Mercury is a defunct division of the American automobile manufacturer Ford Motor Company. Marketed as an entry-level premium brand for nearly its entire existence, Mercury was created in 1938 by Edsel Ford. Forming half of the Lincoln-Mercury Division, the brand was intended to bridge the price gap between the Ford and Lincoln vehicle lines. In a similar context, Buick and Oldsmobile played the same role within General Motors while the Chrysler Division did so within Chrysler Corporation (following the end of DeSoto and the creation of Imperial).
The final Mercury automobile, a 2011 Mercury Grand Marquis, rolled off the assembly line on January 4, 2011. Although the final vehicle of the division was produced in 2011, Mercury remains an active and registered trademark owned by Ford Motor Company (to at least 2025).
Edsel Ford was the man behind the creation of the new line of
Mercury cars. He wanted a vehicle to fill the price span between Ford and the Lincoln.
similar to the Buick brand at General Motors (and the
former Oldsmobile) and the
Chrysler Dodge brand. He also wanted cars that were big, trendy, contemporary, and yet affordable.
Initially Edsel had numerous thoughts about a name for this new line of vehicles. After a great deal of deliberation, he settled upon "Mercury" a Roman god the winged fleet-footed messenger of commerce a symbol of eloquence, dependability, skill and speed.
Ford's first chief designer, Bob Gregorie worked hand in hand with Edsel in the development of the first
Mercury, which he called the Mercury Eight. It featured a 95-horsepower engine which delivered 10 horsepower over the V-8 Ford, making it a strong machine. From a design point, this Mercury Eight was thought to be one of the most aerodynamic automobiles of the time. Also It was the first production car from Ford using a full-size clay model in the design process. Labeled as the Super Ford, this new Mercury Eight also featured the first
double-spoke steering wheel in the industry. Production surpassed 17,000 vehicles in 1939.
By 1941, over 98,000 new Mercury cars were manufactured to meet the staggering demand, making 155,000 vehicles total sold since the
Mercury Eight had been introduced. During the years from 1942 through 1945, Mercury halted almost all of its production because of World War II.
After the World war II, Henry Ford subsequently separated Mercury and Ford when
he established the Lincoln Mercury division. It was the first time for Mercury
to have its own separate vehicles. A consequence of the war, the 1946 Mercury's
were only slightly modified versions of 1942 models. 1947 production increase to
over 86,000 vehicles. Lincoln Mercury launched their first completely new
Mercury vehicles on April 29, 1948.
1950 saw Mercury with it's highest producing year to date building 344,081 vehicles. Mercury delivered its one-millionth Mercury during August of 1950, truly earning a name for both innovation and performance.
In 1951, Mercury introduced first automatic transmission called a Merc-O-Matic which was added to every model. Other trendy appointments followed suit, including "frenched headlights" (lights flush with the surrounding sheet metal), monopane windshields,, airfoil bumpers, aircraft-style instrument panels, jet-scoop hoods and hidden gas caps.
James Dean was seen driving a custom 1949 Mercury in 1955 in the "Rebel Without A Cause." movie. Mercury dominated the racetrack along with the sales charts as the 50's closed out.
Today, all Mercury models are built upon Ford platforms.
For the 1939 model year, Mercury made its debut with a namesake vehicle line as a completely new design. Sized between Ford and Lincoln, Mercury adopted a 116-inch wheelbase (four inches longer than Ford, six inches shorter than the Lincoln-Zephyr) with a body six inches wider than Ford. To streamline production, Mercury did not use a division-specific engine, offering a 239 cubic-inch version of the Flathead V8 (producing 95 hp).
Mercury Eight - second generation (1941-1948)
1941 Mercury Tudor Sedan
1942 Mercury Tudor Sedan
1946 Mercury Coupe
1947 Mercury Convertible
1948 Mercury 4 Door Sedan
For 1941, as part of its first redesign, the Mercury adopted the Mercury Eight nameplate used in sales literature. To consolidate development and production, the Mercury Eight shared much of its bodyshell with Ford, distinguished by its 4-inch longer wheelbase. To further separate the two model lines, the Eight was given a model-specific grille, exterior and interior trim, and taillamps. For the first time, the Eight was offered as a wood-bodied station wagon.
