(Found In) Uptown (Oakland, California): 1988 Mercury Sable GS 4 Door Sedan

IMG_3844We’ve covered how much of a revelation the Ford Taurus was to new car buyers when it debuted 32 years ago in the Fall of 1985. But what is to be made of its sister ship, the too new for now Mercury Sable? With half skirted wheels, a full light bar substituting for grille work and a “floating” roof above “wrap around” glass, the Sable gave visual incentive to move into tomorrow today with many a styling feature that once was the reign of Science Fiction.

But was there much substance underneath the fantasy found in fancy Ford dealerships? What *more* did you get over the already trend setting Taurus?

Continue reading “(Found In) Uptown (Oakland, California): 1988 Mercury Sable GS 4 Door Sedan”

Advertisements

Dynamic Divergence: My Mother (And) The Car

photo-1-3Social Networking can bring about some really awkward interactions with parents if they are young enough and/or technologically savvy. In my case, they center around my mother and her opinions on some of the curbside classics I find and post to Facebook from time to time.

Due to her direct experience as a fashion conscious (and cautious) teenager in the mid 1970s, a number of classic cars can elicit some pretty strong memories. “Oh god! That is the same Comet grandma tried to buy for me my junior year” was her robust response to this Split Pea Green Comet I found in the El Cerrito hills.

Continue reading “Dynamic Divergence: My Mother (And) The Car”

(Found In) Longfellow (Oakland, California): 1976 Mercury Marquis Colony Park Station Wagon

img_3055 Once upon a time in a world 40 years ago, the way to haul the herds through freshly minted suburbia wasn’t via sport utility vehicles, nor minivans. The new fangled concept of all things in one crossovers would have bewildered the average buyer in 1976. Only one thing got-er-done in Bi-Centennial ’76, and that was the wooly mammoth clad in wood known as the full sized Station Wagon.

FordMoCo long dominated the niche in sales performance, and to varying degrees, prestige. The Di-Noc slathered Country Squire was one of the first Ford products that didn’t mind its position as a member of one of the low priced three brands, being acceptable in Fields and at Country Clubs. How did the further upmarket Marquis Colony Park fare among the fancy precious cargo carriers?
Continue reading “(Found In) Longfellow (Oakland, California): 1976 Mercury Marquis Colony Park Station Wagon”

(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco, California): 1959 Mercury Park Lane Cruiser 4 Door Hardtop Sedan

image (11).jpegWe’ve discussed before how choosing the name Mercury for its middle class brand might have been FordMoCo’s biggest mistake. Selecting the celestial body known to astrologically put the most mix-ups in our lives was just right for conjuring up a make full of surprises and shadows.

This Mercury Retrograde we once again trace back to the heady times of 1959, from the alternate perspective of a top of the line Park Lane, all dressed in Black. Different in mission and purpose than the bare bones Monterey, we’ll see how it was supposed to be a giant killer and a bridge to bigger things, but had to retrace its steps under the age of McNamara.

Continue reading “(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco, California): 1959 Mercury Park Lane Cruiser 4 Door Hardtop Sedan”

(Found In) South Of Market (San Francisco, California): 1963 Mercury Meteor Custom Station Wagon

13895026_1232262606784763_38402590838525256_n We’ve covered the fall to earth of the 1962-63 Mercury Meteor before. What we didn’t cover were the distinct efforts of metal these Mercurial beasts were offered in. From bargain to slightly brash, it’s kind of a sad story that the 1-2-3 diversity left Mercury dealers with a plethora of plodding ambiguity.

Today we swap out the dashing, dapper coupe version for something far more practical. Spacious, savvy and spoiled with options, the upmarket Meteor Wagons should have been bigger hits.

