Those Magnificent Mercurys  Part 2

     1965 - Mercury Has A  Banner  Year

Detroit was having a great sales year for 1965 . All the domestic manufacturers reported record sales figures. Mercury was right there with them , and with freshly designed products . The year 1965 meant a major change for the full-size Mercury  .  The bigger Mercs were now more Lincoln like than ever before. The crisply starched style of full-sized 1965 Mercury sedans and convertibles was echoed in the upright middle-class citizens who often drove these automobiles. Not overly sporty or ostentatious, squared fenders and angular rooflines seemed to perfectly complement the thin ties and pillbox hats then in vogue. The Mercury brand, and in turn, Mercury drivers, were aspirational; positioned between everyday Fords and upper-crust Lincolns, these cars combined inexpensively serviced underpinnings with a boulevard ride and upscale style. And with three luxurious trim levels, six handsome body styles and engines that ranged from adequate to eye-popping, there was, and still is, a 1965 Mercury for every suburban American garage.  Engines in the big Mercs would vary , using either the 352 or 390 c.i.d V-8 .  The Montclair , Parklane ,Marauder and Colony Park were now more squared off keeping with Ford's family identity. The Comet was revised with vertical headlamps and new tailamps. The Cyclone was growing in popularity , while the lesser Comet's were finding themselves more and more in family service . With a much more square shape, the new Comet base 6-cylinder engine was increased from 170 cid to 200 cid. Still using a single-barrel carburetor it produced 120 horsepower at 4400 rpm. The base 8-cylinder engine was increased from 260 to 289 cid and, using a 2-barrel carburetor, it produced 200 horsepower at 4400 rpm. The standard transmission continued as a column-shifted 3- speed .

   mauual transmission. However,    the optional automatic was changed to a "Merc-O-Matic" 3-speed automatic transmission. Another option was 289 Hi-performance 271 hp and a 4 speed manual   transmission.  In 1965 , Hollywood popularized Mercury's Colony Park Wagon  , by using it in the popular ''Matt Helm ''  movies , starring Dean Martin . To this day , the car had been restored , and is on display in Las Vegas , and can be seen byanyone attending the museum .  



              1966 - A New Mid-Size Comet

 At first glance, 1966 Mercurys appeared to be virtual twins of the '65s. A closer look revealed a new hood, fenders, grille and ornamentation. Other changes could be found in the engine bay, where the base 390 V-8 was muscled up to 265 bhp with the standard three-speed transmission and 275 bhp for use with the optional four-speed manual or automatic. The four-barrel 390 was replaced by a new 410-cid V-8. Standard on Park Lanes and optional on the others, the 330-bhp mill was exclusive to Mercury. At the top, the 427 was dropped in favor of a 428-cube V-8 that developed 345 bhp. Ford's new C6 automatic transmission was available with the 410 and 428. Standard equipment now included a raft of government-imposed safety features.  Mercury's revived big performance car, the 1966 Mercury S-55, returned as a separate series after a two-year absence. It featured "Torque Box" construction -- frames individually tuned to minimize noise and harshness -- a standard 428 big-block V-8, heavy-duty chassis, plus a sporty bucket-seat interior. Styling was square and clean "in the Lincoln Continental tradition," as the ads put it. Few were sold, although Mercury generally had a successful big-car year in 1966.
The big news for 1966 is Comet moving up to mid-size with a major re-style , as a sister to Ford's Fairlane. This is a very sleek , good looking car , especially in Cyclone form , which now is available  with the 390 c.i.d. v-8. Comet is still available as Caliente ,  Villager wagon , convertible , 2 door & 4 door    sedans.  The big Mercury's got front & rear end freshening and the 428 c.i.d. motor was now     added  to the option list . The S-55 option had returned for '66 after a 2 year hiatus. New interior & exterior colors round out the changes for this year . 


