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MERCURY

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Mercury was an automobile marque of the Ford Motor Company launched in 1938 by Edsel Ford, son of Henry Ford, to market entry-level luxury cars slotted between Ford-branded regular models and Lincoln-branded luxury vehicles, similar to General MotorsBuick (and former Oldsmobile) brand, and Chrysler's namesakebrand. From 1945 to 2011, it was the Mercury half of the Lincoln - Mercury division of Ford (the Edsel brand was included in that division for the 1958-1960 model years). Using badge engineering, the majority of Mercury models were based on Ford platforms....

The name "Mercury" is derived from the messenger of the gods of Roman mythology, and during its early years, the Mercury brand was known for performance, which was briefly revived in 2003 with the Mercury Marauder. The brand was sold in the United StatesMexicoPuerto RicoU.S. Virgin Islands, and the Middle East. In 1999, the Mercury brand was dropped in Canada, although the Grand Marquis was still marketed there wearing a Mercury badge through 2007.

The Mercury brand was phased out in 2011, as Ford Motor Company refocused its marketing and engineering efforts on the Ford and Lincoln brands. Production of Mercury vehicles ceased in the fourth quarter of 2010.[1][2] The final Mercury automobile, a Grand Marquis, rolled off the assembly line on January 4, 2011.[3]

History

Mercury Town Sedan 1947

In 1937, Edsel Ford started a new company, more luxurious version of his company's mainline car, intended to bridge the enormous price gap between the highest trimmed Ford and the base Lincoln. The designs of the new car were done by E.T. 'Bob' Gregorie. There was debate within the company if this new intermediate car should be a new Ford model or spun-off into a new marque. Over 100 different model and marque names were considered before "Mercury" was finally selected.[4][5]

The 1939 Mercury 8 began production in 1938, with a 239 cu. in. 95 horsepower (71 kW; 96 PS) flathead V8 engine. Over 65,800 were sold the first year, at a price of $916 (approximately $14,000 in 2010 dollars).[6][7] It was an all new car, sharing no body panels with either Ford or Lincoln. Its body was six inches wider than Ford and rode on a 116.0 inches (2,950 mm) wheelbase, four inches longer than Ford.

From the very beginning, Mercury was a division that seemed to have a brand identity that was constantly in the process of finding its place in the North American automotive market. Sometimes, Mercury was presented as a performance division of more mainstay Ford products, while at other times, it was meant to match sales with Detroit crosstown rivals Buick, Oldsmobile and Chrysler during the 1950s through 1980s. Many times, Mercury models shared platforms with Ford products, such as the Mercury Cougar (shared with the Ford MustangThunderbird, and Elite), the Mercury Bobcat (shared with the Ford Pinto), or the Mercury Comet (shared with the Ford FalconFairlane, and Maverick).


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