 
Continue reading “(Found In) South Of Market (San Francisco, California): 1963 Mercury Meteor Custom Station Wagon”

(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco, California): 1959 Mercury Monterey 2 Door Hardtop Coupe

photo-2The superstitions around “Mercury Retrograde” are perceived as explanations for communication and travel gone awry. Maybe that was the first mistake Ford made; naming their middle brand Mercury in the first place. For every two steps forward the brand made, it seemingly made two steps back.

They always ended up in the same place: being a Fancy Ford. Before it gave up the ghost and entered another period of review, the 1959 Mercury models tried to right any wrongs that prevented its individualized success on the medium car market.
Continue reading “(Found In) Lone Mountain (San Francisco, California): 1959 Mercury Monterey 2 Door Hardtop Coupe”

(Found In) Fernside (Alameda, California): 1963 Mercury Comet S-22 Convertible

24511649174_c64999eed7_hFuller and Fancier than the Falcon, the Comet had carved out a pretty succesful niche as being a borderline Mid-sized entry level medium priced car in the early 196o’s. As the Falcon added to its repetoire, so did the Comet. For 1963 that mean a few more shots across the sky in hardtop coupe and covertible form. Not only was the fun in the way to accesorize your roofs, some new, some would say needed, zoom was available under the hood as well.

As compact cars struck different fancies in the ever diversifying American Automotive market, the Comet wanted to woo you with interstellar fantasies and earthbound charms a plenty. Charming, carefree and coy, it was one of the most compelling choices among compact cars in 1963.

Continue reading “(Found In) Fernside (Alameda, California): 1963 Mercury Comet S-22 Convertible”

(Found In) Poet’s Corner (Berkeley, California): 1973 Mercury Monterey Custom 2 Door Hardtop Coupe

12575907_10153265422877201_1392809317_nThe epitome of leviathan bulk during the excessive “Me” decade of the 1970’s can be exemplified by the bulk of full-sized offerings from all Detroit Brands. You can’t point a finger at any American Manufacturer without blaming the other for producing some of the most blatantly wasteful automobiles of all time, decidedly at the wrong time when it comes to market conditions.

No example shows a lack of ideas better than a 1973 Mercury Monterey 2 door hardtop coupe, however. Basically a super tanker on wheels, it spoke of everything possibly gone wrong with the traditional American Car. In the huge shadow that this porcine parkway pounder cast, many a sea change in the American Automotive landscape started to take root.

Continue reading “(Found In) Poet’s Corner (Berkeley, California): 1973 Mercury Monterey Custom 2 Door Hardtop Coupe”

(Found In) Gold Coast (Alameda, California): 1963 Mercury Meteor Custom 2 Door Hardtop Coupe

22287512303_553ac0e23c_z The Mercury Meteor didn’t have to be a quick flash in the sky that fell to the earth without much success as it did between 1962 and 1963. In a market newly hungry for downsized premium and luxury items, it seems Mercury, the middle movers of Dearborn Dreams, would be perfectly poised to seize upon upwardly mobile Mid-Sized opportunities in the early 1960’s.

Unfortunately, a lack of faith on the part of Ford to set the Meteor apart from its sister ship the Fairlane lead to certain fatality on the American market.

Continue reading “(Found In) Gold Coast (Alameda, California): 1963 Mercury Meteor Custom 2 Door Hardtop Coupe”

(Found In) Lower Haight (San Francisco, California): 1964 Mercury Montclair Breezeway 4 Door Sedan

9319740544_48560d26f0_zFor the life of the brand, the Mercury division of Ford Motor Company struggled to figure out its image within the American Automotive marketplace.

Initially perched as the up-market solution to the vast gap between Ford and Lincoln, Mercury found that pound remarkably deep and wide, full of competition not only from General Motors and Chrysler, but some well-regarded independents as well. Matters weren’t helped much by which season the Mercurial brand was aligned with being a “Fancy Ford” or a “Cut-Rate Lincoln.”
Continue reading “(Found In) Lower Haight (San Francisco, California): 1964 Mercury Montclair Breezeway 4 Door Sedan”