Let’s pay some attention to Mercury and its owners on this occasion. In these images, one can sense that FoMoCo’s middle child was still full of hope and possibility, with their owners looking like a rather satisfied lot.
Rich, your restoration work on these vintage pics, is top shelf. Congrats! So much strong Mercury brand distinction on display.
Many of your pics look like they were shot yesterday. Love the subtle contrast of the red steel wheels, to the grey paint, in the first pic. And the chromed wheels in the fourth photo.
Hi Daniel. I now see that I missed a previous comment of yours on the restoration of the images.
When it comes to Kodachromes, I actually do very little correction. The heavy lifting was already done by Kodachrome collectors online. I may do a 10% tweaking, but most of the hard work has already been done.
I’ve also been asked by some about my source for these images, and the answer is… they’re all over. However, one needs to navigate quite a bit to find the ones of automotive interest and link them together. But it’s something I do enjoy doing.
Thanks for your feedback Rich. Excellent and painstaking work locating, compiling, and editing these images. Beautifully done every time, and a feature many of us look forward to now. I can imagine the challenge in finding so many unique and obscure photos, on a specific topic. Always a treat to enjoy! Thank you!
I like the trio in front of their `60 Monterey sedan on the Ferry. Last year Mercury would have it’s own larger platform; from `61 onward it became a gussied-up Ford.
It’s funny – I know someone who looks exactly like the woman on the left in that photo.
When FoMoCo bothered to differentiate Mercury from Ford and did so competently, the brand was a smash hit: the 1949-1951 model years are still gorgeous today, and the gorgeous 1955-56 cars too were memorable (they did not look radically different from Fords, but they still looked distinctive enough and a couple of body styles were not shared with Ford)
Unfortunately those were the two biggest highlights for the brand (the last one would be the Mk1 Cougar), then just like the whole American auto industry it would just limp on for decades starting with the Brougham-y mid Seventies lines
Edit: I forgot the 1959-60 cars with their almost symmetrical greenhouse of the hardtop body style: very jet age and yet classy.
I think Mercury had a brief blip of purpose and identity in the mid to late 80s into the early 90s with the original Sable at the forefront, it gets left in the static with the Taurus being such a notable game changer in mainstream sedans but it was probably the most differentiated Mercury from a Ford model in quite some time, not a piece of exterior sheetmetal is shared and even the dashboard is different. The lightbar front end was pioneering, seems like quite a few new grilleless EVs are reviving that – Rivan,cybertruck, Lightning.
Beyond that though the aero 92-97 grand marquis originally had its own unique roofline and some other sheetmetal, as did the 83-97 Cougar, even the bottom of the barrel Tempo and Topaz “twins” had different rooflines from each other. These models came off of predecessors that were true grille/badge job products like the zephyr, the fox based Marquis, the monarch or the box panthers. Captured import models like the first gen Tracer and Villager minivan also gave the brand a bit more compelling product to the lineup than what was under the Ford brand umbrella.
Through the 90s with some unsuccessful styling directions(catfish Sable), dropping of models(Cougar), flops(revived Cougar), merging into Ford models(Tracer/Escort), cheapening differentiation(Contour/Mystique and restyled 98+ panthers) the brand lost its way… again, and so started the slow decline to its uneventful end.
I really like the fluffy cat in photo no. 6
Me too. Big time scene stealer!
“Sign of the Cat”… BEFORE that became a thing for Mercury!
I think we are looking at a Maine Coon Cat in that pic. At the very least it’s a Norwegian Forest Cat.
Some great historical Merc pics! I am a 2-time Mercury owner. We had a dark green w/white interior 65 Marauder and an Ivy Glow Metallic 73 Montego GT 429. We liked the 65 and really liked the GT. I ordered it late in the model year and couldn’t get the 351C, so got the big block instead. Rather nautical handling, but great brakes. Mileage was 9 or so in town and 12 or so highway. we put 42k miles on it before a kid in an LTD decided we didn’t need it any more. He T-boned it in Grand Island, NE and totalled it. We moved to Pontiac Grand Prix .
