Tag: mercury

Survivor 1969 Mercury Montego Lovingly Maintained – Matt Litwin @Hemmings

Survivor 1969 Mercury Montego Lovingly Maintained – Matt Litwin @Hemmings

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Remember when Mercury tried to sell the Milan? You know, the division’s entry-level intermediate sedan named after the Italian city? Unveiled in 2005, it was available as an ’06 model later in the year. Unfortunately, the only memorable aspect was Jill Wagner leaning against what was basically a retrimmed Ford Fusion, fitted with plusher accoutrements, stating “You’ve gotta put Mercury on your list.” Mercury sold 166,126 Milans through 2011 (including a scant 2,884 Hybrid versions against a projected 25,000 units annually), as compared to 572,866 Fusions during that period. This highlights a conundrum FoMoCo’s mid-priced division had always seemed to face despite their best efforts.

Case in point is the 1969 Mercury Montego two-door hardtop gracing these pages. The intermediate model entered its second year of production on the heels of racing success, courtesy of Cale Yarborough, who drove his newly minted, Wood Brothers’ prepared, Montego-based Cyclone fastback into the 1968 Daytona 500 winner’s circle in fine fashion. Despite the out-of-the-gate win against the Mopar juggernaut, and another six wins on the NASCAR circuit alone, it was Mercury’s sibling—Torino — that stole the show, both on the track and in the showroom. And not by a slim margin: 172,083 Torino-badged units sold against Mercury’s 114,893.

There certainly wasn’t a lack of sales effort on Mercury’s part. As had been the case a year prior, Mercury offered the 1969 Montego line in four series: the base single-model Comet Sports Coupe (which had already made the transition from its compact origins to the intermediate platform), Montego, upscale Montego MX, and top trim level and rather muscular Cyclone, all of which shared the same basic 116-inch wheelbase unit-body chassis as its Ford equivalents. Similarly, standard components (on most models) included a new 155-hp, 250-cu.in. six-cylinder engine paired with a three-speed manual transmission, which delivered power to a corporate 8-inch differential.

The Montego’s 220-hp, 302-cu.in. engine was a venerable two-barrel economy V-8 that has managed all 65,140 miles showing on the odometer. Owner Brad reports he’s yet to change the spark plugs.

Naturally, Mercury’s intermediate offered cozier accommodations and more sound dampening within the cabin, bolstered by a slightly longer list of standard comfort and convenience equipment. Similarly, exteriors received different trim—obvious among them, the grille and tail panels—but it didn’t stop there. The fenders, quarter panels, and hood differed from those worn by its corporate siblings.

As was typical of Dearborn, options were plentiful, beginning with a more powerful, yet economical, two-barrel equipped 302-cu.in. V-8 rated for 220 hp. A two- and four-barrel 351 was also available, as was a four-barrel 390 and, for the gearhead, a 428 Cobra Jet. A four-speed manual and Select-Shift automatic were also on the list. Axle upgrades, front disc brakes, and a host of power assisted equipment and accessories were not excluded, either—it all boiled down to how much customers were willing to spend.

While the Montego was comparable to Pontiac’s Tempest Custom S and Dodge’s Coronet 440, five decades later it’s the Torino that everyone remembers.

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A Short History of the Mercury Brand @FordMotorCompany

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NAMED FROM ROMAN MYTHOLOGY AND POPULAR FOR OVER 70 YEARS

In the 1930s, Ford designers began work on a vehicle that would have more features and styling than was offered on any other current Ford product. As the vehicle neared completion in 1938, Edsel Ford and Ford Sales Manager Jack Davis decided to launch an all-new brand for the premium range to set it apart from the mainstream Ford Blue Oval products and Lincoln luxury cars. And, with that, Mercury was born.

The vehicles from Mercury would compete with mid-level offerings from GM, Dodge and Chrysler’s DeSoto, but would slot in just below the Cadillac lineup. Mercury filled a niche between our deluxe Ford V-8 and the Lincoln Zephyr V-12.

Henry Ford’s son, Edsel, chose the name for this new lineup. Mercury, the winged god of commerce in Roman mythology, symbolizes dependability, speed, skill, and eloquence. Ford’s vision for the Mercury brand included improved power, ride, handling, stopping distance, internal noise, and enhanced styling.

The first model, the 1939 Mercury 8, sold for $916 and had a 95-horsepower V-8 engine. More than 65,000 were built the first year. The offerings included a two- and four-door sedan, a sports convertible, and a town sedan. Just two short years after Mercury debuted, America entered World War II and production was halted. When the war ended in 1945, Mercury was coupled with Lincoln, and the Lincoln-Mercury Division was born.

