2011 Mercury Mariner

Mercury Motor Cars Through the Years Page 2


A Pictorial of Mercury Motor Cars from 1938 to 2010

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.

Mercury Videos

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.

Read the book: Mercury Automobiles: 1939-1959 Photo Archive

Mercury Midsize

Mercury Montego (1968-1976)

1968 Mercury Montego
1968 Mercury Montego
1969 Mercury Montego
1969 Mercury Montego
1970 Mercury Montego
1970 Mercury Montego
1971 Mercury Montego
1971 Mercury Montego
1974 Mercury Montego
1974 Mercury Montego
The Mercury Montego nameplate that was used on three separate generations of vehicles marketed by Mercury. Taking its name from Montego Bay, Jamaica, the nameplate made its first appearance for 1967 in the Canadian market as part of the Mercury-derived Meteor model line. For 1968, the Mercury Montego made its debut across North America, becoming the Mercury counterpart of the Ford Torino intermediate-size model line for two generations. For the 1977 model year, Ford revised the intermediate-size product ranges of both its Ford and Mercury divisions; as part of a mid-cycle update, Mercury discontinued the Montego nameplate and expanded the Mercury Cougar line to include a full range of sedans and wagons (with the Ford Gran Torino becoming the Ford LTD II).

Mercury Montego (2005-2007) rebadged Sable

2005 Mercury Montego
2005 Mercury Montego
2006 Mercury Montego
2006 Mercury Montego
2007 Mercury Montego
2007 Mercury Montego
After a 29-year absence, the Mercury Montego nameplate was revived for the 2005 model year, becoming a full-size sedan. Slotted in size between the Mercury Milan and the Mercury Grand Marquis, the 2005 Montego was the Mercury counterpart of the Ford Five Hundred. For the 2008 model year, the Montego adopted the nameplate of the car it had replaced, becoming the final generation of the Mercury Sable.

Mercury Mystique (1993-1996)

1996 Mercury Mystique

1996 Mercury Mystique
The Mercury Mystique, a  rebadged Ford Mondeo in North America) is a mid-size car that was produced by Ford from 1993 through 1996. It is also known as the Mk I Mondeo; the 1996 facelift versions are usually designated Mk II. Available as a four-door saloon, a five-door hatchback, and a five-door estate, all models for the European market were produced at Ford's plant in the Belgian city of Genk. In December 1992, Autocar published a section on the Mondeo, and how it would conquer rivals.

Mercury Sable (1986-2005),(2008,2009)

1986 Mercury Sable
1986 Mercury Sable
2005 Mercury Sable
2005 Mercury Sable
The Sable is a four-door sedan and wagon produced more than five generations for model years 1986-2005 as a mid-size auto and in 2008-2009 as a full size auto, except when a rebadged variation was promoted as the Mercury Montego for the 2006 and 2007 model years. The Sable was itself a badge engineered variation of the Ford Taurus. Replaced by the Mercury Milan.

Mercury Muscle Cars

Mercury Cougar - Eight Generations (1967-2002)

The announcement of the Cougar gave Mercury its own "pony car". Placed between the Mustang and the Thunderbird, the Cougar was the performance symbol which became the symbol for the Mercury brand for many years. The Cougar came in two models (base and XR-7) and only a single body style (a two-door hardtop, no middle or B-column). Motor options extended from the 200 hp 289 cu in two-barrel V8 to the 335 hp 390 cu in four-barrel V8. A performance option called the GT was a package on both the base and XR-7 Cougars. The the 390 cu in V8, along with performance handling package.

Mercury Cougar - generation one (1967-1970)

1967 Mercury Cougar
1967 Mercury Cougar
1968 Mercury Cougar
1968 Mercury Cougar
1969 Mercury Cougar
1969 Mercury Cougar
1970 Mercury Cougar
1970 Mercury Cougar
The 1967 Cougar, with the T-7 internal code, became available September 30, 1966. It was based upon the 1967 refaced original Mustang, however the wheelbase was 3-in-longer and there was new sheet metal. A full-width grille with hidden headlights and vertical bars characterized the front end—sometimes it was called the electric shaver grille. At the back, a comparative treatment featured the license plate with vertically slatted grille work on both sides hiding tail lights (featuring sequential turn signals), a styling touch borrowed from the Thunderbird.