I enjoyed looking closely through each of these. The Mercury buyers, I guess, had “a little more to spend” than for a Ford, and everyone looks reasonably prosperous. (I guess the sequence is semi-chronological?)
I’m always hoping to figure out the locations, but there;s not much to go on here (the last photo a Chicagoland suburb, I’ll guess). Perhaps someone in the CC collective wisdom can identify the facility in #5, with the (stadium?) grandstand and taller buildings….
If anyone can nail it down, it’s Eric of ERIC703 fame. He has a knack for just that kind of thing.
I hate to admit defeat, but that one’s got me stumped. There’s no front plate or other identifier on the car – I can make out a bit of sign on the stadium that says “Park,” but that’s not too helpful.
But I love that picture – the incongruity of a fashionably-dressed woman with a shiny Mercury in an empty Rust Belt stadium parking lot is just very interesting.
here is a pic of the fist metior
Any way you look at it, these are terrific!
How about this happy fella?
hey, another kitty snuck into your photo! Cats must have an attraction to Mercurys!
Let’s not forget Joe Cool…
That’s how I imagine I look leaning against my white Mercury
Mercury had many potential or likely Olds/Buick clients during these years.
Here I liked the very conservative ’54 two door hardtop that has to be in southern Florida somewhere. The blackwalls with full wheel covers and such a serious two tone paint scheme suit an earnest, professional woman. Could’ve been my mom.
The guy with the ’62 four door sedan has a ’62 Ford in the garage. I’d say it is a nice Ford neighborhood in SoCal – maybe the San Fernando Valley. Neighbor has got a ’61 Galaxie. They’re living the good life. Sherman Oaks was a pretty nice neighborhood in 1962; maybe that is where they are.
The Mercury is a good choice for politicking and a parade…
Here is what is a yellow 1946 Mercury in New York City
OOPS1 – try again for the 1946
The 1946 Merc will not come forth from my files. Here’s a 1949 photographed in 1954 with another Joe Cool
Sometimes, even the Mercury needed repairs!
How many Greasers does it take to change a spark plug?
Mom likes her 1954 Station Wagon and so do I.
That is a 1953 wagon – not a 54. But it still is a good looking wagon!
I think some of the images are flipped.
Great images anyway. Thank you.
I can go on and on. However, I am going to stop with the “Bear Essentials.”
Perhaps contrary to popular belief, I always thought that Mercury was quite differentiated from Ford, sometimes spectacularly so. The early ‘50’s Mercs and the ‘59 and ‘60 looked little like their Ford counterparts. The Sable also was quite different from the Taurus. Even in the years when they shared more similarities, Mercury always had unique instrument panels and styling features, like the Breezeway roof. Seventies Grand Marquis with standard 460 V-8’s competed far more with Electra and Olds 98 than LTD. It wasn’t until the end when FMC threw in the towel and made the Grand Marquis a rebadged Crown Vic.
At around 1972, I purchased my first car – a ’57 Turnpike Cruiser, bought for $100 from an elderly gent in Davis CA. Its 368 cu.in.V8 ‘borrowed’ from Lincolns was in good running condition; body in decent condition but with fading paint. Its speedometer was the type that ran a solid line from left to right as speeds increased. However, it was broken – with a faded red line from left all the way to the right.
I always thought the ’57 Mercurys were pretty cool, especially those like my TC with the gold streak filling the scooped out area at the top of the rear fender down to the canted taillights. And with cruiser skirts hiding the rear wheels. Its styled bumpers front and rear were loved by destruction derby contestants for their large, flat areas of contact (unfortunately depleting the population for future restorations).
The ’57s began FoMoCo’s second serious postwar attempt at moving Mercury up to the top of the medium price class, and away from being seen as just a cut above Ford. An uphill climb it was.
So many great pictures ! .
Keep ’em coming please .
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