               1967 -  Enter The Cougar

Mercury Division finally joins in on the pony car craze.  Wecome the new Cougar and XR-7 models. A little longer than the Mustang and a little more formal looking. It came standard with the 289 c.i.d V-8 , while the XR-7 got power from the the 390 c.i.d.  The design was well executed.  From it's Jaguar inspired dash , to its sequential tailamps and hidden headlamps . it's looks said european. The Comet for 1967 received minor trim changes ane the Cyclone finally see's the 427 big block as a performasnce option. It wasn't until mid '67 that the engine became a regular-production option     and    was extended to the Comet line. Mercury made it available in any two-door Comet -- the Cyclone, Caliente, and Capri hardtops, and the bottom-of-the-line Comet 202 pillared coupe. The last was an interesting subject. It was a half-foot shorter than the hardtops and 100 pounds lighter. It was dumpier looking, too, with its Falcon-like roofline. Picture one with vanilla paint. Bench seats. Dog- dish hubcaps. No scoops. No stripes. Just a discreet "427" fender emblem. The perfect Q-ship. As in the '67 Fairlane (where it was called the "Cobra 427"), the 427-cid V-8 was offered in two flavors. With a 780-cfm Holley four-barrel and 410 bhp, Mercury called it the "Cyclone 427." With dual 652-cfm Holley quads and 425 bhp, it was the "Super Cyclone 427." Both had 11.1:1 compression, solid lifters, and came  The big Mercury's were re - styled.  A little more curvy and aerodynamic looking with a semi-fastback roof line made this one powerfull looking car , even in 4 door sedan form. A continuation of the S-55 package under the Monterey label, the 1967 Mercury Monterey S-55 was phased out almost as soon as the model year began, probably because big performance cars were deemed inappropriate for a make with luxury aspirations. Styling was of the new rounded "Coke-bottle" school adopted this year, and somewhat less distinctive than before, though more and more like a Lincoln. Mechanical details were as for the '66 S-55.


         1968 -  Montego Makes It's Debut   

 The Comet linneage once again is re-styled and expands to be known as the Montego , Montego  MX and Cyclone . The Comet name is kept for the entry level cars , which are still very good looking cars. Power ranges from the straight sixes all the way up to the new 428 c.i.d. Cobra Jet package on the Cyclone's . The Cougar was all new for '67 , so it basically is a carry-over package for '68.  Mercury's big '68s were not much changed, still riding a 123-inch wheelbase and offering V-8s up to 428 cubic inches, but there was an interesting new option called "Yacht Paneling." Restricted at first to the top-line Park Lane  fastback and $3822 convertible, this involved woody-look side trim like that on Colony Park wagons. As a full-length decal, Yacht Paneling wasn't structural like the real wood on Mercury's 1946 Sportsman convertible, but it was no less distinctive. However, it was none too popular either, lasting only this one year. Of the 1112 Park Lane ragtops built for '68, just a handful were Yacht Paneled, and a mere 15 are known to exist today. Sometimes, it just doesn't pay to go "retro."The big Merc's got slight revisions to the grille , headlamp & tailamp area, and was made famous by a certain police drama on CBS   television .  This car is perhaps the most photographed Mercury in existence, having appeared in approximately 130 Five-O episodes.  New for '68 also, all Mercury's, as with all other cars , are now reuired to have side marker lamps. Making big headlines for the Mercury Cougar in 1968 was the XR-7G! This limited edition Cougar XR-7G was actually an upscale XR-7 with a personalized option. The "G" stood for "Gurney." Dan Gurney was an American racing legend racing for Mercury. The Cougar is one of two Mercury specials named after Dan Gurney. The special options for these Cougars consisted of a fiberglass hood scoop, racing mirror, road lamps, power sun-roof and hood pins. There was also four exhaust tips that exited through the valance panel. There was not very many made or promoted, and the "Dan Gurney" edition with the 427-cid big block is noted to be one of the rarest Cougars collected today.


         1969 - Mercury Total Performance

The cougar changed in many ways in 1969. A convertible option was now offered, the 427 engine option was removed, and the wheelbase became wider and longer resulting in a heavier vehicle. Sales were still strong but they just barely cleared 100,000 units. Mercury introduced the Eliminator package available in blue, orange, and yellow exterior colors. Under the hood lurked a four-barrel Windsor 351 cubic-inch V8 capable of producing nearly 300 horsepower. The base engine was a 302 cubic-inch 8-cylinder producing 290 horsepower with the top of the line engine a 428 cubic-inch 8-cylinder producing just under 340 horsepower. Mercury offered products such as Weber carbs and deep-sump oil pans that amplified the performance to meet customer performance .  .The Montego/Comet/Cyclone were all new for '68 ,so changes for this year are minimal like the grille & tailamps. In the performance vein , cougar introdeuces the ''Eliminator'' , with the 429 , dual exhaust , spoilers and stripe package . The Cyclone gets the ''Spoiler '' package , the big block Mercury version of Ford's Cobra Jet , which was tearing up the NASCAR circuit , with it's super slippery design .   For 1969 , shoulder belts are now standard and ignition switches are now being place on the steering column as a theft deterrent.requirements. Larger brakes, sportier suspension, engine modifications, and performance products did make the car a stronger force on the drag strip but it was often shown-up by the smaller and lighter muscle cars of the day.  The big Merc's got all new outer sheet metal and a 429 c.i.d V-8 as an option . New models are the Mercury Marquis in 2 door and 4 door, The Marauder gets its own fastback body, and is one sharp looking car.The Montego/Comet/Cyclone were all new for '68 ,so changes for this year are minimal like the grille & tailamps. In the performance vein , cougar introdeuces the ''Eliminator'' , with the 429 , dual exhaust , spoilers and stripe package . The Cyclone gets the ''Spoiler '' package , the big block Mercury version of Ford's Cobra Jet , which was tearing up the NASCAR circuit , with it's super slippery design .   For 1969 , shoulder belts are now standard and ignition switches are now being place on the steering column as a theft deterrent.


