Posted in Cougar, mercury

The well-planned purchase of a 1969 Mercury Cougar turned into five decades of family car memories. – Matt Litwin @Hemmings

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Mercury, it seemed, was in the habit of being the division that never truly fit where it was intended. Throughout much of its existence, it was perceived as either a plush Ford or a baby Lincoln, and Dearborn’s front office never really helped change the public opinion along the way. That’s not to say there weren’t a few valiant efforts during the Fifties and early Sixties. However, if there was ever a moment when Mercury stood out as intended, it was when the division announced the arrival of the Cougar for 1967.

Rather than simply giving the Mustang a facelift, Mercury designers reimagined the platform by creating a new foundation that was both longer and wider, coupled with a suspension tuned for a spirited, yet discerning buyer. Power was derived not from a six-cylinder, but rather a 200-hp 289-cu.in. V-8 issued as standard equipment. Stylists crafted a body tinged with European influences, with elegant, narrow wrap-around front and rear bumpers, finely contoured flanks, and larger sail panels emphasizing its coupe style. Cougar also got hidden headlamps and broad taillamps (with sequential turn signals) that reflected the design of the front end. Interiors were outfitted with vinyl bucket seats, plush carpeting, and a three-spoke “sport style” steering wheel. In effect, the Cougar was a harmonious blend of Thunderbird’s personal luxury accoutrements with Mustang’s agility and adaptable performance

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As one of several new “pony cars” to emerge on the market at that time, the Cougar was a resounding success in its first year, attracting 123,672 buyers. If that weren’t enough, 27,221 more sprung for the mid-year release of the modestly fancier Cougar XR-7. Among those 150,800-plus buyers was Brooks Baldwin, then a recent college graduate who was living with her three girlfriends in Indianapolis, Indiana.“As we were graduating, the other girls purchased Mustangs. However, my father, Tom, was a salesman at C.R. Barkman Lincoln-Mercury, which was in nearby Rochester, so naturally I ended up buying a new Cougar instead. It was painted Lime Frost and had a black vinyl top, with a black interior, and my boyfriend Bill Thompson and I enjoyed driving around the area. It was also a perfect car for my commute,” Brooks remembers.

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Posted in 1952, mercury

Pick of the Day: 1952 Mercury Monterey convertible in brilliant stock condition – Bob Golfen @ClassicCars.com

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The Mercury was completely redesigned for 1952, along with other Ford vehicles, with the brand moving away from the rounded form of previous years, which was much-beloved by lead-sled custom builders.

The new look was taller and squarer, and more in line with modern taste as the chrome-bedecked cars of the ‘50s got under way.  The Monterey became its own top-drawer model, with premium trim and features.

The Pick of the Day is a highly attractive 1952 Mercury Monterey convertible in red with a black-and-red interior, powered by the correct 255cid, 125-horsepower flathead V8 linked with a 3-speed manual transmission and overdrive.

The Mercury has had “limited ownership” during the past 35 years, according to the Canton, Ohio, dealer advertising the convertible on ClassicCars.com.  Presumably, that means it’s been in the hands of just a few people during that time

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Posted in 1939, IronTrap Garage, mercury, Mercury Flathead V8, YouTube

Rust Free 1939 Mercury Coupe Hidden Away The Jersey Shore For 50 YEARS – Irontrap Garage @YouTube

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Back in 2019 we pulled out a 1939 Mercury Coupe that had been sitting in a swap for 50 or more years. Since we brought the “Swamp Merc” home Matt has been dreading starting such a labor intensive project. Thankfully we recently received an email from a viewer Padraic about his 1939 Mercury Coupe. His grandfather purchased the car around 1969 and after his passing the car was passed down to him. Padraic now lives across the country and has not driven the car since the 90s. Join us as we pull out of the cleanest original 1939 Mercury Coupes we have ever seen.
Posted in 1946, 1948, Hemmings, Matt Litwin, mercury, WW II

These prewar-to-postwar carryovers are elegant and relatively rare – Matt Litwin @Hemmings

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When U.S. automobile production resumed after World War II, eager buyers scooped up warmed-over prewar models while advertising agencies cleverly avoided the phrase, “all new.”

Take Mercury, for instance. The division’s pitch for 1946 was “Step out with Mercury.” It was simple enough, and the mid-priced branch of Ford Motor Company promptly sold 86,603 cars. A year later, “More of everything you want” became the company’s slogan. Sure, the instrument panel dials had been updated, interior hardware was now finished in chrome (as was the grille surround), hub caps had been revised, and there was a new nameplate on the hood, but there was nothing “more” to Mercury. With little effort at the factory and the swipe of an artist’s brush, another 86,383 units were built during the model year.

By then, Mercury’s boardroom was aware that its vastly redesigned cars would be ready for production in late summer 1948. Thus, the ’48 Mercurys, like this Model 76 Club Convertible, entered showrooms with little fanfare.