Mercury Cougar - generation two (1971-1973)

1971 Mercury Cougar
1971 Mercury Cougar"
1972 Mercury Cougar
1972 Mercury Cougar"
1973 Mercury Cougar
1973 Mercury Cougar"
For 1971, the Cougar was restyled, weighed less, and had only a one-inch-longer wheelbase than its predecessors (112 vs. 111 - which was similar to GM's intermediate-sized two-door models, such as the Olds Cutlass). The front end now featured four exposed headlights; the disappearing headlights were eliminated.

Mercury Cougar - generation three (1974-1976)

1974 Mercury Cougar XR7
1974 Mercury Cougar XR7
1975 Mercury Cougar XR7
1975 Mercury Cougar XR7
1976 Mercury Cougar XR7
1976 Mercury Cougar XR7
The 1974 Cougar was moved from its Mustang, ponycar beginnings to a new market and platform as personal luxury car. It now used the larger Mercury Montego/Ford Torino mid-size chassis and while Ford re-badged it as the 1974 1/2 Ford Grand Torino Elite

Mercury Cougar - generation four (1977-1979)

1977 Mercury Cougar
1977 Mercury Cougar
1978 Mercury Cougar XR7
1978 Mercury Cougar XR7
1979 Mercury Cougar XR7
1979 Mercury Cougar XR7
There were radical marketing changes to to the Mercury lineup in 1977. although under the skin, there were few mechanical changes. The Montego name was no more, and all the mid size Mercurys' were named Cougars. There were now Cougar sedans, down to Opera windows, a lower-trim base coupe, and even a wagon (choice of steel-sided or "woody" Cougar Villager), for only the 1977 year.

Mercury Cougar - generation five (1980-1982)

1980 Mercury Cougar
1980 Mercury Cougar
1981 Mercury Cougar LS Sedan
1981 Mercury Cougar LS Sedan
1982 Mercury Cougar GS Wagon
1982 Mercury Cougar GS Wagon
For the 1980 model year, the Mercury Cougar underwent an extensive redesign, undergoing downsizing for the first time. Shedding 15 inches in length, 4 inches of width, and approximately 900 pounds of curb weight (depending on version), the 1980 Mercury Cougar XR7 shifted from the intermediate-segment Ford LTD II (Torino) chassis to a version of the Fox platform

Mercury Cougar - generation six (1983-1988)

1983 Mercury Cougar
1983 Mercury Cougar
1984 Mercury Cougar XR7
1984 Mercury Cougar XR7
1985 Mercury Cougar XR7
1985 Mercury Cougar XR7
1987 Mercury Cougar
1987 Mercury Cougar
1988 Mercury Cougar
1988 Mercury Cougar
For the 1983 model year, Mercury introduced the sixth generation of the Cougar. As part of an extensive revision of the Ford and Mercury model ranges, the mid-size Mercury model range shifted from the Cougar to the Marquis (split from the full-size Grand Marquis). Reverting to its traditional role of a two-door coupe (for the first time since 1976)

Mercury Cougar - generation seven (1989-1997)

1989 Mercury Cougar XR7
1989 Mercury Cougar XR7
1990 Mercury Cougar
1990 Mercury Cougar
1991 Mercury Cougar
1991 Mercury Cougar
1992 Mercury Cougar
1992 Mercury Cougar
1993 Mercury Cougar XR7
1993 Mercury Cougar XR7
1994 Mercury Cougar XR7 Caliente Edition
1994 Mercury Cougar XR7 Caliente Edition
1995 Mercury Cougar
1995 Mercury Cougar
1996 Mercury Cougar
1996 Mercury Cougar
1997 Mercury Cougar
1997 Mercury Cougar
On December 26, 1988, the seventh-generation Mercury Cougar was introduced for the 1989 model year. Developed from the second quarter of 1984, as a counterpart of the tenth-generation Ford Thunderbird, the $2 billion redesign of the two vehicles was intended to create handling benchmarked against far more expensive coupes (BMW 6-Series, Mercedes-Benz 560SEC, Jaguar XJS) while remaining in the same price segment