   1970 - The Montego Is All New

For 1970 , Montego gots it's first re-design since it's introduction in 1968. Semon E.''Bunkie''Knudsen , the former design chief at Pontiac , again made his presence felt here as he had at Ford with the ''big nose'' design.The new Montego sported a long hood with a central nose , extending down through the grille and into the bumper. The rest of the car was nicely styled , much like cousin Torino , which was named Car Of The Year by Motor Trend Magazine . For 1970, the convertible was dropped, but new four-door hardtops and woodgrained MX Villager station wagon were added to the model selection. The 1970  Montegos (and Cyclones) were notable for their striking front body appearance  . The Cyclone GT was the Mercury to have. With the 429 on board , this was total performance. The big Merc's got a slight facelift and new tailamps on both Monterey and Marquis variants , while  the Cougar , all new last year , got a '' Bunkie'' nose job as well . The 1970 Mercury Cougar was even larger than the year before and sported new styling up front. Returning was the Eliminator, now with a standard 351 Cleveland four-barrel carb rated at 300 bhp. Optional engines included the Boss 302, 428 CJ and a new big block, the 429 V8 with Ram-Air induction and 375 bhp. Despite these improvements, sales continued to decline.  For 1970 , the Comet nameplate had been dis-continued.  A 1970 advertisement for the Colony Park wagon bills the car as "If Lincoln Continental made a station wagon, this would be it." All full-sized Mercury sedans and coupes were built on a wheelbase that was 124 inches long, but the station wagons were on the same 122 inch wheelbase as their Ford counterparts. While built on a Ford chassis, the wagons wore the same front clip as the sedans . 

            1971 - Return Of The Comet

The big Mercury's were all new for '71 . Big slab sided sheet metal for both Monterey and Marquis ,with only different front end treatments to differentiate the two. The Marquis got the 429 under the hood , while Monterey got the 351 as standard , with the 429 optional.Also new for '71 is the Cougar . Lengthened , with a sunken back glass and 3 piece nose like grille , it kept within the Mercury family resemblence. The 351w engine was standard , while the 352c and 429 were optional. For 1971, the Comet name was revived on Mercury's version of the Ford Maverick compact. Sharing most of its sheet-metal with the Maverick, it used a different grille, taillights, and hood, as well as different badging. The taillight pods were shared with the 1970 and 1971 Montego and Cyclone models. Underneath it all was the same basic chassis that had originally been used for the Ford Falcon, the original Comet, and for the mid-sized Ford Fairlane, Mercury Meteor, and later Mercury Comets.The base engine was the 170 cid inline-6 with a single-barrel carburetor producing 100 hp (75 kW) at 4200 rpm. Optional engines were the 200 cid inline-6 with a single-barrel carburetor producing 115 hp (86 kW) and a 302 cid V8 with a 2-barrel carburetor producing 210 hp (160 kW). Transmissions were either a 3-speed manual or 3-speed automatic with either column or floor-mounted shifters .T he Comet was available as 2- and 4-door sedans and in base (1971–1977), and "muscle car" Comet GT series (2-door sedan-only 1971-1975). The GT featured a blacked-out grille, dual body-side tape stripes, high-back  bucketseats, wheel trim rings, dual racing mirrors, bright window frames, black instrument panel, deluxe door trim panels, and a simulated hood scoop.All new for 1970 , Montego was pretty much unchanged. Also introduced mid year was the Mercury Capri , imported from Ford of Germany. It was marketed here through Lincoln-Mercury and tagged ''The Sexy European'' , and sold quite well here. The 2.0-L OHC I4  engine in Capri  , was introduced for the 1971 model year. The '71 2.0-liter Capris are particularly desirable, since they have a 9.0:1 compression ratio (which was reduced to 8.2:1 in 1972). The 2.6-L "Cologne" V6 was introduced late in the 1972 model year. Capri had it's own list of options , and sold right along side of the Cougar , which at the time  , some saw as sales being taken away from each model .  For 1971, the Cougar was restyled, weighed less and had only a one-inch-longer wheelbase than its predecessors (112 vs. 111 - which was similar to GM's intermediate-sized two-door models such as the Olds Cutlass). The front end now featured four exposed headlights; the disappearing headlights were eliminated. The center grille piece was now larger. The rear featured a semi-fastback with a "flying buttress" sail-panel. The convertible returned, as did the XR-7 and the GT package. The Eliminator package was eliminated, but the Ram Air option remained. The engine lineup was revised for 1971 as well. Now only three engines were offered—the standard 240 hp (179 kW) 351 Windsor 2-barrel V8, the 285 hp (213 kW) 351 Cleveland 4-barrel V8 and the 370 hp (276 kW) 429 Super Cobra Jet 4-barrel V8.