In 1949, Mercury introduced the first of its “new look” integrated bodies, which became a favorite of the hot-rod generation. Movie buffs saw James Dean’s customized version of the ’49 Mercury Series 9CM when he drove a de-chromed version of the car in the 1955 movie classic Rebel Without a Cause.

The 1950s featured even more modern styling and innovations such as the industry first fixed sunroof/moonroof on the 1954 Mercury Sun Valley, with a transparent Plexiglas top. In 1957, Mercurys grew wider, longer, lower, and more powerful with what was called “Dream Car Design.” Mercury had entered its heyday as a premium brand with models like the Montclair, Monterey and Turnpike Cruiser.

During the Ford Division’s 1960s “Total Performance” era, Mercury added performance and speed with vehicles such as the S-55 and Marauder, which found some success in racing. In 1967, the Cougar was introduced, which was Mercury’s version of the Ford Mustang. The 1970s saw the introduction of the Grand Marquis, Mercury’s best-selling nameplate. Mercury sales peaked in 1978 at an all-time high of 580,000.

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Source Ford Motor Company

1950 Mercury Eight Convertible Flaunts Bored and Stroked Flathead V8, Impeccable Looks –  Aurel Niculescu – @autoevolution

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The Mercury Eight series holds the uncanny honor of being the debut line for the upscale Ford division. It was manufactured between 1939 and 1959 over a total of three generations and sat in between the Ford Deluxe (Custom) and Lincoln.

As such, it was produced both before – when it shared its body with the sibling Ford models and after World War II – when it became the first apparition of the new Lincoln-Mercury Division, thus sharing more traits with Lincoln from then on. As such, it is not just a car but also a statement of history.

Anyway, now is your chance to grab hold of it because New York-based Motorcar Classics says it has a classy 1950 Mercury Eight Convertible for sale, with low mileage and a potential craving for best-in-show accolades. Sitting proudly in the dealership’s inventory in classy dark green over tan and dark green attire, the two-door drop-top “has been lovingly refurbished by a late owner.”

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Taking The 1939 Mercury “Jersey Devil” For Its First Test Drive!!! – Irontrap Garage

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The “Jersey Devil” has a great running flathead, and a brand new dual exhaust, it’s time to refresh the brakes and take it for a spin! Steve works on going through the braking system that was actually recently replaced before the car sat. New wheel cylinders, a master cylinder and some rubber hoses and the braking system is good as new. Matt works on installing some new wide whites, and killer single bar flipper caps. Once back on the ground, Matt and Steve take it around the block for its maiden voyage!! A few more small projects to wrap up and we have ourselves a new daily driver!!

Which $20,000-or-Less Malaise-Era Four-Door Would You Choose for Your Dream Garage? – Matt Litwin @Hemmings

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Like a kid in a candy store, we’re zipping our way around a vast, virtual car market that is the Hemmings Classifieds. In our latest edition of This or That, we’re circling around to a specific asking price point between $10,000 and $20,000, this time rounding up four-door hardtops and sedans from the 1970s that are currently available in the Hemmings classifieds. We’ve mentioned this plenty of times before, but for those new to this game, the good news about a $20k cap is that it offers options in good condition (even in our inflated market). So, given the money and space, which one would you take home?

1973 OLDSMOBILE NINETY-EIGHT LUXURY SEDAN

With exception of the Toronado, Oldsmobile’s Ninety-Eight (or, 98) continued its reign as the division’s top-of-the-line series for 1973, now offered in five body styles, including this four-door Ninety-Eight Luxury Sedan. Bested in fine accoutrements by only the Ninety-Eight Regency, the hardtop’s lengthy listed of standard features included – but were not limited to – a 275-hp 455-cu.in. engine, Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission, power steering, power front disc brakes, power windows, bench seats finished in “luxurious Bravo cloth with Morocceen trim” upholstery, windshield antenna, and more, all strapped to a 127-inch wheelbase chassis that cost $5,234 (or $34,335 in today’s currency). Olds built 21,896 four-door Luxury Sedans that year, making it the second most popular car within the Ninety-Eight series. From the seller’s description:

Talk about Old School Cool, once you see it, you won’t be able to walk away. Often turned into low-riders, or used for cruising or hopping, this car has the potential for it all. However, it’s perfect as is… a car that your Father drove and swore it was the best car ever. Finished in Honey Beige with Black 60/40 cloth upholstery, the looks are sure to get the town talking. Drive this one home now, it’s ready to go, in close to perfect condition. Solid body, chassis and drive train. Everything works and was a central part of an estate collection. Do you want to win car show trophies or just take the family out for an ice cream? Pile em’ and go. This car is an amazing drive that you don’t want to miss out on.

