[Topaz in Driveway]

1984 Mercury Topaz
Blue Max

Imagine Yourself in a (Really Old) Mercury

Hi, and welcome to my web page dedicated to my favorite car, the Mercury Topaz. More specifically, the 1984 Mercury Topaz "Blue Max". Click on the picture above to see a bigger picture. Keep reading to learn more about my car and its history.

The Story

Every car has a story. My Dad bought the Blue Max to replace his 1977 Ford Mustang Ghia (6-cyl) in the winter of 1984. The Mustang had a bad heater core and blew lots of steam into the cockpit when the heat was on. We would roll down the windows to let the huge cloud of steam billow out of the car. It was impressive to watch from the roadside and to Dad it was the last straw for the Mustang. He had already paid for a Distributor Shaft Pin (after the shop tore the whole engine apart looking for the timing chain in a car that has a timing gear) and a Transmission Rebuild. Bear in mind that this is the same man who never changes any fluids (oil, coolant, etc...) in his car, "It's the oil companies that want you to change your oil every 3000 miles." The failure of the heater core was undoubtedly due to cooling system neglect.

The Topaz was definitely not Dad's style. His previous car was an early 70's Cougar (with the cool turn signal that blinked in sequence). He knew that I would soon need a car, so he bought the Topaz in anticipation of giving it to me when that time came. Finally, in 1988 he turned the car over to me with 25,000 miles on it (and the original oil) and bought a Ford Thunderbird (I told you the Topaz wasn't his style).

Since then, the Topaz has taken me through my last two years of College, my first 6 jobs, and my kids to and from school. Parting with this car will not be easy when the time comes. The children are especially sensitive to losing a car, as witnessed upon the death of the Villager. I've prepared them for the inevitable, so hopefully they will take it well.

Although its reliability has been perfect through the years, I'm afraid at some point it may leave me stranded without warning. Having children makes this an important thing to worry about. So, sometime in the year 2000, I will probably get a Mercury Mystique, and start a new car page that will hopefully in time become yet another "Heap On The 'Net" page. Though this time, she'll be garage-kept!

Update: On April 1, 2000 (and it isn't an April Fool's joke), I traded in the trusty ol' Blue Max for $25(!?) on the purchase of a new 2000 Mercury Mystique. Pictures and a new page will be up soon. I have lots more to add to this Topaz page as well, so stay tuned....

Parting Thoughts

"I see that you finally got rid of the Topaz, may it rest in peace. It was a good car, and it served you, nay, it served all of us well. It was a treasured part of my life, as I'm sure it was for many others. It will be missed." - Chad Mynhier


Both Ford and Mercury had special edition models of the Tempo/Topaz dubbed the "Blue Max" and the "Red Baron".

Ford tried to anticipate the upcoming conversion of the US to the metric system by offering the Michelin TRX performance package which featured metric alloy wheels (365mm). Customers ended up with a nightmare when they tried to find tires for their cars several years later. Most replaced the wheels with used 13" steel wheels. For the cost of two 365mm tires you could get four 13" wheels and new tires to go with them.

Some Specifics

Mail Bag

Finally, Margaret has sent us the first credible report of problems with the 1984 Topaz: Unwanted acceleration (and falling apart at 90k miles). Honestly, it's amazing that "Topaz" and "acceleration" have ever been used in the same sentence together.

*** Log ***

Date Miles Event
4/1/00 157k Sold. Traded it in for $25 on a new 2000 Mercury Mystique. It is a sad and happy day.......
2/00 156k? Failed emissions on the dyno. HC and CO were fine, NOx failed. Probably the catalyst. I'm trying to run up a $150 repair parts bill to get the one year waiver. I'm also car shopping. The sad day will be coming soon, I'm afraid.
7/99? She's now leaking steering fluid like mad. Hope she holds out.
5/??/99 150,000! Will it ever stop? (don't say that)
2/??/98 1??,??? Passed emissions on the dyno with flying colors.
1/5/98 135,??? Runs like a dream. Bought "new" wheels at the junkyard. The old alloy ones leaked like sieves.
10/22/96 113,??? Damned thing's still running.
2/2?/96 101,??? Failed emissions inspection. Squeaked by after major tune-up and a different style emissions test.
1/29/96 100,000! Wooo-Hooo! Looking forward to another 100k!

Lessons Learned

There were several things I learned about keeping a car like this in good running condition.

Related Links

Well, it's a start...

Tempo Topaz Car Club of North America
Wasn't working last I checked...

Topaz SHO
If you aren't happy with the engine, why not replace it?

Paul Stuart Wichansky's Topaz
The motivational speaker's "award-winning" Topaz. Also check out his crack at a Mercury Topaz Car Club of America.

1993 Mercury Topaz XR5TI
Cool site.

Simon Ho's Ford Escort
A wonderful page covering yet another heap on the 'net. This is my "illegal" copy of Simon's site. Hopefully he won't mind. His site was an inspiration to me, and others. Here's the Original Link that is now broken.

Missing Links

These sites are unfortunately gone. If you want me to rehost your Tempo/Topaz related site, please email me.

Carey's Escort & Lynx Page
More Heaps on the 'net. (missing)

Amy's Late, Great (?) 1987 Mercury Topaz
Don't let this happen to your Topaz.... (missing)

Part of the Ford Front Wheel Drive pages. (missing)

Copyright © 2001, Ted Felix