             1972 -  Montego Grows Again

 The Montego was all new for '72  , using a full steel frame for the first time , just like it's sister sibling . the Ford Torino. Models include 2 and 4 dooe hardtops , Villager wagons and the Montego GT fastback . Whereas previous Montegos (except wagons) had been produced on a single wheelbase with unitized construction, the 1972-1976 models were built body-on-frame and used a 114-inch (2,900 mm) span for coupe models, 118 inches for sedans and wagons. Although Ford called the four-door sedans "pillared hardtops", they used a thin "B" pillar with frameless door glass, and true four-door hardtops were not offered in this generation. In 1972 , a sporty fastback coupe called Montego GT (mirroring Ford's Gran Torino SportsRoof) was offered, replacing the Cyclone. 1972 sales were up 136% over the previous year,[4] with the MX Brougham showing enormous increases, almost 897% in the 2-door and nearly 1,021% in the 4-door. The Mercury Marquis and Monterey models for 1972 are carried over with slight trim changes and minor revisions  . By now the company was moving the Cougar away from performance and towards luxury. For 1971, the only engine option available was the 351 cubic-inch V8 unit that was reliable and economical. It was a good choice for the company as the company moved closer to the oil embargo and shortage. Many marque's were doing the same, moving away from performance, as government regulations increased, safety concerns escalated, and an impending energy crisis was on the horizon. Comet and Capri continued  , with only minor trim changes , and new color and trim choices. All in all , It was a very quiet year for the Mercury Division .     


     1973 - The Year Of Collision Bumpers

 For 1973 , things were rather quiet at Mercury . Like all the other auto makers ,they were trying to adapt all their  vehicles with the clumsy looking collision bumper mandated by the government. This hurt Ford and Mercury because they had some handsome , sleek looking cars in '72 that were basically ruined by hanging these awkward looking bumpers on them. Another government mandate was the de-tuning of their engine programs to meet smog & emissions regulations. The only real appearance changes were to the Marquis series , which took on more Lincoln like the Marquis received a redesign with a boxier look, giving it new protruding energy-absorbing "5-mph" bumpers and a new roofline. Two- and four-door hardtops (the four-doors had frameless door glass and slim fixed center pillars) were available as the Marquis or Marquis Brougham.  This year would also be the last for the ''pony car'' sized Cougar , as it would grow into the personal-luxury size market . Though looks hardly changed at all, the 1973 Mercury Cougar grew to 199.5 inches long overall, thanks to that year's new federally required 5-mph "impact" front bumpers. L-M and some enthusiasts may still have thought of this as a ponycar, but Its dimensions were now close to those of an intermediate. Model choices were as before. Engine options now numbered only two: two-barrel 168-horsepower and four-barrel 264-horsepower versions of the 351. The good news was that, at year's end, sales would show a gain over the previous season's for the first time in Cougar history. The enthusiast's cloud was the manufacturer's silver lining.   


  1974  - Cougar Joins The  Montego Platform

 For 1974, the Cougar was shifted from its Mustang, ponycar origins onto a new platform and into a new market as a personal luxury car. It now shared a chassis with the larger Mercury Montego/Ford Torino intermediates and was twinned with the new Ford Elite. The wheelbase grew to 114 inches (2,896 mm) and became practically the only car to be upsized during the downsizing decade of the 1970s. These years marked the end of the "luxurious Mustang", and the beginning of the Cougar's move towards becoming a "junior Thunderbird" and eventually a sibling of the Thunderbird. TV commercials compared the Cougar to the Lincoln Continental Mark IV, the most notable featuring Farrah Fawcett in a 1975 TV ad.It did very well in this market. The engine choices were 302,351 and 400 c.i.d V-8' S . Options were plentiful. The big Mercs and Comet's were unchanged for '74.   Montego , Comet and Marquis had minor trim revisions , color scheme options , but that was it. The big news was the change to solid state ignition and catalytic converters. All cars now ran on unleaded gasoline. The full sized Marquis soldiered on with some mechanical changes . The 360 hp (268 kW) 460 big-block V8 became available on this generation, and the 400 Cleveland replaced the 429 as the base engine in 1974.




