the wheels; my copy has the same lame 4-dot "mags" (i.e. Porsche 929 knockoffs) as the normal EXP and LN7. Has anyone else ever seen anything on this real "civilian" Glidden EXP?

I wouldn't mind an EXP. They're certainly unique, and despite being gutless little tin cans, I'm sure they'd be an interesting driver. Hell, I learned to drive on an '89 Escort, so it can't be much different! I haven't seen one in at least 20 years, though... they largely did melt away here in the Ontario "heavy salt" winters!

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Most of the '80s Escorts around here self-destructed before they could rust away.  The 4-banger that Ford used was an interference design, and good luck getting the owners to do preventative maintenance on the cheapest car that Ford made at the time.  The American public in general wasn't too familiar with timing belts to begin with.

When the timing belt inevitably snapped, if you were lucky it just bent a couple valves.  More often the entire head was trashed, and the cost to get it professionally replaced was more then the car was worth.

Had a friend in high school who got a free mint condition Escort wagon after their neighbor snapped the belt.  Him and his dad pulled the head and were lucky and just had to do a valve job.  This was one of the early American Escorts without the aero headlights (probably about an '83?), and you already didn't see many of those on the road anymore by that time.  It was a low mileage grandma car, which is probably why it lasted as long as it did.

 

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I wanted an EXP back in '83 when these were new. Because I was a new car buyer (first time getting a car loan), I needed a co-signer, and couldn't get anyone to step up to the plate. It's just as well though as a few years later, I do remember hearing stories about timing belts breaking and the dreaded "valve hitting the piston" woes that come with interference engines. I can't remember the last time I've seen a LN7 on the road, and now my curiosity is up about a kit. :D

Most of the '80s Escorts around here self-destructed before they could rust away.  The 4-banger that Ford used was an interference design, and good luck getting the owners to do preventative maintenance on the cheapest car that Ford made at the time.  The American public in general wasn't too familiar with timing belts to begin with.

When the timing belt inevitably snapped, if you were lucky it just bent a couple valves.  More often the entire head was trashed, and the cost to get it professionally replaced was more then the car was worth.

Yeah, I had the misfortune of having this happen with a Fiat Spyder I once owned. This was back in the early '90's and IIRC, was the first car I ever had that came with a timing belt as opposed to a chain. Sure enough, I went to start it one very cold morning (about 5­­°) and it started and ran for a bit, then all of a sudden it cut off. I tried to start it again, and the engine made a weird sound as if the starter was out-----or so I thought.

The garage came and towed it and a few hours later I got the bad news..................busted timing belt! As you said, it wasn't just the valves that were bent due to the interference engine, the head was also trashed as it too was warped. It would have cost more to fix/replace the engine than the car was worth so the car went for parts and I went and bought a car that was a LOT tougher and durable..........................a Mercedes 240D sedan four speed! :D

 

Edited by MrObsessive
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