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Mercury Monterey (1952 - 1972)

Last updated 24 August 2013

 
4
A true slice of Americana
Not as identifiable as better-known USA classics
174,238
were produced
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Introduction

The Mercury marque had been the creation of Edsel Ford in 1938, when he produced a car to plug the gap between its low-cost V8 range of Ford cars and the luxury Lincoln K-series of the 1930s. It was also there to provide competition for Oldsmobile and Buick – both well-established GM brands of their day. By the late 1940s, Mercury was moving upwards into Lincoln’s patch, and that eventually resulted in the launch of the stylish Monterey in 1952. A brave new world was ushered in, and the company's archaic flathead V8 finally ended, to be replaced by an all-new Y-block power unit that produced 161bhp.

The Monterey was available in convertible, pillarless coupé, four-door sedan, and station wagon (estate) versions and customers could choose from 35 different colour schemes. Despite its huge size and weight, the Monterey struggled along with drum brakes front and rear – and that didn't help the driving experience a great deal. Despite that, the car was an immediate success, promoted no doubt by its association with James Dean – it was the car famously driven over the edge of a cliff in the film Rebel Without a Cause. Other Hollywood film stars were also drawn to the Monterey, and Gary Cooper was also a proud owner of one.

 

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