The Club Convertible was now one of four body styles offered by Mercury, the others being a two-door Sedan Coupe, four-door Town Sedan, and a Station Wagon. In a calculated move, the exceptionally poor-selling two-door Coupe had been dropped in anticipation of the forthcoming redesign. Not unexpectedly, each retained the same grille design from the previous year, topped by running lamps flanking the pronounced hood. Front and rear fender trim was identical to that used a year prior, and a split windshield remained. The Club Convertible’s top was available in either “natural” or black-tinted fabric.

The 1948 line of Mercurys continued to utilize the division’s 239.4-cu.in. flathead V-8 engine, which had been upgraded a year prior with the use of lightweight, four-ring aluminum pistons, and carried a factory rating of 100 hp. Likewise, a column-shifted three-speed manual transmission was standard equipment. A full set of 12-inch hydraulic drum brakes managed stopping force, while passenger comfort was handled by “slow-acting springs” and shocks

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Posted in Hot Cars, magazine, mercury

10 Sickest Mercury Cars Ever Made – Martin Peter @HotCars

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In the 1930s, Ford was getting slaughtered in the mid-priced market by the likes of Dodge and Oldsmobile. To save the company, Edsel Ford – the legendary Henry Ford’s son – established the Mercury brand in 1939, serving as a bridge between Ford and its Lincoln luxury division. The idea worked like a charm, as Mercury produced some of the most iconic American classic cars from the 50s to 70s era.

101969 Mercury Cougar Eliminator

Most people don’t include the Mercury Cougar in their list of the greatest classic muscle cars, but it fully deserves to be included. Introduced in 1967, the Cougar had everything muscle car fans love – a Mustang-based design, a mighty V8 under the hood, and fantastic driving dynamics. The Cougar was so good that it received the 1967 Motor Trend Car of the Year award.

Following the successful launch of the Cougar, Mercury introduced several trims, with the highest-performing one being the 1969 Eliminator. This car came with a 4.9-liter V8 – the same engine in the Mustang Boss 302 – producing 290 horsepower, making it a joy to drive.

9 1950 Mercury Coupe

The Mercury Eight is one of the first cars Mercury built in the early 40s. However, it wasn’t until 1950 that Mercury gave it the redesign that earned it a spot on this list. The 1950 Eight was based on the 1949 Ford, but had a distinctive design and a bigger Flathead V8 than the Ford.

Available as a sedan, coupe, convertible, or two-door station wagon, the Eight quickly became popular in hot rod circles and even had songs written about it. It’s also one of the most popular movie cars featured in James Dean’s 1955 film Rebel Without A Cause.

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Posted in Engine, Hagerty, mercury, Pontiac, Pontiac V8, V8

5 famous V-8s whose displacements stretched the truth – Diego Rosenberg @Hagerty

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We know that the 1960s were full of horsepower hijinks, but did you know that manufacturers sometimes fibbed about the size of their engines? Indeed, that burbling V-8 in your beloved classic may actually not measure up to its promised displacement. We rooted out five of the worst offenders.

Ford/Mercury 427

Available from mid-1963 to mid-1968, the 427 was Ford’s crowning achievement in the 1960s, carrying the torch during Ford’s “Total Performance” reign of global competition. However, to American enthusiasts, the 427 is best known for powering Fords and Mercurys to success on the drag strip and in NASCAR. The FE-series engine was introduced at the same time as Ford’s semi-fastback roofline for the Galaxie 500 and Galaxie 500/XL (as well as Mercury’s Marauder sub-series), and the silhouette’s aerodynamic advantages helped maximize the engine’s performance on the banked ovals. The street 427 was available with either a single or pair of four-barrel carburetors for 410 or 425 horsepower, respectively. Several thousand 427s were built through 1964, with popularity falling drastically in 1965, the last year of big Mercury; in its swan-song year of 1967, the 427 was installed in 89 full-size Fords.

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Posted in 1949, Custom, Hot Cars, magazine, mercury

This Classic 1949 Mercury Custom Is The Perfect Dose Of Nostalgia – Zeeshan Sayed

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We all love a bit of nostalgia, don’t we? Especially if it is a classic from the yesteryears. And every automobile lover has their own favorite classic car. Some adore the likes of Ferrari P4/5 for its rarity while others are admirers of the likes of GTO 250 purely because of the moolah they generate in today’s times.

Almost every big automobile company boasts a super-rich legacy in terms of classic cars. And so is the case with Ford. The American multinational automaker produced a bunch of timeless classics back in the day. And one of its classics was the Mercury Eight – a part of Ford’s Mercury brand that was established to bridge the price gap between Ford and Lincoln models. While the Mercury Eight enjoyed a successful 13-year reign, it is the 1949 Mercury Custom that gets us nostalgic.