    1975 -  The Monarch & The Bobcat 

The Mercury Monarch was the sister model to the Ford Granada. Introduced in 1975, the pair of compacts was intended as a replacement for the Ford Maverick and the Mercury Comet twins, cars with which the new models shared underpinnings. Both the Granada and the Monarch were offered as both a coupe and as a sedan.
 The Monarch was the upscale, more expensive of the two (and consequently the slower seller), and initially came in three trim levels: base, Monarch Ghia, and the top-of-the-line Grand Monarch Ghia (rather rare, with only 3000 built in 1975, the Grand Monarch Ghia was used as the personal car of 3 out of 5 of Ford’s top executives). Another trim line, the Monarch S, was offered in 1976 and 1977, but was replaced by the Monarch ESS model in 1978. The new cars were marketed aggressively, with Ford playing up the Granada's
visual similarity to the new Cadillac Seville and its competitive pricing. Described as "precision-sized," the models were strong sellers, with the Granada being the top seller in the compact segment in 1976, and the Monarch edging past the Cougar XR-7 to become Mercury's top seller in 1977. The Mercury Grand Monarch Ghia was replaced in 1977 by the new Lincoln Versailles. The Granada/Monarch was redesigned for 1978, with rectangular headlights  being the most noticeable change, and an ESS ("European Sports Sedan") option group was added that year with special trim and a heavy-duty suspension.
Standard engine in the Monarch was a 200 cubic inch six-cylinder, while the Monarch Ghia had a 250 cubic inch six-cylinder as standard. Two V-8s were also available:
a 302 and a 351. A 3-speed manual transmission was standard on most models, while a 3-speed automatic was standard on cars with the 351 V-8 and optional on lesser-engined cars.  Ford changed all their cars to solid state ignition in 1975  ,  and installed catalytic converters on their vehicles , as per government mandates . All newcars now ran on un-leaded gasoline . The
Mercury Bobcat was introduced in 1975 as a twin to the Ford Pinto and was Mercury's first-ever subcompact     car. Styling differed from the Pinto with larger taillights, separate parking lights, a taller Lincoln-esque grille and somewhat fancier interior and exterior trim. 3-door hatchback and wagon bodystyles were offered - Mercury would not offer the 2-door "sedan" bodystyle on the Bobcat. 

 1976 - A Bi-Centennial  & New Capri

 For 1976  , the Bi-centennial year , not much was new for the Mercury Division. One item that was totally new , was  the 1976 Mercury Capri II package was a new 2,300-cubic-centimeter overhead-cam inline four produced at Ford's Lima, Ohio, engine plant. It weighed nearly 500 pounds more than the British 2.0-liter it was replacing, but was rated for 88 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and developed 116 pound-feet of torque at 2,600 rpm.Available for an  additional $272 was the German-built "2800" V-6, now capable of 110 horsepower with the four-speed transmission, 111 with the automatic (109 in California) -- all at 4,800 rpm. Torque peaked at 146 pound-feet at 3,000 rpm.The standard package included some familiar features from the past plus improved front and rear stabilizer bars, 165SR × 13 steel-belted radial tires, fully reclining front bucket seats, the return of full instrumentation, and a fold-down rear seat to accommodate large loads that could be placed in the car through the lift-up hatch. Also new, though less positive, was a starting price that shot up to $4,117. Another $217 fetched the Decor Group option that included, among other things, embossed vinyl seats, contoured rear seats, imitation wood trim for the instrument panel, opening rear-quarter windows, lighted locking glove-box, assist straps, and a center console. Doting on Ford's new relationship to the Ghia design firm, Capri II offered a ritzy Ghia version that included high-back bucket seats covered in Comfort-Weave knit fabric or plush vinyl  with   map pockets behind the front seats, contoured rear seats, deluxe center console with clock, woodtone instrument-panel trim, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob, plus grab and assist handles. On the exterior, color-keyed bodyside moldings and racing mirrors were utilized, accented by some very stylish cast aluminum wheels. The Ghia sold for a $623 premium over the base model.  The rest of the Mercury line stood pat with few color and trim changes  for the big Merc's , Cougars , Montegos and Monarch's.  Comet was still available , though sales were declining .

