In hindsight, last week's Guilty Pleasure car, the 1970 Mercury Marauder X-100, wasn't quite shameful enough for full GP status; sure, it's big and fat and nothing at all like the Cougars and Cyclones most nostalgia-hounds imagine when they think of cool vintage Mercurys, but only bad people would say that the X-100 isn't a beautiful car, and that mighty Cobra Jet 429 engine under the hood wouldn't make any X-100 owner feel compelled to defend his or her choice of vehicles to the conformist rabble. What we need this week, then, is a Mercury that you might secretly want, yet you'd hesitate to take out of the garage during daylight hours. How about the badge-engineered sibling of Ford's doomed CRX competitor?

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Guilty Pleasure Mercury LN7

Exactly. The EXP/LN7 got stomped like a cockroach in the marketplace by the CRX, in spite of its one-year head start in the showrooms. Why, even the wretched Fiero outsold the little Dearborn two-seater! I found an LN7 in the junkyard a while back, and I couldn't help but think that the passage of nearly three decades had made the LN7's lines look pretty good in retrospect; I'd point you to the Down On The Junkyard link for that car on Jalopnik, but the latest Gawker redesign has hosed most of my old posts.

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Guilty Pleasure Mercury LN7

The most powerful LN7, which was built for the 1982 and 1983 model years only, had just 80 horsepower under the hood. The 120-horse turbocharged 1.6 from the EXP Turbo Coupe might have helped matters, but the CRX Si would still have blown its doors, hatch, and hood off. Imagine, however, what an LN7 with the later Mazda engine and plenty of boost would be like!

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Guilty Pleasure Mercury LN7

With fewer than 40,000 LN7s made, it might be tough to find a nice one. If you do manage to find one, I'll bet the price will be very reasonable.