How is it that something that you’ve seen before suddenly jumps out and grabs you? Maybe by stopping and really looking at it it? There’s something about the front end of this Mercury posted at the Cohort that cause me to do that, and now I can’t take mt eyes off it. it’s like I’m seeing it for the first time ever.
Of course ’55 Mercurys weren’t ever all that common, but still, it’s not that unusual. Those curved ‘teeth” at the top of the upper bumper are wonderful. Ok; must move on.
When I was a kid in grade school a classmate’s family had a 55 Mercury station wagon while my family had a 55 Ford Country Sedan. Both cars were red and white, but the Mercury was a real eye catcher (at least to me) compared to the almost dowdy Ford. I think that car, and the string of 50s and 60s Mercurys that a friend of my father’s foster mother drove us to church in, starting with a 55 or 56 Monterey, are what got me interested in Mercurys.
Love those 50s and 60s Mercurys.
To each his or her own. I still think Chevrolet did the front end for ’55 better than anyone else.
Either that, or Packard.
#IMO the ’55 Chevy was a clean, lithe, graceful, almost elegant design than had no bad angles.
Each clumsy restyle (1956, 1957) ruined the basic 1955 body.
Both Ford and Plymouth had far more attractive bodies than Chevy did in 1956 and 1957.
Again, just MY opinion.
And then you get people like me who just can’t understand the adulation of the ’55 Chevy. Not to diss the car, but it’s just – a car. I don’t see anything special. Do you have to be an American to get it?
You are not alone in your lack of adulation of the 55 Chevy. Yes, it did change the course of Chevrolet with the small block V8, and the styling of it was nice for the time period, but not radically different, and not groundbreaking. The Loewy Studebakers were ahead of the curve, and really, if you compare and contrast a 1953 Studebaker against a 1955 Chevrolet, both are new interpretations of an older model. Loewy’s design had the body leaning back, while the Chevy design seems to lean more forward. To my eyes, the Studebaker looks more “modern” of the two, but popularity favors the larger brand’s version. I really like the tri-fives, I do not have any ill will towards them, but I just don’t get the slavish adoration heaped upon them. They were good, but not that good! They did help Chevy beat Ford in 1955-56, but Ford won in 1957. One never really hears much about love of a 1957 Fairlane, but every 1950s diner has some replica of a tri-five on the wall somewhere.
I get that build quality of the GM products beat Ford’s and Chrysler’s from that time, so the abundance of used tri-fives seems to have cemented their place in the hearts of boomers buying them as first cars, as the Fords and Chryslers were sketchy old heaps five years after build. Again, that popularity and nostalgia seems to affect the amount of love heaped on this model.
Striking how different it is from its Ford sibling. It has a whole other look, just from the grille/bumper and fenders. This Mercury is not just a glitzy Ford.
That photo is if a blue ‘55 Ford sedan – not a Mercury at all.
Perhaps the computer selected the wrong photo?
Paul, this is the ’56, with slightly revised front end, if you’ve really got the itch . It’s a great alternative to the “Tri-Five” Chevys that are everywhere:
Mercury front ends:
1955– Massive, “barbaric” beauty.
1956– Like ’55, but sides improved with “lightning bolt” trim.
1957– The aliens have landed. Some have 4 eyes.
1958– Bumpers are now battering rams. Little golden “M” retained.
1959– Looks angry. Side sheet metal now tortured to its limits.
1960– Four low, widely spaced headlights. Big bumper. Car looks doughy.
1961– Like ’60, but with V-angle in hood.
1962– Headlights closer together in deep chrome bezels. Fine, convex grille with divider bar and shield. Last year of “eyebrows”.
My ’62 has the same M E R C U R Y letters across the hood as the ’55.
LOVE ‘EM ALL!
Great Album !
“61-Like 60 but with V-angle in hood”.
Since I can’t say exactly what you mean by that, I will say that the way I read that….sorry, I can’t quite agree with that statement.
The 60 Mercury is a pretty ghastly looking car. You have to give the stylists credit(?) for coming up with another car that does NOT look like a badge-engineered Ford.
The 61 Mercury looks very similar to the 61 Ford. I’m not sure if you can call it a slightly more aggressive Ford, since the Ford is reasonably aggressive….for an early 60s car.
The 60 is one of the very few Mercurys I WOULDN’T want to own, unless I REALLY wanted to make a statement. A plus in my book, though, is that they are so unloved.
I was referring to the front end/grille. Yes, ’60 & ’61 are very different cars, the latter based on Ford (once again). And yes, the ’60 is probably my least favorite, but it still has that space age, gorpy “swish” to it, with lots of interesting details.
P.S. on ’62: front fender ornaments that resemble torpedoes. FIRE ONE…!
I just love the look of this 1960 Mercury. Especially from this angle.
