Welcome to the Mercury Edition of this ongoing series exploring low volume production cars.
As usual, we are looking at those models built between 1946 and 1995 having production volumes of less than 1,000. Similar to Ford, Mercury reports sales by body – there is no breaking it down by engine like Chevrolet.
In a fashion that perhaps mimics the peaks and valleys of Mercury itself, many years are not represented while there are multiple occasions of several models appearing during one, single model year.
This list is perhaps one of the most varied so far, so let’s take a look.
1946 Sportsman convertible
The Sportsman encountered the same challenges realized by the other wood-bodied cars we’ve seen throughout this series. The cost of $2,209 was nearly $500 higher than the steel-bodied Mercury convertible that was also available, so its audience was automatically truncated.
Wood was either maple or yellow birch with mahogany inserts. With the wood structural members of the car, fitting standard rear fenders was problematic. The rear fenders used on the Sportsman were 1941 Ford sedan delivery fenders.
Also, due to parts shortages and production issues, the 1946 Mercury wasn’t introduced until February 6, 1946. While the 1946 model was extended until December 31, the audience for a wood-bodied convertible in a car-starved market simply wasn’t there.
1947 two-door sedan
Not unlike Mercury during much of its existence, this one is hard to explain. Using three different resources, all agree there were a mere 34 two-door sedans sold, down from 13,108 the year before.
Naturally, there isn’t a picture of one in the 1947 Mercury brochure, so here’s the 1946 version.
Where these sources don’t agree is on passenger capacity; one says it was a six-passenger, another says five, and a third is noncommittal. All agree its base price of $1,592 was the lowest of any Mercury that year and higher than any Ford, save wagons and convertibles.
What is interesting, and somewhat damning of this body style, is Mercury sold 34 bare chassis the following year, in 1948.
1958: Montclair convertible
As we are about to discover, 1958 was a really craptastic year for the Mercury brand as sales were roughly 40% of 1957’s. Part of the blame can be directed toward the new Edsel, a car introduced as Mercury was moved upmarket.
The Montclair was second highest in the Mercury pecking order, with Medalist and Monterey beneath it and Park Lane above it. The Montclair was powered by a standard 383 cubic inch (6.3 liter) V8.
1958 Park Lane convertible
Intended as competition to the Buick Roadmaster, the Park Lane did differentiate itself from the rest of the Mercury line by having a 125″ wheelbase, a three inch increase over the others.
At $4,118 it was $350 more expensive than the next cheapest Mercury and $600 more than the Montclair convertible seen above. Yet the extra money did buy more than just a stretched wheelbase as it also brought forth the 430 cubic inch (7.0 liter) Lincoln V8 as motivation.
1958 Voyager two-door wagon
All the Mercury wagons were based on the Montclair. Part of the reason for the low sales volume was this wagon was a two-door, one of two available, combined with the lack of success for the model year. There was also some dilution as Mercury was fielding eight wagons: the two-door Voyager and Commuter, the four-door Commuter in six- and nine-passenger versions, the Colony Park, and the four-door Voyager.
Incidentally, an entire one percent of all Mercurys came equipped with a three-speed and overdrive in 1958.
1961 Commuter wagon, nine passenger
While 1958 had been crummy, it was a different form of crummy for 1961. The only real sunshine in Mercury showrooms was the compact Comet that was streaking out the door at a brisker pace than any of the full-size cars.
Perhaps the nine passenger Commuter is an anomaly; the six passenger version sold nearly 9,000 copies. Like the rest of the full-size Mercury line in 1961 and 1962, one could find a 223 cubic inch (3.7 liter) straight-six under the hood of a Mercury Commuter wagon. These were the only two years in which three-fourths of a traditionally configured Mercury engine could be found under the hood.
1963 Comet two-door wagon
Production: 623 (two-door base); 272 (Custom)
Comets were selling quite briskly for 1963, but these two weren’t. At $300 more than their respective four-door counterparts, the extra price for diminished access likely didn’t sit well with prospective buyers. Also, two-door wagons were rapidly declining in popularity; after 1965 no two-door wagons were manufactured by Ford Motor Company (at least in North America) until the Pinto.
There was no Comet two-door wagon offered for 1964.