Mercury Cougar - generation eight (1999-2002)

1999 Mercury Cougar
1999 Mercury Cougar
2000 Mercury Cougar
2000 Mercury Cougar
2001 Mercury Cougar
2001 Mercury Cougar
2002 Mercury Cougar
2002 Mercury Cougar
2012 Mercury Cougar
2012 Mercury Cougar
After skipping the 1998 model year, Mercury introduced the eighth-generation Mercury Cougar for the 1999 model year at the 1998 Los Angeles Auto Show. Serving as the replacement for the Ford Probe, the first front-wheel drive Cougar shifted market segments from two-door personal luxury coupe to three-door sport compact, introducing the first Mercury sport hatchback coupe since the 1986 Mercury Capri. The last Mercury Cougar rolled off the assembly line on August 9, 2002; following the end of its production, the Mercury model line offered no cars with four-cylinder engines until the 2006 Mercury Milan.

Mercury Zephyr (1978-1983)

1978 Mercury Zephyr
1978 Mercury Zephyr
1981 Mercury Zephyr
1981 Mercury Zephyr
The mid-size Zephyr was marketed from the 1978 to the 1983 model years. The replacement for the Maverick, the Fairmont was marketed by Mercury as the Zephyr, which was a replacement for the Mercury Comet. Both The Fairmont and Zephyr comprised of two-door notchback sedans, four-door sedans, two door coupes, and five-door station wagons.

Mercury Milan (2006-2011)

2006 Mercury Milan
2006 Mercury Milan
2011 Mercury Milan
2011 Mercury Milan
The Mercury Milan is a mid-size sedan that was marketed by Mercury from 2006 to 2011. Named after the city of Milan, the Mercury Milan was the replacement for the Mercury Sable, becoming the entry-level Mercury sedan for its entire production. Produced in a single generation, the Mercury Milan was based upon the Mazda-derived Ford CD3 platform.

Mercury Compact

Mercury Comet (1960-1977)

1960 Mercury Comet
1960 Mercury Comet
1961 Mercury Comet
1961 Mercury Comet
1967 Mercury Comet
1967 Mercury Comet
1971 Mercury Comet
1971 Mercury Comet
1977 Mercury Comet
1977 Mercury Comet
The Comet was manufactured from 1960–1969 as a compact and a midsize from 1971-1977. The Comet was at based on the compact Ford Falcon initially, then on the mid-size Ford Fairlane and the last model based on the Ford Maverick. As a Mercury, early Comets featured better interior trim than the Falcons, and a somewhat longer wheelbase.

Mercury Capri generation 1 (1970-1977)

1970 Mercury Capri
1970 Mercury Capri
1971 Mercury Capri II Ghia
1971 Mercury Capri II Ghia
1972 Mercury Capri
1972 Mercury Capri
1973 Mercury Capri
1973 Mercury Capri
1977 Mercury Capri Player Edition
1977 Mercury Capri Player Edition
The Mercury Capri was sold by Lincoln Mercury between 1970 and 1994. The Capri was marketed in the US as three different autos for more than three decades. The 197174 model Capri and 197677 Capri II were imports from Ford of Europe in Germany. They didn't feature any marque badging and each was essentially a Capri.

Mercury Capri generation 2 (1979-1986)

1979 Mercury Capri RS
1979 Mercury Capri RS
1983 Mercury Capri RS
1983 Mercury Capri RS
1984 Mercury Capri
1984 Mercury Capri
1985 Mercury Capri Convertible
1985 Mercury Capri Convertible
1986 Mercury Capri 5.0.
1986 Mercury Capri 5.0.
The 197986 Capri was a re-styled Ford Mustang, created in the USA.

Mercury Capri generation 3 (1991-1994)

1991 Mercury Capri Convertible
1991 Mercury Capri Convertible
1992 Mercury Capri Convertible
1992 Mercury Capri Convertible
1993 Mercury Capri Convertible
1993 Mercury Capri Convertible
1994 Mercury Capri Convertible
1994 Mercury Capri Convertible
The last 199194 model was a convertible manufactured by Ford Australia.