     1977 - Cougar Becomes A Full Line-up

For 1977 , the Cougar   changed gain.Customers to Lincoln-Mercury showrooms were surprised by the all-new Cougar this year. New sharper and straighter styling that mimicked the Ford Thunderbird and Lincoln Continental Mark V replaced the "fuselage look" of earlier Cougars. The Cougar now shared its body with the Thunderbird, which was downsized to the intermediate bodyshell this year from that

of the Continental Mark IV and shared the Cougar's 114-inch (2,896 mm) wheelbase, putting the T-Bird squarely in the intermediate personal-luxury car market as opposed to its previous higher-priced segment of that market shared with the Buick Riviera and Oldsmobile Toronado. This move would join the Thunderbird and Cougar together and would last until their demise in 1997. The lineup was also expanded to include a sedan and station wagon. This was because the Mercury Montego had been discontinued and its models were absorbed into the Cougar lineup as a result while Ford Division renamed the Torino as LTD II. The base Cougar returned as well for all three models. But the XR-7 came only as a coupe. The Cougar Brougham was available as a coupe or sedan, and the Cougar Villager was available as a station wagon only. The engine lineup changed for this year as well. The base engine was the 134 hp (100 kW) 302 2-barrel V8 on all coupes and sedans. The station wagons had the 161 hp (120 kW) 351 2-barrel V8 standard. The 149 hp (111 kW) 351 2-barrel V8 and 173 hp (129 kW) 400 2-barrel V8 were optional on all models. The XR-7 would retain it's own rear end treatment . With a long opton list , these cars wer good sellers until the end of their cycle in 1979.  Comet  , unchanged , would end after a short 1977 run . The big Mercury's would remain the same until downsizing in 1979 as with Ford's LTD. Advertising billed these cars the best full-size cars in America. A 1977 consumer survey] showed the Marquis Brougham far superior to the competing Olds 98 LS and Buick Electra 225. The next year, the Grand Marquis went up against Cadillac's Sedan de Ville   and was again the preferred choice. Monarch would get new headlamp and tailamp .treatments  and trim & accent changes .  All Mercurys  were now sporting instrument panel badges which rear '' Ride Engineered '' , to designate the different  control tuned suspension and more comfortable ride , Mercury owners had come to expect from cars that rely on  thier highly publicized  Lincoln linneage .  The Bobcat continued  unchanged in it's 3 - door and wagon variants .    


          1978 - Introducing The Zephyr

 The Mercury Zephyr shared most of its characteristics with the Ford Fairmont; both were available with four, six, or eight-cylinder engines and appeared in coupe, sedan, or station wagon forms. At introduction, the Zephyr was most easily distinguished from its Ford counterpart by its curved grille and four square headlights. Along with regular 4- and 2-door sedans (and 4-door wagons) introduced in 1978, Mercury also released a limited production, uniquely styled 2-door version of the Zephyr called the Z-7. Influenced by the larger Ford Thunderbird,x  the Z-7 was a 2-door coupe featuring a wrapover roof design (also inspired by the Crown Victoria of the 1950s) with wraparound taillights. Many Z-7 models included a two-tone paint job; under the hood, the powertrain usually featured either the inline-six (I6) or one of the V8 engines (very few Z-7s had the four-cylinder engine). Unlike the similar Ford Fairmont Futura, which was also a trim level on sedans and wagons, the Z-7 was only produced in the 2-door coupe bodystyle for Mercury.  Changes for the bIg Merc's were minimal , mostly in the drivetrain  department .   The 351M small-block V8

     entered the lineup in 1978 to increase the fuel economy of the Marquis; for that year, the 460 was reserved only for the Grand Marquis and Colony Park wagon. Emissions regulations had taken their toll and by 1978, the 460 generated a mundane 202 horsepower (151 kW).  The Monarch for 1978 , received a new front end design , utilizing a new header panel , grille and rectangular headlamps , much like it's sister , the Ford Granada . The Cougar was all new for '77 , so changes were confined to color and trim , and mechnical rfinements. Bobcat was unchanged , and Capri II was in its last year before being changed for 1979 .