1966 S-55 convertible
With the advent of the Mustang, GTO, and other mid-sized sporty cars, any pretense of sportiness was evaporating from the full-sized cars. This was also a year after Ford introduced the LTD, the car that is credited for starting the Great Brougham Epoch.
For all intents and purposes, the S-55 was singing a nice song but in the wrong key. Coupe sales of the S-55 were over 2,900 but convertibles had never been as popular.
1967 Comet Cyclone convertible
Production: 431 (convertible coupe); 378 (GT convertible coupe)
Sharing the 116″ wheelbase of the Fairline 500 XL, the Comet Cyclone was minimally more than a badge job. As usual, buyers flocked to the Ford as the Fairlane GT convertible was $230 less than a Cyclone GT convertible, although this differential was a mere $47 in non-GT trim.
Simply put, Ford outsold Mercury by considerable margins and the Mercury convertible had sales volumes of one-eighth to one-tenth that of the Comet Cyclone hardtops.
1967 Monterey S-55
Production: 570 (fastback coupe); 145 (convertible)
Consider this an extension of the 1966 S-55 seen above. For 1968, the S-55 would be a trim level on the Monterey and it would retire after that year.
1968 Cyclone GT hardtop
This boils down to a matter of body style preference. The Cyclone GT pictured is the fastback, which sold 6,100 each in GT and non-GT trim.
The Cyclone GT hardtop has the non-fastback body of this 1969 Montego but having the wheels, tape stripes, and other adornment seen in the previous picture. The non-GT hardtop coupe almost earned an inclusion here, selling 1,034 units.
Finding one of these now would be quite a treat.
1970 Monterey convertible
Convertibles were simply not popular by 1970, especially full-sized convertibles. The higher trimmed 1970 Marquis only sold 1,233 examples.
To illustrate the generally weak sales of all convertibles, the highly popular Cougar sold only 2,300 convertibles for 1970 from a total production of around 72,000.
1970 Marquis six-passenger wagon
Sitting in a middle spot between the base level Monterey wagons and the top-tier Colony Park (seen here with faux wood siding), the yellow Marquis very much reflects how it sat in the background.
The nine-passenger Marquis wagon sold an additional 500 copies, but the Colony Park sold 19,000 examples between six- and nine-passenger versions. With there being a price premium of less than $100 to step up to the Colony Park from the Marquis, a far shorter step than moving from a Monterey to a Marquis, these sales numbers aren’t overly surprising.
However, without the Di-Noc, the Marquis does present a much cleaner appearance.
1971 Cyclone fastback coupe
Insurance premiums were skyrocketing on anything considered sporty. In turn, a person could obtain the same 351 (5.8 liter) V8 found in the Cyclone in a Montego while saving themselves a tidy amount in the process.
It should also be noted the 1971 Cyclone Spoiler, seen here in red, sold even fewer examples, at 353.
1974 Marquis hardtop sedan
While the picture is of a higher trimmed Marquis Brougham, it’s the four-door hardtop body that was sought for a picture.
The Arab Oil Embargo did these big Mercurys no favors, particularly as these came equipped with the buttery smooth 460 cubic inch (7.5 liter) V8. The four-door hardtop body style was simply losing ground; in the Marquis series the four-door sedan outsold the four-door hardtop by a nearly a factor of nine. On the Marquis Brougham, as shown, the four-door sedan outsold the hardtop by a factor of six.
However, the lack of a center door post in the four-door hardtop worked out well if putting actors in the car for a television series.
There is still more to come in this series, so stay tuned.
1974 Marquis hardtop sedan – I’m fascinated by these non Grand/non brougham Marquis. It seems like a muddled middle and I always wonder what the motivation was for someone to choose one of the lower trimmed Mercurys over an LTD if there were dealers in both nearby.
I guess it was an era of labels.
People would rather their neighbors see a Mercury badge in the driveway than a Ford badge.
“Ooh, look. The Smiths went to a Mercury dealer instead of a Ford dealer! Their next car will probably be a Lincoln.”
I may have some insight. I have heard that Ford and Mercury dealers liked to receive relatively low-optioned and base -model cars for stock because they were easier to sell, especially to price -sensitive buyers. Well-optioned cars tended to be ordered, and not stocked. This means there were plenty of basic Mercurys pushed onto the market on price -alone, allowing Lincoln/Mercury dealers to compete more directly with Ford dealers.