Yes, it is hard to think of any other car that had such a complete personality change from one year to the next, all on the same basic body shell as the 1959-60 Mercury. I like the 60 too.
Didn’t Mrs. Dean Wormer drive a ’60 Commuter in Animal House? They probably just went with what they could get, but I like to think not putting her in a Colony Park was a considered move. Would of been a bit flashy for a dean’s wife. Not that it would have bothered her.
’57-’60 seem like two or three completely different teams styled these cars… and never communicated with each other in any form.
During my college years I was a mechanic and salesman at A. R. Adams Cycle (Schwinn, Raleigh, Columbia and others) in Erie, PA. The owner, Merle Adams, was previously a designer for Ford prior to coming back to Erie to take over the family business (and always left me with the feeling that the move wasn’t entirely voluntary). One slow winter day he brought in his portfolio from his days with Ford. Merle was definitely not some brilliant designer, rather he was one of the mass of draftsmen, who worked on detail items.
In Merle’s case his greatest hit was the hood ornament on the ‘55 Mercury. The only thing he ever did that went from his drawing board into final production without being modified by someone else.
Such is how cars were designed in those days.
The Big M! I had never really looked at the 55 closely either.
my dad had a 54 monterey sedan and a 55 wagon. both in this green. the sedan was 2d with white top. just like the cohort pic. I had to do a doubletake to be sure it wasn’t his, cuz he had both of them as barn and yard art into the 90s. and now with passage of time, the details betweent them get blurred. the 54 sedan was his Bay Area DD. memorable for the time the hood flew up on morning commute. he had to peer thru the gap under the hood to get to the shoulder. guess the 2nd fail safe latch came to market a few years later. the sedan hood still had the curled rear corners from that incident all the years later. his had the controllable spotlight on drivers door to allow you to see house numbers at night. or so it was marketed. loved the flat panel atop the steering column in front of the dash with the heat/vent control sliders. His 55 wagon was a lovely thing, too. green over 2 tone green interior. i deem to recall a 2pc rear gate and slide by vent windows in the far rear section. might have even had a 3rd row seat, but there were heads and crank from an engine back there, so my memory of that may not be correct. thanks for the reminder.
Those headlight shrouds worked just a teensy bit better on the next year’s Lincoln. Very nice, but.
Don A, only by looking closer did I realize those headlight shrouds were bolt-ons rather than welded. Plenty of them on eBay right now; I get the feeling that anyone restoring a ’55 Merc pretty much has the field to himself:
Aha…the “XM-500” Mercury concept of early 1954, previewing the look:
Interesting George. The road car looks better; that face needs more jaw to counterbalance the eyebrows.
^^^Don, you made me chuckle with that observation. Now I look at the concept car and see Montgomery Clift staring at me…
The latest Collectible Auto magazine shows an early styling “idea” that was fortunately rejected. A cross between a Studebaker and a Steinway.
Looking at that brings back memories of some of Merle’s portfolio. He had a couple of designs of that shape and layout with different front ends and side trim. As it had never occurred to me back then to ask what it was supposed to be (I was very unimpressed with what I was looking at, it sure didn’t look like any mid or late fifties Ford, and I was afraid of insulting the guy), it’s only now (46 years later) that I get an indication of what project he was assigned to.
This is a pretty cool variation of the mid-1950s Mercury front end – the 1956 Canadian Monarch.
That Monarch looks like a “preview of sorts as to where Mercury was about to go in 57-58.
1955 Mercury, my would-be first car. In 1962 the gas station around the corner from my house had a green convertible, gorgeous. Only one teeny problem….it probably burned about 3 qts of oil from the gas station to my house. My dad didn’t even look at the car, as soon as he saw the huge cloud of oil smoke, I was told to keep right on going around the block back to the gas station.
Appealing or over-the-top, the 1954-1960 Mercurys were the years when finally the make separated itself from Ford before being yanked back for 1961. The ’55 and ’56 are among the most attractive, especially the low-topped sport sedans and ‘Phaeton’ four door hardtops.
While its true 1957-1960 look over-styled to our eyes now, it displays a misunderstanding of the mid-century design mindset to criticizes them for not displaying clean styling. Rather develop an appreciation for that unique period of mid-century modern architecture and consumer product design, coffee-shop Googie and even Morris Lapidus commercial design in all its wonderful bizarre-ness!
CC efect 5×5 today I saw a beautiful caramel and cream 55 Mercury fourdoor today and all polished up like the one today the grille detail is quite striking thanx to this post I knew exactly what I was looking at and focused on the grille as it came towards me I had to wait for it as I was making a right turn across its lane, Very nice car in as new restored condition.
One of the iconic bumper-grille combo units. Also I *love* the patina on the subject car–repair/restore the mechanicals, don’t touch the body, drive it everywhere.