If asked what was the most outlandish car of the goofy mid-50s, my answer on many days will be the ’57-’58 Mercury. It was simply over the top, with cheap and ridiculous styling affectations slapped on everywhere, like those sugary multi-flavored sprinkles on an oversize ice cream cone.
The preview to the real thing was this 1956 show car, the XM-Turnpike Cruiser, it’s job being to warm up folks to what could be in their driveway all-too soon. Look at those twin jet nacelles under the bumper on each side; and the plexiglass roof with what presumably are lift-up sections to make ingress and egress easier.
A preview into a future that turned out to be a dead end, and one that would pop Ford’s great hope in the mid-price sector with Mercury and Edsel.