The big Mercury was something of a family heirloom, and named after the great-aunt who originally purchased her new (with a check!) in 1987. She passed through a few family members’ hands before ending up in mine, with barely 64,000 miles on the clock.
That said, the little-old-lady life had not treated Mae well. Within a year I had replaced the transmission, fuel pump and battery, so that I could roll in big, old-school American comfort when the mood struck. And I did just that. Mae was a capable, if somewhat fuelish, road-tripper, though she never did shake her recurring transmission issues, thanks to a incompetent rebuild followed by seals that never really did.
Mae was a victim of tightening finances; I had to be pragmatic when the economy slowed down, and as she didn’t really have a place in the fleet once the Suburban arrived she was passed on to a very young driver, who probably blew her transmission up not long after taking possession. But hey, I warned both him and his father that the gearbox wasn’t right. Caveat emptor.