Mercury Eight - third generation (1949-1951)
1949 Mercury Coupe
1949 Mercury Woodie
1950 Mercury Woodie
1950 Mercury Convertible
1950 Mercury Monterey
1951 Mercury 4 Door Sedan
1951 Mercury Monterey Coupe
For 1949, Ford Motor Company launched its first post-war model lines for all three of its model lines. To gain exposure for both Lincoln-Mercury brands, the Lincoln was given the same bodyshell as the 1949 Mercury Eight, largely distinguished by headlight and grille designs; Mercury and Lincoln would feature separately-trimmed interiors. Mechanically, each brand offered its own version of the Ford Flathead V8
For many years after its production, the 1949-1951 Mercury Eight (most commonly in two-door form) would develop a following as a street rod, making an appearance in several films.
Fiberglass replicas of the Eight, inspired by Sam Barris's car, are still in production and are popular with custom and rod enthusiasts.
Mercury Monterey - eight generations (1952-1974)
The Monterey line announced by Mercury in 1952. It would later have a similar body style with the marginally more upscale Marquis, and also with the Montclair and Park Lane until the latter two were discontinued before the 1969 model year. The Marquis-Monterey body was based upon a longer wheelbase and featured a longer body than the Ford Custom LTD, and Galaxie. Amid its generation the Monterey served as the top of the line, mid-range, and entry level fullsize Mercury at different times all through its run. It was the only Mercury in constant production all through the 1960s. Before the 1975 model year, the Monterey was discontinued as Mercury condensed its full-size offerings down to the Marquis nameplate
Mercury Monterey (1952-1954)
1952 Mercury Monterey 2 door Hardtop
1952 Mercury Tudor Sedan
1953 Mercury Monterey
1953 Mercury Monterey 2 door Hardtop - Ed Sullivan
1954 Mercury Monterey
Mercury got a styling and engineering redesign for 1952, such as 18% more window area. Monterey became a separate series and Mercury's top model line, a convertible and four-door sedan were included in the new series lineup. The heater and vent controls were changed to levers and placed on a plane set perpendicular to the dash behind the steering wheel, inspired by flight controls in large aircraft
Mercury Monterey (1955-1956)
1955 Mercury Monterey
1956 Mercury Monterey
For 1955 the car lost its status as Mercury's top model, replaced by the Montclair. The same year, it gained the 292 cu in Y-block from the Thunderbird, producing 188 hp with the standard transmission or 198 with the Merc-O-Matic. It used independent ball-joint front suspension. Brake size was increased. It was available in two lower-priced trim packages called the Custom and with Medalist as the most basic model. The Medalist lasted only one year as Mercury moved further upscale in 1957.
Mercury Monterey (1957-1958)
1957 Mercury Monterey
1958 Mercury Monterey
The fullsize Mercury was redesigned for 1957 and grew considerably larger as well, riding on an exclusive 122 in wheelbase. A new frame design allowed a lower floor which made the car look lower and longer. Interior features included a front seat track stop (to keep the front seat from breaking loose), a new design for the safety steering wheel, a new radio, and memory power front seats
Mercury Monterey (1959-1960)
1959 Mercury Monterey Convertible
1960 Mercury Monterey Convertible
With the discontinuation of the low-price Medalist after the 1956 model year and a trend towards fuel economy, the 1959 Monterey returned to the 312, with 210 hp.
Mercury Monterey (1961-1964)
1961 Mercury Convertible
1962 Mercury Monterey Convertible
1963 Mercury Monterey Custom Sedan
1964 Mercury Monterey
Mercury's full-size offerings were completely revamped for 1961. Bodies, interiors, and chassis were basically the same as the big Ford's, although trim was different in order to distinguish the marques. The Montclair and Park Lane were discontinued and the Meteor was added at the bottom of the range, making Monterey once again the top of Mercury's lineup. The 292 cu in Ford Y-block was standard, with 352 cu in and 390 cu in versions of the FE V8 available.
