Thursday, February 28, 2013
When I was in the army, 1953-1956, I thought the 1954 Mercury up hrough the 1956 Mercury was the best looking cars on the road. When I got out of the army in 1956 I was dating a girl in Phenix City, Alabame and we were talking about marriage and I had in mind to buy a 1956 Mercury Monterey for a wedding present for her. As it turned out we split up and didn't get married so I didn't buy the car. I guess that was best anyway since I later met and married my wife and we have now been together for 52 years and still together now. Anyway here is a little information about the car for you to read and ponder about.
The Mercury Monterey is a full-size car model introduced by the Mercury division of the Ford Motor Company in 1952. It would later share the same body style with the slightly more upscale Marquis, and the Park Lane and Montclair until the latter two were extinguished after the 1968 model year. The Marquis-Monterey body was, built on a longer wheelbase and had a longer body than the Ford LTD, Ford Galaxie, and Ford Custom. During its production the car served as the high-end, mid-range, and entry-level fullsize Mercury at various times throughout its run. It was the only Mercury to be in continuous production throughout the 1960s. The Monterey was discontinued after 1974.
In 2004, Mercury resurrected the Monterey nameplate for a minivan, essentially a re-badged Ford Freestar with added features and modified cosmetic details.
The Monterey (model 72C) was introduced in 1950 as a high-end two-door coupe as part of the Mercury Eight series in the same vein as the Ford Crestliner, the Lincoln Lido coupe and the Lincoln Cosmopolitan Capri coupe in order to compete with the hardtop coupes General Motors had introduced the previous model year. Montereys had either a canvas covered top for $2146 or vinyl for $2157. Standard features included leather faced seats, simulated leather headliner, wool carpets, chrome-plated interior garnish moldings, two-toned dashboard, special black steering wheel, fender skirts, dual outside rearview mirrors, full wheelcovers & gold winged hood ornament. For $10 more all leather seats were an option. Two special colors were offered, Turquoise Blue with dark blue top and Cortaro Red metallic with black top. Black with yellow top was also available. Few Montereys were sold.
Mercury got a styling and engineering redesign for 1952, such at 18% more window area. Monterey became a separate series and Mercury's top model line, a convertible and four-door sedan were included in the new series lineup. The heater and vent controls where changed to levers and placed on a plane set perpendicular to the dash behind the steering wheel. A station wagon bowed for 1953, the same year a Siren Red Monterey Convertible became Ford's forty-millionth car produced. 1954 saw the introduction of the new 161 hp (120 kW) overhead valve Ford Y-block V8, as well as the bubble-top Monterey Sun Valley, which had a Plexiglas front half roof which was similar to that of the Ford Crestline Skyliner. The 1954 Montereys also received other alterations, such as new, lower taillights.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
These comments are excerps from the Wikipedia article about the Mercury cars.
In 1937, Edsel Ford started a new company, more luxurious version of his company's mainline car, intended to bridge the enormous price gap between the highest trimmed Ford and the base Lincoln. The designs of the new car were done by E.T. 'Bob' Gregorie. There was debate within the company if this new intermediate car should be a new Ford model or spun-off into a new marque. Over 100 different model and marque names were considered before "Mercury" was finally selected.
The 1939 Mercury 8 began production in 1938, with a 239 cu. in. 95 horsepower (71 kW; 96 PS) flathead V8 engine. Over 65,800 were sold the first year, at a price of $916 (approximately $14,000 in 2010 dollars). It was an all new car, sharing no body panels with either Ford or Lincoln. Its body was six inches wider than Ford and rode on a 116.0 inches (2,950 mm) wheelbase, four inches longer than Ford.
From the very beginning, Mercury was a division that seemed to have a brand identity that was constantly in the process of finding its place in the North American automotive market. Sometimes, Mercury was presented as a performance division of more mainstay Ford products, while at other times, it was meant to match sales with Detroit crosstown rivals Buick, Oldsmobile and Chrysler during the 1950s through 1980s. Many times, Mercury models shared platforms with Ford products, such as the Mercury Cougar (shared with the Ford Mustang, Thunderbird, and Elite), the Mercury Bobcat (shared with the Ford Pinto), or the Mercury Comet (shared with the Ford Falcon, Fairlane, and Maverick).
Friday, February 15, 2013
The previous economy engine and standard 350 hp 400 CID V8 remained, while the 360 hp (270 kW) 400HO was upgraded to the Ram Air III, rated at 366 hp (273 kW) at 5,100 rpm. The top option was the 370 hp (280 kW) Ram Air IV, which featured special header-like high-flow exhaust manifolds, high-flow cylinder heads, a specific high-rise aluminum intake manifold, larger Rochester QuadraJet four-barrel carburetor, high-lift/long-duration camshaft, plus various internal components capable of withstanding higher engine speeds and power output. Unlike the highest rpm big-block Chevy and Hemi motors, the Ram Air IV utilized hydraulic lifters.
By this time, the gross power ratings of both Ram Air engines were highly suspect, bearing less relationship to developed power and more to an internal GM policy limiting all cars except the Corvette to no more than one advertised horsepower per 10 lb (4.5 kg) of curb weight. The higher-revving Ram Air IV's advertised power peak was actually listed at 5,000 rpm—100 rpm lower than the less-powerful Ram Air III.
The Ram Air V (500+ HP) engine was introduced in 1969 to professional racing, not for sale to the general public except as conversion parts, and not in cars in showrooms, and was sold and delivered in a crate. It was a special 400 4-bolt main block with newly designed high compression tunnel port heads, radical cam, and a special high rise intake manifold. A prototype GTO so equipped could go 0–60 mph in 5.7 seconds or less, and the usual quarter-mile time of 13's seconds at 101.76 mph was lessened to 11's at 123 mph (198 km/h). Ram Air Vs were not installed in GTOs at the factory.
The most significant event of 1969 for the GTO was the launch of a new model called "The Judge". The Judge name came from a comedy routine, "Here Come de Judge", used repeatedly on the Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In TV show. The Judge routine, made popular by legendary showman Sammy Davis, Jr., was borrowed from the act of long-time burlesque entertainer Dewey "Pigmeat" Markham. Advertisements used slogans like "All rise for The Judge" and "The Judge can be bought". As originally conceived, the Judge was to be a low-cost GTO, stripped of some gimmicks to make it competitive with the Plymouth Road Runner. The package was US$332 more expensive than a standard GTO, and included the Ram Air III engine, Rally II wheels without trim rings, Hurst shifter (with a unique T-shaped handle), wider tires, various decals, and a rear spoiler. Pontiac claimed that the spoiler had some functional effect at higher speeds, producing a small but measurable downforce, but it was of little value at legal speeds except for style. The Judge was initially offered only in "Carousel Red", but midway into the model year a variety of other colors became available.
The GTO was surpassed in sales both by the Chevrolet Chevelle SS396 and the Plymouth Road Runner, but 72,287 were sold during the 1969 model year, with 6,833 of them being The Judge. The rarest 1969 GTO, omitting color options, was the Ram Air IV Judge Convertible - only five were built (Year One catalog).