Mercury Monarch (1975-1980)

1975 Mercury Monarch
1975 Mercury Monarch
1980 Mercury Monarch
1980 Mercury Monarch
The Mercury Monarch is a compact automobile that was marketed by Mercury from 1975 to 1980. Adopting its nameplate from a marque of Ford Canada during the 1940s and 1950s, the Monarch was marketed as the Mercury counterpart of the Ford Granada in North America. Slotted between the Comet (replaced by the Zephyr for 1978) and the Montego (renamed the Cougar for 1977), a single generation of the Monarch was produced. Originally developed to replace the Comet, the Monarch was remarketed in response to the 1973 fuel crisis as Ford sought to introduce premium-content compact vehicles. Sharing its chassis underpinnings with the Comet/Maverick, the Monarch and Granada marked the final evolution of the 19601965 Ford Falcon platform architecture.


Mercury Topaz (1984-1994)

1984 Mercury Topaz
1984 Mercury Topaz
1993 Mercury Topaz GS Coupe
1993 Mercury Topaz GS Coupe
The Mercury Topaz and its twin, the Ford Tempo, are compacts that were manufactured during the model years 1984 to 1994. They were downsized replacements to the square shaped Ford Fairmont and Mercury Zephyr. The Tempo and Topaz were a piece of a plan to offer all the more ecologically friendly, fuel efficient, and more cutting edge styled models to contend with the European and Japanese imports. While it sold well, its advancement and streamlined design opened doors for the more earth shattering Ford Taurus. In 1995, they were replaced by The "world auto" platform marketed in the US as the Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique, furthermore by the bigger Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable.

Mercury Bobcat - 1975-1980

1976 Mercury Bobcat
1976 Mercury Bobcat
1977 Mercury Bobcat Villager Wagon
1977 Mercury Bobcat Villager Wagon
1978 Mercury Bobcat
1978 Mercury Bobcat
1979 Mercury Bobcat
1979 Mercury Bobcat
1980 Mercury Bobcat
1980 Mercury Bobcat
The Bobcat was a rebadged variation of the Ford Pinto, starting in Canada with model year 1974 and 1975 in the United States. It was sold as a hatchback and also as a station wagon, using the Villager nameplate, and both offered a modified grille. The taillights were different on the hatchback. 224,026 Bobcats were manufactured from 1975 to 1980. Production of the Bobcat ended in 1980 to make way for its replacement, the Mercury Lynx.

Mercury Lynx (1981-2003)

1981 Mercury Lynx GL 4-door Liftgate Station Wagon with Villager Woodtone Option
1981 Mercury Lynx GL Wagon with Villager Woodtone
1983 Mercury Lynx RS
1983 Mercury Lynx RS
The first North American Lynx went on sale on October 3, 1980 for the 1981 model year, along with its corporate twin, the Ford Escort. It was intended to share common components with the European Mk III Escort. It was launched with a 65 hp, 1.6-liter hemi overhead cam inline-four. It was available as a three-door hatchback and as a five-door station wagon, with a four-speed manual or a three-speed automatic. The five-door hatchback was first shown in May 1981. The North American Escort had considerably more chrome than Escorts sold elsewhere (except for the 1981 SS model and 1982+ GT models which feature blacked out trim). Replaced by the Mercury Tracer in 1988.

Mercury Tracer (1988-1999)

1988 Mercury Tracer Sedan
1988 Mercury Tracer Sedan
The Mercury Tracer marketed by Mercury from 1988 to the 1999 model years. Introduced as the successor to the Mercury Lynx, three generations of the Lynx were sold in the United States and Canada. Initially introduced as a subcompact, the two succeeding generations were sold in the compact segment. Throughout its production, the Tracer was marketed as a hatchback, four-door sedan, and five-door station wagon. The Ford Focus replaced both the Ford Escort and the Mercury Tracer.