Mercury Monterey (1965-1968)
1965 Mercury Monterey
1966 Mercury Monterey
1967 Mercury Monterey
1968 Mercury Monterey Convertible
The full-size Mercurys were redesigned for 1965 with a new torque-box frame and a more slab-sided look, reflecting the popularity of the Continental. The Breezeway window was now only available on pillared sedans, with all two door hardtops being fastbacks.
Mercury Monterey (1969-1974)
1969 Mercury Monterey
1970 Mercury Monterey Highway Patrol
1972 Mercury Monterey Sedan
1973 Mercury Monterey Sedan
1974 Mercury Monterey Sedan
For 1969, the Mercury model line underwent a significant revision, with the Montclair repackaged as the Monterey Custom trim level. An all-new chassis made its debut; sedans were based on a 124-inch wheelbase, Monterey station wagons used a 121-inch wheelbase (alongside Ford station wagons and sedans). Following the expansion of the Marquis to a full model range, the Monterey was the base-trim model range, offered as a two-door hardtop, two-door convertible, four-door sedan, four-door hardtop. In another revision, Mercury station wagons were no longer a separate model range, with the Mercury Commuter renamed the Monterey station wagon.
Mercury Montclair (1955-1968)
1955 Mercury Montclair
1956 Mercury Montclair
1957 Mercury Montclair
1958 Mercury Montclair
1959 Mercury Montclair Cruiser
1960 Mercury Montclair
1961 Mercury Montclair Convertible
1962 Mercury Montclair Sedan
1963 Mercury Montclair Breezeway
1964 Mercury Montclair Breezeway
1965 Mercury Montclair Breezeway
1966 Mercury Montclair 2 Door Hardtop
1967 Mercury Montclair 2 Door Hardtop
1968 Mercury Montclair 2 Door Hardtop
The Mercury Montclair was a full-size automobile marque which was produced by Mercury from 1955 to 1968.
The vehicle name was introduced in 1955 and applied to Mercury's premium automobile line. Ford historians are at a loss as to where the name originated; the consensus is that it's taken from the upper class community of Montclair, New Jersey. For 1955 and 1956, Montclairs featured Mercury's best appointments; extra chrome trim, and different two-tone paint combinations to set them apart from other Mercury products. 1956 was the year Ford introduced its Lifeguard safety program, and the Mercury Montclair came standard with a deep-dish steering wheel to help protect the driver from the steering column, safety door locks, a breakaway rear view mirror, and optional seat belts and padded dashboards. The dash was redesigned with a new three-tier instrument panel.
Mercury Marauder (1963-2004)
1963 Mercury Maurader
1964 Mercury Marauder
1965 Mercury Marauder
1966 Mercury Marauder
1970 Mercury Maurader
2003 Mercury Maurader
The Mercury Marauder nameplate was used by three distinct full-size cars produced by the Mercury division of Ford Motor Company. Deriving its name from the most powerful engines available to the Mercury line, the Marauder was marketed as the highest-performance version of the full-size product range.
With its appearance in the 1963 1/2 Mercury lineup, the Marauder name essentially designated a fastback roofline on Montereys
Mercury Marquis (1967-1982)
Mercury Marquis Mid Size (1983-1986)
1967 Mercury Marquis
1968 Mercury Marquis
1969 Mercury Marquis Convertible
1970 Mercury Marquis 2 Door Hardtop
1971 Mercury Marquis
1972 Mercury Marquis Brougham 4-door Hardtop
1973 Mercury Grand Marquis Brougham
1974 Mercury Grand Marquis Brougham
1975 Mercury Marquis
The Mercury Marquis is a line of entry-level luxury vehicles that was marketed by Mercury from 1967 to 1986. Deriving its name from a French nobility title, the Mercury Marquis was sold across four generations as the divisional counterpart of the Ford LTD. Initially introduced as the flagship Mercury range, the Marquis line was expanded to include the Mercury Grand Marquis slotted above it, with the Mercury Colony Park serving as a station wagon variant.
