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)
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 - seven generations (1952-1968)
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 Montclair (1955-1968)
The Mercury Montclair was a full-size automobile marque which was produced by Mercury from 1955 to 1957
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 Maurader (1963-2004)
The Mercury Marauder is an automobile nameplate that 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 19631/2 Mercury lineup, the Marauder name essentially designated a fastback roofline on Montereys
Mercury Marquis (1967-2011)
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 Montego - 1968-1976 and 2005-2007 as a rebadged Sable
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).
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)
The Ford Mondeo (Badged as the Mystique 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)
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
Mercury Muscle Cars
Mercury Cougar - Eight Generations from 1967 to 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 (4.7 liter) two-barrel V8 to the 335 hp 390 cu in (6.4 liter) 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 (6.4 liter) V8, along with performance handling package.
Mercury Cougar - generation one (1967-1970)
1967 Mercury Cougar
1968 Mercury Cougar
1969 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"
1972 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)
1975 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
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
1981 Mercury Cougar LS Sedan
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
1985 Mercury Cougar XR7
1987 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)
1991 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)
1990 Mercury Cougar
2000 Mercury Cougar
2002 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.
Mercury Zephyr (1978-1983)
1978 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
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 Comet (1960-1977)
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 (1970-1974)
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 1971–74 model Capri and 1976–77 Capri II were imports from Ford of Europe in Germany. They didn't feature any marque badging and each was essentially a Capri. The 1979–86 Capri was a re-styled Ford Mustang, created in the USA, and the last 1991–94 model was a convertible manufactured by Ford Australia.
Mercury Monarch (1975-1980)
1975 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 1960–1965 Ford Falcon platform architecture.
Mercury Topaz (1984-1994)
1984 Mercury Topaz
1993 Mercury Topaz GS Coupe
The Ford Tempo and its twin Mercury Topaz, 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
The Bobcat was a rebadged variation of the 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.
Mercury Tracer (1988-1999)
The Mercury Tracer is an automobile that was 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.
Mercury Woodies (1941-1951)
1941 Mercury Woodie
1942 Mercury Woodie
1948 Mercury Woodie
1949 Mercury Woodie
1950 Mercury Woody
1951 Mercury Woody
1952 Mercury Woody
1955 Mercury Monterey Woodie
1959 Mercury Colony Park Station Wagon
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.
Mercury M Series Pickups (1946-1968) Canada Only
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)
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
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 Villager (1993-2002)
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
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