Mercury Woodies

Mercury Woodies & Wagons (1941-1951)

1941 Mercury Woodie
1941 Mercury Woodie
1942 Mercury Woodie
1942 Mercury Woodie
1948 Mercury Woodie
1948 Mercury Woodie
1949 Mercury Woodie
1949 Mercury Woodie
1950 Mercury Woodie
1950 Mercury Woody
1951 Mercury Woodie
1951 Mercury Woody
1952 Mercury Woodie
1952 Mercury Woody
1955 Mercury Monterey Woodie
1955 Mercury Monterey Woodie
1958 Mercury Wagon
1958 Mercury Wagon
1959 Mercury Colony Park Station Wagon
1959 Mercury Colony Park Station Wagon
1965 Mercury Colony Park
1965 Mercury Colony Park
1984 Mercury Grand Marquis Colony Park
1984 Mercury Grand Marquis Colony Park
The Ford and Mercury woody wagons came to an end with the 1951 editions, which achieved an all-time high in FoMoCo woody production. Though they were still the most expensive models in their respective lines, they had the poorest resale value. More Woodies

Mercury Pickups
1947 Mercury Pickup
1947 Mercury Pickup
1952 Mercury M3 Pickup
1952 Mercury M3 Pickup
1955 Mercury M150 Pickup
1955 Mercury M150 Pickup
1956 Mercury 500 Truck
1956 Mercury 500 Truck
1959 Mercury M150 Pickup
1959 Mercury M150 Pickup
1966 Mercury M150 Pickup
1966 Mercury M150 Pickup
1966 Mercury M150 Pickup
1966 Mercury M150 Pickup
The Mercury M-Series pickup truck was manufactured between 1946 and 1968 mostly for the Canadian market. Early models featured a higher output than the Ford flathead V8 motor and the badge was positioned above every Mercury grille. The M-Series was manufactured in Canada as smaller communities either had a Ford or a Lincoln-Mercury-Meteor dealer, however not both; a Mercury line offered more opportunities to sell trucks.

Mercury SUVs / Crossovers

Mercury Mountaineer (1997-2010)

1997 Mercury Mountaineer
1997 Mercury Mountaineer
2001 Mercury Mountaineer
2001 Mercury Mountaineer
2006 Mercury Mountaineer
2006 Mercury Mountaineer
2010 Mercury Mountaineer
2010 Mercury Mountaineer
The Mountaineer, a mid-size luxury sport utility vehicle (SUV) was sold by Mercury from 1997 to 2010. sharing many components with the Ford Explorer, the vehicles were for all intents and purposes indistinguishable from the Explorer. Externally, they were styled differently, and the Mountaineer featured a more upscale interior, Mountaineer's price was $1,000–$6,000 more than the Explorer. For the 2006 model year it was redesigned complete with a new frame, although looking pretty much the same as its past model.

Mercury Mariner (2005-2011)

2005 Mercury Mariner
2005 Mercury Mariner
2011 Mercury Mariner
2011 Mercury Mariner
The Mercury Mariner is a compact crossover SUV that was introduced in 2005. It is a sibling of the Mazda Tribute and Ford Escape, although it is more upmarket than the other two. The Mariner is Mercury's first car-based SUV, and is slotted below the Mountaineer in the lineup. When Ford eliminated the Mercury brand, the Mariner ended production in October 2010

Mercury Minivans

Mercury Villager (1993-2002)

1999 Mercury Villager
1999 Mercury Villager
2002 Mercury Villager
2002 Mercury Villager
The Villager is a minivan that was produced and promoted for the model years 1993–2002 by Nissan. The Villager was a rebadged variation of the Nissan Quest—a result of a joint venture amongst Ford and Nissan, fabricated at Ford's Ohio Assembly plant.

Noted for its inventive seating arrangements, the Villager offered a collapsing, removable, center seat (or a pair of bucket seats) alongside a non-removable, fold and-slide track-mounted back seat. The configuration allowed the back seat to slide forward to the center position for five-passenger seating, or totally forward against the front seats to make a bigger cargo space.

Get Your Very Own Mercury Scale Models
1949 Mercury Coupe Scale Model Shown
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
  • Detailed chassis
  • Choose scale model Mercury Vehicles at Amazon
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    Mercury Motor Cars Through the Years Reviewed by Gene Wright on . Rating: 5