Possibly this was more prevalent in Canada, where low-option cars were more popular than in the US.
Coincidentally, I own a base -model Marquis sedans, albeit a ’77 model.
It has few options, and no extra trim and no vinyl roof, so the panels the Marquis shared with the LTD (doors, front fenders and hood) really show themselves. However, even a base model Marquis would provide good value for money. It has a well-trimmed interior (relative to a basic Ford) and the Marquis front end arrangement lends a somewhat more elegant touch, for only a modest price premium over a basic LTD.
Sort of like Catalina, LeSabre, and Newport. “A mid-lux car for low price”.
The first thing I thought of was that Ford was almost in Chryslers muddled situation at that point.
Dodge Monaco, Chrysler Newport, or Plymouth Gran Fury?
Tomato, tomata, potato, potata – Let’s call the whole thing off!
I like the 1970 Marquis wagon with di-noc and the ’74 Marquis Brougham 4-dr Hardtop. These big Mercurys were edging more towards Lincoln territory and were much nicer than the comparable Ford LTD.
No mention of the ultra-rare Canada-only Marquis LTS? It was the sibling to the better-known LTD LX.
Very cool research! I am Canadian, and I was not aware of this Canadian-only model of Mercury. I wonder if the 1984 Mercury Lynx LTS 5-door hatchback was also Canada-only…..?
The Marquis had much more attractive taillights to me, so the LTS version of it I always put into my weird dream car garage.
Someday soon (I hope) I will start the restoration of my LTS, which BTW is probably the only one in the US 🙂 . And in case you were wondering per Kevin Marti only 134 LTS’s were built.
You are incorrect when stating “Also, two-door wagons were rapidly declining in popularity; in fact, these were the last two-door wagons manufactured by Ford Motor Company (at least in North America) until the Pinto.”
Ford made 1964 and 1965 Falcon two door wagons, then dropped the body style until the Pinto.
True, and updated.
As for the 2-door Comet wagons… I can’t come up with any valid reason they would be priced higher than a 4-door. None whatsoever. (edit: the 2-door Falcon wagons were priced $43 *below* the comparable 4-doors.)
But.. it’s largely the same as a Falcon 2-door wagon (and Falcon Sedan Delivery) so it probably cost very little to add it to the Comet lineup.
Semi-related note: I was a child of the 60s, and mother exclusively drove 2-door cars. In those days, before child-proof rear door latches existed, the 2-door was considered safer because it removed the possibility of the rear door being opened by a child while in motion, and falling out.
Maybe the Comet 2-door was supposed to be the wagon of choice for the upscale suburban mom.
It defies logic, so I checked my Encyclopedia, which agrees with my logic. It shows the following prices for ’63 Comet wagons:
Wagon 2 door: $2440
Wagon 4 door: $2483
Wagon 2 door deluxe: $2527
Wagon 4 door deluxe: $2570
Wagon 4 door Villager: $2754
A $300 price premium for any version would have been big back then, and that’s what the woodie Villager commanded. There must have been a typo in Jason’s source.
There have some other items I’ve seen that have made me wonder about typos and/or transposed numbers. It makes me wonder if part of the reason for the new editions, other than updating for subsequent years, was to iron out the potential errors of previous editions.
So the 2-doors ARE $43 less than the 4-doors, just like Falcon. Makes a lot more sense now!
Perhaps $300 more than their four door “sedan” counterparts.
Never have seen a “notchback” 1968-69 Cyclone hardtop. So rare, even on the internet can’t find pics.
Only have seen same body Torino GT, and was pleasantly surprised. Assumed these ‘muscle car’ trims were only fastbacks.
Same here. I’ve never heard of a notch Cyclone.
Coincidentally, my first car was the notch Torino GT…
Tell me about it, I was ecstatic when I found this one
And this one
Except for the original Cougar and McGarrett Park Lane I really can’t see much that Mercury stood for – beyond being a pricier, more chrome-laden and less tasteful Ford.
Pontiac is a brand that is missed, Mercury, not really.
Pontiac is up tomorrow and its an entirely different animal from what has been covered so far.