Price$18,500LocationCampbellsville, KYAvailability Available

1974 CHRYSLER NEW YORKER BROUGHAM SEDAN

Like the Olds Ninety-Eight, Chrysler’s New Yorker Brougham was bested only by the Imperial in terms of divisional luxury hierarchy by the time our featured 1974 four-door Brougham sedan was sold to its first owner. The Brougham’s mechanical DNA was identical to that of its base New Yorker sibling, meaning it was fitted with a 230-hp 440-cu.in. engine, TorqueFlite automatic transmission, torsion bar front suspension, power disc brakes, power steering, and 15-inch wheels, yet the Brougham also benefitted from the installation of power windows, plusher 50/50 front bench seat with additional arm rests, upscale trim, and a few other bits, all for a standard base price of $6,479 (or $39,099 in today’s currency). While pillared four-door sedans sold exceptionally well in the entry-level Newport and Newport Custom series, the pillared four-door New Yorker Brougham flopped: just 4,533 examples were built. From the seller’s description:

This highly desirable top of the line 1974 Chrysler New Yorker Brougham has only 50,500 miles! Highly optioned with the iconic big-block 440 four-barrel V-8, three-speed 727 TorqueFlite automatic, power steering, power disc brakes, working air conditioning, power windows, locks, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, vinyl top, factory AM/FM stereo, 50/50 power bench seat with dual armrests, etc. The body’s finished in Lucerne Blue Iridium, and is super straight rust free both top and bottom. All lights are in working order, the trunk trunk and engine compartment look like new. This car drives as good as it looks, and is guaranteed to draw attention. The 1974 models were the last full-size models Chrysler designed from the ground up, and one of the last to receive the big dog 440 V-8. Here’s your chance to own one at a very affordable price!

Price$12,950LocationMaple Lake, MNAvailability Available

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Pick of the Day: 1947 Mercury 114x, a Canadian model in preserved condition – Bob Golfen @ClassicCars.com

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The Mercury still wears its original coat of factory paint, the seller says

Canadian snowbirds are plentiful in Arizona this time of year, but this rare and unusual Mercury 2-door sedan seems to have roosted in the dry, warm climate permanently, judging by its remarkably original survivor condition.

The Pick of the Day is a 1947 Mercury 114x, which still wears its original 74-year-old paint and shows just 48,000 miles on its odometer, according to the Tucson, Arizona, dealer advertising the car on Classiccars.com.

The Mercury 114 was built by Ford of Canada for the home market as a more-affordable model, compared with the slightly bigger Mercury 118, the numbers noting the 114-inch and 118-inch wheelbases.  The 114 was basically a rebadged and dressed-up Ford, although with a totally different grille treatment. 

This sedan coupe, as Mercury called the 2-door configuration, is a rarely seen upmarket Super Deluxe version, designated by the x in its numeric name.  It is therefore wearing some nice chrome accents and powered by Ford’s famous flathead V8, which in this model produces somewhere between 93 and 100 horsepower, the dealer says in the ad

Only a tiny percentage of the 10,393 Mercury 114s built for 1947 were Super Deluxe 114x models.

“The 1947 Mercury 114x offered here is one of only 34 produced for US and Canada, as noted in Jerry Heasley’s ‘The production figure book for U.S. cars’,” the seller says. “It remains largely original with only 48,000 original miles since new.

“The car is completely rust free and retains all of its original panels and floors. The paint is largely original and still shines very nice. It has multiple chips, dings, and scrapes from over 70 years of service. Both front fenders have had touch ups, but I cannot find anywhere else that has had paint work on the car.

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1947 Mercury Eight Is Flathead V8 Greatness With Rare Paperwork – Daniel Patrascu @Autoevolution

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Although probably not as many as rival GM, carmaker Ford has its share of skeletons in the closet. One of them is Mercury, a brand that has been around for about seven decades before being sacrificed to the altar of money-saving

During its time on the market, Mercury was responsible for making vehicles that, in some cases, are still sought after by collectors today. One such vehicle is the iconic Eight, a mid-range machine that came with that irreplaceable feel of classic design, seen on the cars made in the 1940s and 1950s.

The Eight was one of the brand’s heavy hitters and was made in a variety of body styles and rather large numbers. It’s unclear how many of them survive to this day, but if you’re lucky enough to stumble upon one in great condition, expect to pay a fortune for the privilege of owning it.

Lucky or not, we found one, sitting on the lot of cars of a dealer called MaxMotive. It’s a 1947 example, meaning a second generation, and it’s offered, in exchange for $60,750, complete with a very rare and collectible Operator’s Manual.

The car is a convertible, sporting a power-operated burgundy canvas that falls over a gray body and burgundy leather interior with a woodgrain dash.

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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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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.

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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