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Posted in 1949, Hot Cars, magazine, mercury, Movie

Here’s What Happened To James Dean’s 1949 Mercury From Rebel Without A Cause – Arun Singh Pundir @HotCars

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Here’s more about the ’49 Mercury from Rebel Without A Cause and where it is now…

The Mercury Eight line was brought forth by Ford’s now-defunct Mercury division; however, the nameplate tasted sweet success between 1939 and 1951.  In 1955, the world mourned the death of the rising star James Dean in an automobile accident. Naturally, when the movie Rebel Without A Cause was released just a month after his demise, it became an instant hit. And James Dean was mourned even more after his acting skills made it apparent that he could have been the next big thing in Hollywood.

Everything Dean touched was gold at the time, so his 1949 Mercury from this very movie became a sensation as well, adopted by the hot-rodding generation with instant ease. Was the Mercury always destined to be a hot rodder hit or did the movie’s success further take it to great heights?

Since time cannot be turned back or altered, we can’t say. Perhaps it was a bit of both, further compounded by Dean’s untimely death. Either way, his 1949 Mercury became a huge hit and has carried on being a classic hot rodder to date.

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Posted in 1980's, Hemmings, mercury, Mercury Cougar XR-7

The foxy, boxy 1980-’82 Mercury Cougar was the last of a dying breed – Milton Stern @Hemmings

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After growing from a large pony to a nearly full-size thoroughbred in the 1970s and enjoying increasing success along the way, the time had come to downsize the cat. Yes, I mixed my metaphors.Already established as a near twin to the Ford Thunderbird since 1977, the direction of the next-generation Cougar was no real surprise, especially since, one year earlier, a Mustang-like Capri debuted in the segment originally occupied by the Cougar.

I already featured the Fox-platform Thunderbird, and somehow gave the impression that I wasn’t a fan. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Apparently, my attempt at an honest assessment of the aesthetics of the 1980-’82 Thunderbird struck some nerves, so let me try this again.

The “Foxy Cat” was a boxy cat, adopting the overly square lines that were evident in many cars introduced in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The Cougar XR-7 took a proud stance on a 108-inch wheelbase, which was 3 inches shorter than its original 1967 wheelbase.Had Ford chosen a more sporting style for the Thunderbird and Cougar XR-7, rather than sticking with the dated personal-luxury-car image that was a winner in the 1970s, the result may have been more graceful.

The new Cougar had all the requisite personal-luxury-car hallmarks: a padded vinyl roof, fixed rear quarter or opera windows (depending on optioned roof treatment), and a formal grille with an upright hood treatment. The look was completed with a vinyl wraparound strip that encircled the entire car in either black or a contrasting color, depending on exterior décor packages and body-color bumpers—which Ford loved keeping large.

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Posted in 1970's, 1974, 1976, Ford, Hemmings, mercury

How an EPA cheating fine kept Ford from selling its 1974-built Capri IIs until the 1976 model year – Mark J McCourt @Hemmings

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First-generation Capri, built in Germany for the American market and sold here in Lincoln-Mercury dealerships, had proven massively popular, and was still selling well in the spring of 1974, when its restyled, hatchback-equipped Capri II came online

It was during a recent conversation about Capri II values for a Hemmings Stock Exchange feature that Ford Capri racer, Capri Club North America founder, and proprietor of Capri parts specialist firm Team Blitz, Norm Murdock, told me the fascinating story as to why we sometimes see Capri IIs in the U.S. with build dates of 1974 and 1975, for a model whose first official year on our market was 1976.

As Norm explained, Ford of Germany actually built both generations of Capris at the same time in 1974, in the same plant. For virtually all markets outside of North America, 1973 had been the final model year of the first-generation car, with the exception of the racing homologation-special RS3100 that was sold in late 1973-early 1974; that was the only Mark I Capri available for purchase during the 1974 model year in the U.K./Europe. The vast majority of the 1974 Capris built were Capri IIs, and aside from that RS, all first-gen 1974 cars built that year were exclusively for our market.

During those years in North America, tightening Environmental Protection Agency and Department Of Transportation certification processes created emissions mandates that nearly all automakers were forced to meet by adapting exhaust gas recirculation and catalytic converter systems.”Ford, in 1973, had just been fined what was at the time, the most severe penalty by the EPA for shortcutting its emissions certifications, and had suffered a big civil settlement,

” Norm explains. “When the Capri II debuted in Europe, it was not ready for prime time in North America.”Our ‘official’ first model year for the Capri II in North America was 1976. But in my collection of Capris, I have a November of 1974-built car. They were building them for North America in 1974, but they were embargoed voluntarily by Ford, stored in gigantic holding lots until they were allowed to sell them: I assume they were kept in Detroit, and out in lots by the East Coast/West Coast shipyards.” [Note, the lead image does not show one of these lots, but is a European representative image of a Ford holding lot.]

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