Curbside Classics: Mercury Trucks – We Do Things A Bit Differently Up Here

(originally posted 5/1/2011)    Canadian cars and trucks are the mother-lode of badge engineering. Mercury trucks came about due to a quirk of the Canadian Ford dealership system due to the sparely populated areas of Canada. Many smaller towns would have either a Ford-Monarch (Mercury in US) or a Lincoln-Mercury-Meteor (Ford) dealership but not both. So starting in 1946 Mercury received its own version of the Ford truck line. So why weren’t they called Meteors? To keep you Americans confused.

The earliest Mercury trucks did differ in the use of chrome. The post war Fords featured a lot painted trim due to a chrome shortage but the Mercury version was lavished with lots of chrome trim. As the years went they became more and more similar to their Ford siblings. For most of the years the difference was just minor trim and badges.

Mercury truck history follows Ford trucks almost identically and while Fords used the ‘F’ prefix the Mercury trucks used ‘M’. From 1948-1950 the Canadian model postfixes where different and represented the maximum gross vehicle weight with the zeroes dropped off. So a 4700 GVW rating would give a model name of F-47 or M-47.

For 1951 the Canadian trucks followed the US naming convention of F-1, F-2, etc and Mercury followed suit with M-1, M-2, etc.

Interestingly there were a few mechanicals differences in the Canadian market due to its smaller market size. It was only V8 engines in post war trucks until 1956 when a 223 cid inline six was offered. Canada kept the flat head V8 for an additional year in 1954 instead of the newly induced in the US OHV V8.

When the US and Canada signed the Automotive Trade Agreement in 1965 Canadian variants slowly started to disappear and the Mercury trucks turn came in 1968.

So how rare is a Mercury truck then? Well for the early trucks the Fords are most common but by the 50s and mid 60s the Mercury trucks seem to make up just less than half of the remaining examples. The updated 1967 and 1968 examples seem quite scare but are still around. They are quite easily to fake though as there is no VIN difference as they were built randomly on the same line as the Fords.

The whole truck range was sold in the Mercury line up so there are Mercury Econolines, heavy duty models, cab over engine models and even school buses.