Mercury Grand Marquis (1975-2011)
1975 Mercury Grand Marquis Sedan
1976 Mercury Grand Marquis 2 Door Hardtop
1977 Mercury Grand Marquis Sedan
1978 Mercury Grand Marquis 2 Door Hardtop
In 1975, the Mercury Marquis line was expanded to include the Mercury Grand Marquis slotted above
the Marcuis, with the Mercury Colony Park serving as a station wagon variant.
Mercury Grand Marquis generation 1 (1979-1991)
1979 Mercury Grand Marquis Sedan
1980 Mercury Grand Marquis Sedan
1981 Mercury Grand Marquis 2 Door Hardtop
1982 Mercury Grand Marquis Sedan
1983 Mercury Grand Marquis LS Sedan
1984 Mercury Grand Marquis Sedan
1985 Mercury Grand Marquis Sedan
1986 Mercury Grand Marquis Sedan
1987 Mercury Grand Marquis LS 2 Door Sedan
1988 Mercury Grand Marquis LS Sedan
1989 Mercury Grand Marquis LS Sedan
1990 Mercury Grand Marquis Sedan
1991 Mercury Grand Marquis Sedan
For the 1983 model year, Ford underwent a major revision of its full-size and mid-size model ranges for both the Ford and Mercury divisions. Within Mercury, the Marquis was repackaged as its mid-size offering (replacing the Cougar sedan and wagon). While a redesigned Cougar returned solely as the counterpart of the Thunderbird, the Grand Marquis remained as the Mercury full-size sedan. For the first time since 1951, Mercury offered a single product line in the full-size segment.
Mercury Grand Marquis generation 2 (1992-1997)
1992 Mercury Grand Marquis Sedan
1993 Mercury Grand Marquis Sedan
1994 Mercury Grand Marquis LS Sedan
1995 Mercury Grand Marquis Sedan
1996 Mercury Grand Marquis Sedan
1997 Mercury Grand Marquis LS Sedan
Unveiled on November 28, 1990, for the 1992 model year, both Ford and Mercury Panther-platform cars underwent their most extensive changes since their introduction for 1979. While the chassis was retained, the body was all-new from the ground up. After thirteen years on the market, the full-size sedans from Mercury and Ford were struggling against far more modern competition. Additionally, as unintentional consequence of years of badge engineering, the Grand Marquis and its
LTD Crown Victoria counterpart were left as virtual identical twins
Mercury Grand Marquis generation 3 (1998-2002)
1998 Mercury Grand Marquis Sedan
For the 1998 model year, Mercury released the third-generation Grand Marquis. Based on the success of its 1992-1997 predecessor, its design saw evolutionary change. While the 1992 Crown Victoria was better received in the marketplace than the 1991 Chevrolet Caprice, its exterior design (inspired by the Ford Taurus) had not translated into enthusiasm, leading the Grand Marquis to outsell the Crown Victoria in 1994 and 1997. In a major change, its Ford Crown Victoria counterpart was given a more conservative exterior for 1998, adopting the formal rear roofline of the Grand Marquis for the rest of its production run.
Mercury Grand Marquis generation 4 (2003-2011)
2011 Mercury Grand Marquis
For 2003, the Grand Marquis saw an extensive styling update. However, many of the changes were under the skin, as the underpinnings of the Ford Panther chassis underwent its first complete redesign since its introduction for 1979. During the 2000s, Mercury would introduce two additional full-size sedans: the 2003-2004 Mercury Marauder and the 2005-2007 Mercury Montego (rebranded the 2008-2009 Mercury Sable). In addition, the Grand Marquis largely replaced the Ford Crown Victoria in retail markets as it was discontinued from retail sale for the 2008 model year.
Get Your Very Own Mercury Scale Models
1949 Mercury Coupe Scale Model Shown
Approx. 7-1/2" Long
Scaled replicas of cars and trucks
Die-cast metal body with plastic details
Opening doors on all - some with opening hoods and trunks
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Mercury Motor Cars Through the Years
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