           1979 - New Marquis &  Capri

After trailing General Motors by two years and Chrysler by one, the Marquis was downsized to the all-new Panther platform in 1979. After losing some 800 pounds and over a foot in length, for 1979, the Marquis was left shorter and lighter than the "mid-size" Cougar. Broader expanses of glass and a lower hood line provided more visibility. Interior space increased with redesigned seats and door panels. The new styling also produced better aerodynamics. Gone were the hidden headlights and fender skirts that had graced earlier models, leaving a more contemporary look. The interior gained Lincolnesque white-face instruments with square gauges. Pillared hardtop styling was replaced with two- and four-door post models. The 400 and 460 cid V8s were discontinued; the standard engine was now the 302 cubic inch Windsor V8. The 351 Windsor engine was a rare option and is highly desirable today. The switch to the Panther platform marked the first time that the entire full-size Mercury lineup shared its wheelbase and bodyshell with Ford models. As before, wagons were available in standard trim and woodgrained Colony Park trim. The Marquis received a minor update for 1982, losing the vents in the front fenders and the small grilles in the front bumper.  In 1979 the Capri became a rebadged Mustang , giving Mercury a pony car for the first time since the Mercury Cougar was upsized in 1974 to complement the Ford Thunderbird. The Capri was built on the Ford Fox platform, which was used for the Mustang from 1979 to 2004 with a design change in 1994. The Fox-based Mercury Capri was fairly unchanged throughout its entire run. It maintained its squared-off   front fascia and grille, and distinctive flared fenders. The only major iteration happened in 1983 with the addition of a racing-inspired hatchback with a compound rear window (also known as the "bubble back"), a new rear bumper and taillights. In 1984, the high performance Capri RS received a front air dam which continued until 1986.The drivetrain and interior options closely matched that of the Mustang year for year. There are differences but they are generally few.





        1980 - Cougar Gets Downsized

 For 1980, the Cougar was downsized to the 108-inch (2,700 mm) wheelbase Fox platform, shared with the Zephyr. The sedan and base coupe were dropped, leaving only the XR-7. Opera windows became optional, although the louvered style of the old opera windows was applied to the standard-window coupes. Wipers were no longer hidden, and for the first time, the Cougar had sedan  frames around its windows. Inside, there was a turn to flashy electronics, considered ultramodern at the time, with digital instrumentation and trip computer functions available. A smaller 119 hp (89 kW) 255 in³ (4.2 L) V8 was the base engine, but this engine was considered weak and did not last long, and the 134 hp (100 kW) 302 V8 was optional along with a newly introduced four-speed automatic overdrive transmission. Like the downsized Thunderbird, this generation was poorly received by the public  and was a sales flop compared to the beautiful '77 - '79 bodystyle .  Power came from an almost forgettable 255 c.i.d 8 cylinder , with the 302 optional.  The Monarch continued unchanged , The Marquis and Capri were all new for 1979 , so there were only trim and color changes  for 1980 . Zephyr  soldiered on without changes ,  while the Bobcat got a new grille , headlamps and front sheet  metal .



            1981 - Hello  Mercury Lynx 

The Monarch  &  Bobcat were dis-continued at the end of 1980 . The Zephyr actually was part of  the fox platform at Ford and continued on to 1983 ,also becoming known as the base Cougar for it's 4 door sedan and station wagon body stampings.  Last years new ''box'' style Cougar would remain as the XR-7 model only.  Bobcat was done in because of all the negative press regarding it's sister  car, the Ford  Pinto, over the possible faulty fuel tank and related fires. This leaves Mercury with a new sub-compact , the Lynx.  Identical to it's Ford counterpart  , the Escort , The lynx wore different grille & tailamps , as is the case with badge engineering. The Lynx was sold in 2 door , 4 door and wagon form. The Grand Marquis and Capri models carried on unchanged.     


         1982 - Mercury's  Lineup Is Thin

   For 1982  , Mercury comes to market with basically unchanged styling , except for trim , ornamentation and color schemes.The Grand Marquis has become a favorite to senior citizen buyers with it's  luxurious refinements and appointments.  Lynx gets  a sportier  2 door , 2 seater called the LN-7  , which is shared with the Ford  EXP . The Capri carries over with minimal changes on the options list and trim and body colors .  The Cougar line now expands to include 4 door sedans and wagons  , as well as the existing 2 door models , in hope of a broader appeal .