Collectible Automobile did a short article on the 1968-69 Comet, which was just a base model below the Montego, and only a 2 door coupe. Not sure of the sales #’s, but kind of rare. [Likely over 1000]
That’s a similar strategy to what Ford did with the Falcon, making it a strippo Torino in 1970.
That pic of McGarrett and Danno in the black Marquis exemplifies the ungainly land barge those seventies’ Mercurys had become. It might not have been so bad in a lighter color but in black, those guys look like they’re either in the mob or on their way to a funeral.
I believe Jack Lord hated the bloat Merc and wanted to keep the Park Lane but Mercury wanted to showcase its latest ware.
Still, Lord kept that Park Lane many years beyond what would be considered normal practice.
The story is here:
Either one struck me as a wildly poor choice for use on a tropical island, especially in triple black with vinyl seats.
Jack Lord was so cool that he didn’t even get hot in a triple black car in Hawaii.
No vinyl in a Park Lane Brougham, panty cloth all the way.
Knowing the guy who wrote the piece you linked, he’s not above doing something satirical. Take that article with a grain of salt.
Land barge? Um, no. It’s called “presence”, and both Steve McGarrett and that Marquis Brougham had it in spades.
Amen. Mercury lost me from ’71 onward.
The end of American elegance just before the shaming began.
Another fascinating article – I didn’t realize there were so many low-production Mercurys. Here’s a picture of the 1967 S-55 with its side stripe and “spinner” hubcaps. Was there really a 1968 S-55 trim package? I can’t find any mention of it.
According to what I found (buried in other information) there was, but it was within the Monterey series (or one of the models) and the take rate was awful. Since it was a trim level only, and not a unique model, I didn’t include it.
No S55 in ’68, in fact no bucket seats of any kind were offered. They made a return for 2 years in 69-70 Marauder, then were gone for good, except for the 2000s Marauder.
As an aside, a total of 3,497 Montclair two-door hardtops were made for 1968 according to the “American Cars, 1960–1972” book. These were mostly in the fastback style shared with Ford. However, late in the model year, some Montclairs were made using the more formal Marquis roofline, as seen in the accompanying picture. I can’t find a breakout of production, but the numbers made must be small.
I know it’s too new for this series, but I’d be curious to know how many Mercury Marauders–souped up Marquis’–were made just a few years ago. I know I can just Google it, but I think they’re so cool, and it was a case where I was GLAD it was a Mercury and really wanted one.
Not as rare as you’d think, 11,052 between 03 and 04, or roughly 6% of Grand Marquis production in the same time.
That Colony Park wagon looks just like the 69 I helped drive to LA in 1974.
Family friend Mrs M, her three kids and a cat. No speed limit in Montana, crossing the state at 90, effortlessly.
On the road to adulthood.
Got one to add. My dad bought a 68 a Meteor Le Moyne convertible. This was a Canada only top of the line offering with a 390 V8, bucket seats with console and pinstriping. It looked like a Merc from the outside but had a Ford dash. Beautiful Wellington blue outside matching interior. Supposedly 89 were built and was a one year only offering. Wish I still had it!
Speaking of Canadian Meteor, more rarer would be the Montcalm S33, counterpart of the Ford XL. http://www.oldcarbrochures.com/static/Canada/1970%20Mercury%20Meteor%20Brochure/1970%20Mercury%20Meteor-02.html
Also, Mercury had once trucks offered in Canada until 1968. From pick-up trucks to medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks. How many medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks badged Mercury was made? Here a photo, probably air brushed showing a cabover Mercury truck. http://oldcarbrochures.org/index.php/Canada/Ford-Canada/FMC-Trucks/1965-Ford-and-Mercury-HD-Trucks-Cdn/1965-Ford-and-Mercury-HD-Trucks-Cdn–04-05
A LeMoyne convert would be much rarer than an S33.
In fact, there was a bucket seat option in these that used the 1968 LTD Brougham trim. This means a Canadian Meteor version with no US Galaxie counterpart.
I’ve been waiting for his one…OK, so as a kid, I was a voracious reader of all automobile magazines, and I remember reading an old Motor Trend I found in which they documented very low versions of cars from the 70’s. I recollect one of them was some version of the 1974 Mercury Monterey Custom, of which like only a few were built. Anyone else remember or know of this, or did I just make that all up?!
Probably more than 1000, which Jason is using as a base line for these articles.
