Monday, June 7, 2010

Mercury, 1939-2010. RIP

R E M E M B R A N C E — I'm not even sure where to begin, what to write.

Last week FoMoCo announced that their Mercury division would be phased out this year. 2010 will be the last year for the venerable marque, first sold in 1939 as a 'super deluxe' Ford, with a slightly higher powered V8 engine and a longer wheelbase for a better ride and a more luxurious look.

My first car, bought for my 16th birthday by my Dad, was a then-4 year old Mercury Comet. By '69 the Comet was no longer it's own car with unique sheetmetal. Originally the Comet used a longer Falcon platform; it was then moved up to the newly burgeoning intermediate class in 1966. In '68, the intermediates were renamed Montego, and the Comet became the lowest rung of the lineup, a single 2 door pillarless hardtop, somewhat cynically named "Sport Coupe."

Being the bottom of the line, my Comet came standard with a very low-line interior. Instead of carpeting, the floor was covered with a rubber floor covering, a two-tone textured vinyl covering that 'sort of' simulated carpeting. The seats had pretty flimsy vinylized cloth upholstery, and the exterior had a paucity of chrome—just around the windows, lights and bumpers. However, my particular car was equipped to almost luxury levels with power steering, power brakes, air conditioning, a 302 V8 engine, wire wheel covers, and of all things, an electric trunk opener. It was a great first car, resplendent in its Navy Blue finish. I had the car for 4 years, and was replaced with a mint very low-mileage '68 Cadillac hardtop Sedan de Ville, but that's another story. I have one small black and white polaroid of the Comet. taken to demonstrate how much snow we had the night before, and can't even find that right now. I have no idea why I didn't take more photos of it, I've always been interested in photography, but I guess I'll chalk it up to that youthful feeling that life will never change, that it will go on forever the same way. Oh to have that feeling again...

With the loss of Plymouth and Oldsmobile, the writing has been on the wall for years about Mercury. It's still a shock. I still see a great future for Mercury as the high-tech, hybrid division of FoMoCo and have been touting this concept on car forums for several years. I've probably created close to one hundred Mercurys in photoshop to demonstrate this concept, but it will not be. Ford is closing the door on one of it's Bright Ideas, and I guess we have to move on. Whatever. I'm bitter about it, frankly. But I'm still a "Ford" man at heart, as was my Dad, although I haven't owned a FoMoCo product since the early '90s when I traded in my '85 Lincoln Town Car. And of course, I'm so poor now, I'll never own another one most likely.

I'd also like to mention my web friend Paul, known as 2b2 online, a fellow Mercury lover, a fellow proponent of the Mercury as the high-tech division of Ford, and a fellow creator of future Mercurys that won't see the light of day now. We've posted literally hundreds of ideas and concepts in online forums seen by the Dearborn bigwigs, and he has been a source of inspiration for my chops, and now a source of commiseration as well!

Here are a few samples of the Mercurys I've photoshopped in the past several years. As always, the images are clickable thumbnails and open up to 1000 pixels in width for greater detail.

RIP Mercury.

The Breezeway, made from the Ford Interceptor concept.
Cougar XR-7 hybrid, made from the Giugiaro Mustang concept.
Capri Hybrid 5 door sport sedan, made from a BMW X6 crossover.
Monterey Hybrid luxury 5 door hatch, based on the new Kia Optima

More pics after the jump:
Capri hybrid pillarless coupe, made from the new Taurus SHO
Comet sport hatch, made from a Citroën concept.
Mountaineer SUV, made from the new Infiniti QX56
Medalist (a fifties Mercury trim level) family sedan, made from the current Milan
San Marino, a new hybrid family sport coupe, based on a Renault sedan
Villager entry-level "cute ute" based on the new Kia Sportage
Milan II, based on the new Kia Cadenza
Lynx sedan, based on the new Fiesta
B segment "Breezeway" based on the Fiesta concept car.
Monterey Hybrid sedan, based on a Corolla.
Marquesa, based on a Mitsubishi concept.


  1. hi casey

    Thanks for the shoutout.

    The "murder of Mercury" is sooooo sad - such a short-sighted waste of potential.


  2. hey 2b2!
    i'm going to keep creating Mercurys. It's not like my Mercs were ever going to be built anyway! I"m toying with the idea that the Mercury nameplate could become a luxury option for Fords-different grilles, higher-level interiors etc.

  3. Love the Breezeway, as I am a fan of the 50s/60s version.
    The rest are great, too!