         1983 -Cougar  Goes Aerodynamic 

The Cougar got a clean slate for 1983 with an all new and welcome  aerodynamic look. This  would prove to be a popular move , as Cougar sales would pick up again after the last couple of years.  This restyle was shared with its sister car, the Thunderbird, with the two becoming  the first examples of the new "aero-look" design, which would eventually spread throughout the Ford line and ultimately the entire industry. The major difference between the two was the side window treatments; the Cougar had a more formal notchback with a nearly vertical rear window and upswept quarter windows. This made the Cougar look more aerodynamic as well as more exciting when compared to previous Cougars. The new look was such a hit that it outsold the Thunderbird for 1983. But due to the amount of money spent in restyling both models, the interiors were left mostly unchanged from 1982. The GS (but not badged as such) and LS models carried over from the previous year; however, the XR-7 did not as there was not yet a performance version ready. The engine lineup changed, as the only two engines offered were the 232 in³ (3.8 L) V6 and the 302 in³ (5.0 L) V8. 390 mm (15.3") TRX wheels were an option . The Capri , Lynx and LN-7 continue relatively unchanged.  The Marquis nameplate returns  , but on the fox platform in 4 door and wagon form , since Cougars are again 2 door only.  Grand Marquis and Colony Park are still the flagships of Mercury.  Distinctive  2-tone paint combinations were now available as well as other creature comforts .


              1984 - The Mercury Topaz

For this year, Mercury pretty well stood pat , making minor changes and fine tuning their established products. Topaz made it's debut for 1984 , spelling the end for Zephyr. The first generation Topaz was a stark contrast from the Zephyr that it replaced. Both the front windshield and rear window were set at 60° angles, with the trunk of the car being placed higher than the side windows to allow for greater fuel efficiency and air flow. On the Topaz was a more formal C-pillar arrangement  the window. The front of the car featured a set of two sealed-recessed in chrome "beam halogen headlamps uckets" and the grille in between the headlights featured four horizontally thin rails each swept back to allow for greater air flow into the engine compartment and over the hood. Standard on the first generation Tempo was a new 2.3 L HSC inline four-cylinder gasoline engine with a one-barrel carburetor, with an optional Mazda-built four-cylinder diesel engine. Mated to either of these engines were the choice of a four-speed IB4 or five-speed MTX-III manual transmission (which was the standard, and only option for the diesel engine variant), or the standard 3-speed FLC automatic with a floor-mounted shift lever. The instrument panel featured a new, easier to read gauge layout, with all switches and controls placed within easy reach of the driver.  The body style was either  2 door or 4 door .The list of options were customer oriented  , depending on what you were looking  . The Grand Marquis nameplate remained on the Panther platform as Mercury's flagship sedan. The Grand Marquis was available in two body styles: a two-door sedan, a four-door sedan .  The mid-size Marquis sedan and wagon continued on with the 2.3 L SOHC four-cylinder as the base engine. Wagons came with a six-cylinder standard. 1984 models could have the 3.3 L "Mileage Maker" inline six, otherwise, the 3.8 L Essex V6 was available in all models and was the most common. After 1984, the inline-6 engine (dating to 1963) was discontinued. The high-output 4.9 L 5.0L Windsor V8 was available in the rare Marquis LTS, sold only in Canada.  The Cougar was basically unchanged for 1984 , aside from color additions , it was all new for last year . The Capri received  a racing-inspired re-designed hatchback with a compound rear window (also known as the "bubble back"), a new rear bumper and taillights. For 1984, the high performance Capri RS received a front air damalso . The drivetrain and interior options closely matched that of the Mustang year for year. There are differences but they are generally minor. The Lynx continued on with minor trim updates to  it's 2 door , 4 door and wagon body styles.   


     1985  -  A Year Of Refinements

 For 1985 , it was a quiet year of fine tuning and refinements for the entire  Mercury car line. Having virtually replaced all it's models since 1982 , it was time to concentrate on making thier products better.  The Lynx continued on , unchanged.  Capri , with it's new    rear design , was also unchanged for 1985 . The Topaz , new for '84 received new color selections and minor trim changes.  The mid sized Marquis got a new V-6 engine , replacing the L-6 . The Cougar got a new grille and tailamp design , but otherwise was unchanged .  The Grand Marquis got minor trim changes to the grille , but the biggest news was sequential   fuel injection for the 5.0L engine . The 2 door Grand Marquis would be dis-continurd at the end of the '85 model year .  Mercury was looking ahead .  The Sable would bow next year , and a lot was riding on that.

     Mercury Television Commercials


        '68 Cougar Commercial .....

         '69 Cougar Commercial .....

         '69 Marquis Commercial ....

       ' 69 Montego Commercial.... 

         ' 68  Montego  Commercial ....

         ' 73 Mercury Division Commercial .... 

       ' 75  Cougar Commercial .... 

         ' 70 Cyclone Commercial .....

          ' 73 Montego Commercial .....


                Thanks For Visiting

       If you are looking for a real good car , Take it from Dean Martin as '' Matt Helm'' ......



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