I remember that. 1974 Mercury Monterey Custom, 5 4 door hardtops built.
Book em Danno.
Unfortunately I’ve only watched Hawaii Five-O without sound. Back in engineering school one of the TVs in our lecture hall had Hawaii Five-O on during Electricity class, and since none of us could understand the Prof’s accent we turned the volume off and watched TV instead.
My sainted mother noticed back in the day that Hawaii Five-O had some -perhaps unintentional – hilarious moments. Our heroes, investigating a corrupt cryogenic clinic, burst in to arrest the bad guys: “Freeze!,” they yell. Ah, those were simpler, happier times.
I’ve never found the break down of the submodel numbers unfortunately but I suspect the 1992 Cougar XR7s may be extremely rare. All those sporty XR7s built between 1984 and 1992 are pretty rare but I never ever see 92s with the one year only 16″ turbine wheels.
My mom’s 1970 Mercury Monterey Custom Coupe (the car I learned to drive in) just barely missed this article, with 1,194 examples built. How many had the 429 four-barrel, like hers, though?
Oooo, I like!
Although the production quantities exceed the 1,000 unit standard, noteworthy also for their low sales are the ’59 Country Cruiser 2 door hardtop station wagon (1,051); the ’68 Park Lane convertible (1,112); and the ’71 Montego MX Brougham (1,156). The last example has to be one of the oddest Mercury anomalies: after years of Comet and Montego sedans, suddenly a four door hardtop appears for 1970 MY. Of course with no a huge ’70 sales, the second was the last year it was offered, the pillared hardtop sedan would be the only one in the new 1972 body.
There was a Marauder X-100. Maybe 1969? That has to be rare.
I owned a 68 Cyclone GT, I had no idea it was so rare. Mine was a light yellow with a black vinyl interior. It had a 302 with column shifted automatic transmission, power steering but 4 wheel, NON powered, drum brakes. Though, come to think of it, I haven’t seen another 68 like it, except in pictures. 69s were more popular.
I also find it odd that more folks didn’t really care to “pony up” the extra money in those years when a Mercury was substantially different from a Ford. Why didn’t more folks buy Mercury convertibles in the 50s and 60s? Or more Mercury wagons when they were available as “hardtops” and Fords were sedans?
Interesting 1968 parenthetical: Mercury putting out (surprisingly) big list of changes to standard/optional equipment since the model-year brochures were printed…..interesting:
That is interesting, and surprising: what did Mercury have against rear defoggers and back-seat shoulder belts?
Ford was crippled by a big strike in the autumn of ’67, It went on for almost 2 months. When production resumed, they had lost so much momentum that they had to cut corners to have a profitable year. That’s when you saw things like padded A-pillars and things go away. That was just one example of dozens of little brics and bracs that were omitted. Another example, early ’68 Galaxies with a 302 had a callout on the fender indicating so. Later ones did not.
It’s conceivable that they had a high number of Brougham roof stampings made before the strike. Knowing that this style was going away for ’69, they simply offered it on cheaper models to get rid of them.
This post-strike issue also manifested itself in engine cancellations. The 427
Hydraulic engine was originally slated to be offered in Galaxie, Fairlane/Torino, Mustang, Cougar and Montego/Cyclone. My take is that they had a short supply of these engines post strike, and decided to offer it in just one model, the Cougar GTE.
Also, early 1968 Mustang brochures mention a special 302 “High Performance” 306-HP engine, which of course, never saw the light of day.
As a brochure collector, I can tell you that Ford in 1968 had a lot of revised brochures because of that strike.
Thanks for all the backstory, roger628. For anyone else interested, here’s the (original) ’68 intermediate brochure at left, and “revised” on the right, with the 427 now absent:
Ah, that’s good to know. Thanks for the historical context.
The Marauder x-100 ‘s were not as rare as you might think. My Dad and I both had one and I remember researching it. I don’t remember the exact figure, but there were a few thousand made for both 69&70 so they definitely wouldn’t qualify for the under a thousand rule.
One question I have about these low-production models (not just Mercury)- weren’t some of them huge money pits? Sure, a lot of them were just mix and match option packages, but for the ones with unique stampings and such, it must have been a big loss. Maybe that’s why these days we don’t have ala carts ordering menus and tons of different body styles per model.
Comments on some of these:
1947 two-door sedan: In this era, two-door sedans and two-door pillared coupes, which had once been two very distinct body styles, were becoming more and more alike. It looks like Mercury decided it didn’t need both, and dropped the sedan. Why they did this 34 units into the 1947 model year, as opposed to at the start of it, I couldn’t tell you. That reference sources have price and weight data for the two-door sedan suggests that it was originally planned to be available, then pulled at the last second.
Various 1958 models: Over the previous couple of years, as Ford proceeded with plans to take Mercury upscale, the number of distinct Mercury models proliferated. Mercury went from offering one convertible to three, and added an unusual two-door hardtop wagon, at a time when most other brands were phasing out their two-door wagons. When sales crashed in ’58, three unpopular model/body style combinations fell under 1,000. Only one of the three would return for 1959. Models in their last year are a recurring theme on this list.
1961 Commuter nine-passenger wagon: This one looks fishy to me. Most other Mercury wagon data from this era is not broken down between six-passenger and nine-passenger versions.
1963 Comet two-door wagons: As noted in the article, the two-door wagon was dropped from the Comet lineup after this year, would disappear from the Falcon lineup two years later. and was on its way out across the industry in general.
1966-67 S-55: The S-55 was originally Mercury’s equivalent to the Galaxie 500XL, but it looks like the ’66 version was positioned as the equivalent to the Galaxie 500 7-Litre, with the 428 V8 standard. Ford doesn’t appear to have brought back the 7-Litre for ’67, but for some reason the S-55 returned.
1967 Cyclone convertibles: The Cyclone was not offered as a convertible after this year. The Cyclone was Mercury’s sporty/muscle car intermediate. Until reading this article, I don’t think I had realized how poor of a seller it was. It’s not like every variation of the Cyclone made this list, but that so many did should tell you something about the model’s relative sales level.
1968 Cyclone GT (notchback) hardtop: The 1968 Cyclone came in two trim levels, base and GT, and in two body styles, notchback and fastback. The fastback sold in far greater numbers than the notchback, especially in GT trim. And so the GT notchback finds itself on this list. The notchback was completely dropped from the Cyclone lineup after this year.
1970 Monterey convertible: This was the last year for full-size Mercury convertibles.
1970 Marquis (base) six-passenger wagon: This one is an anomaly. 1970 seems to be the only year in this era when Mercury provided separate breakouts for six- and nine-passenger wagons. If they had done so other years, the base Marquis wagon likely would have made multiple appearances on the list. Mercury had expanded its wagon lineup from two trim levels to three in 1969 by adding a new one in the middle, and this one was the new kid on the block.
1971 Cyclone (base) fastback and Spoiler: The 1971 Cyclone came in three trim levels, base, GT and Spoiler; all were fastback body styles. The GT was the only one of the three that sold well enough to stay off this list. The Cyclone was dropped after this year.
1974 (base) Marquis hardtop sedan: A perfect storm of multiple factors. First, in recent years Marquis sales had been trending heavily towards the more upscale Brougham trim level, leaving the base trim level with much lower sales. Second, the hardtop sedan body style was in severe decline, falling out of fashion with the public amid rumors that hardtops might be outlawed soon by new federal roof-crush standards. Put those two together, and the base Marquis four-door hardtop was probably the slowest-selling single full-size Mercury model. Then, the first energy crisis decimated full-size car sales for the 1974 model year. Ford Motor Company would drop all of its full-size four-door hardtops after ’74.
I had never noticed never ever seeing a picture of an early postwar Mercury 2 door sedan.
I also had no idea that the take rate was so low on the final 4 door hardtops.
Great Series, Jason. I’m really enjoying this one. I’ve related these two stories here before, so I’ll try to keep it short this time…
My great uncle had one of these Marquis, only I think his was a ’73. Now my teenage memories may be bit fuzzy, so I can’t recall now if his was one of these rare 4-door hardtops or a 2-door hardtop, or a even 4-door sedan, but what I remember was a car like this example that Yohai71 posted back in October, right down to the color. It’s the second picture down, but to save you the hassle of clicking and scrolling, I’ve re-posted Yohai’s image here below. I can’t tell if that’s a B-pillar, or a color keyed weather strip that rolls down with the window.
From what I’ve read here, most of you are not fans of the modern Hawaii Five-0, preferring your avatar’s original Hawaii Five-O better, but occasionally, Jack Lord’s Marquis shows up a ‘project car’ on which the modern McGarrett is working. The backstory is the car is his father’s car on the show. Nice article on the current owner and Jack Lord’s former stunt man here:
Starting in 1973 the sedan version of this car was called a “pillared hardtop” in FordSpeak. There was a thin exposed body-color center pillar but all glass was frameless. I think the pillared hardtop may have come out in 1971 on the higher level LTDs and all Marquis models (the actual sedan with framed door glass was only on Galaxie 500 and lower big Fords). I always thought that these gave you 95% of the good looks of a 4 door hardtop with the benefit of added rigidity. In the era of common air conditioning, nobody was driving these with all 4 windows down anyway, so it is not surprising that these crowded the genuine 4 door hardtop out of the lineup.
Thanks, JP. At the time, our family car (which became my first car) was a ’73 LTD in this same color combo, but it was a 2-door hardtop like the one pictured below. My great uncle always had to upstage my dad by buying the more upmarket car every time Dad bought a new car. I’ll have to ask my dad if Uncle Harold’s car was a 2-door or 4-door, but it was definitely a Marquis Brougham for sure.
I really miss hardtops. I’ve always liked that look sans B-pillar, but you’re right. With modern AC, or even automatic climate control, nobody rides with the windows down anymore. It was a nice day here in Maryland yesterday. I have a sunroof and two windows I can roll down in my 2016 Civic Coupe, and yet, on my ride home from work, I was all comfortable in the climate controlled interior. I only remembered that I wanted to drive home with the car all opened up when I was on short final approach to home. D’OH!
Actually the pillared hardtop debuted on the 1969 Marquis, and was a Merc exclusive thu ’70.
Ah-ha – – – I had never noticed this! The only 69-70 big Mercuries I had ever spent any (brief) time around were either a 4 door hardtop or the regular Monterey sedan. As I looked it up, I was also reminded that Lincoln Continental offered this pillared hardtop as its sole sedan style beginning in 1970.
It is interesting how Ford alone used the same roofline between sedans/pillared hardtops/genuine hardtops. It made the differences much harder to spot and genuine hardtops much less missed when they disappeared in favor of the pillared variety. GM and Chrysler continued the older practice of using significantly different rooflines between 4 door hardtops and sedans, with the sedans not being nearly as attractive.
In the early years of the pillared HT, It seems FoMoCo was adamant in limiting it to upper-line type models, it was a strict demarc in their eyes even if consumers didn’t quite get it.
BTW, here’s a Mexican market 72 Galaxie, which did get the the PHT. Most people in our countries wouldn’t give a second glance, the second I saw it I knew there was something wrong! LOL
The FoMoCo pillared hardtop began with the 1958 Lincolns and Continentals which offered both the four door hardtop Landau (Lincoln term for the pillar-less style) and a four door sedan which shared the half-door construction and chrome-framed windows with the Landau but also a thin chromed, stationary B-pillar.
The last pillar-less four door hardtop Lincolns were the 1960 models. For 1961, all Lincolns four doors through 1974 were B-pillared hardtops with hardtop-style half-door construction. 1975 through 1979 Lincoln sedans were a hybrid: Thick, roof-extension B-pillars but still frame-less glass and half-door construction.
BTW, there were four ’61 Lincoln Continental four door B-pillar-less sedan prototyped.
In 1972, my dad ordered a Monterey sedan just the way he wanted it. Inside, it had all the goodies (a/c, cruise, etc) that one could get at the time.
He ordered it with a 351 (400, maybe?), but the factory put a 429 in it and not charging for it, because the engine he wanted wasn’t available for some reason.
Outside, it had no vinyl top, and the Mercury dealer in Delphos, OH said it was the only vehicle he’d sold that year that had hubcaps on it rather than full wheel covers.
My dad and stepmom kept it until the early ’90’s, when it failed to pass PA inspection.
I don’t recall which post I read on here regarding Mercurys, but it was in that post that I found out that early 70’s Montereys are relatively uncommon compared to their Ford bretheren.
Correction, 1973 Monterey.
All Montego based models are really neat