(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?
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(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.
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(Found at) Fort Mason (San Francisco, California): 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 Convertible

12233406_10153136886362201_131286300_nImitation is considered the finest form of flattery. The stylists at Pontiac had the biggest confidence booster in the form of imitations from multiple brands for Model Year 1965. From cars as diverse as the Mercury Comet to Fraternal Luxury brand Cadillac, brands adopted Pontiac’s signature stacked headlamps. Some also adopted the fullness at the ‘hips.’

No brand got flack for it more than Ford. Their mostly revamped under the skin Full Sized Models were derisively called “The Box the 1963 Pontiac came in.” Burned by that assertion, Ford massaged the look to mesmerize buyers and critics the following seasons on sale. From hips sprouting pubescent curves and a bit more rake to the headlamps, The 1966 full sized Ford strived for a unique identity all it’s own.

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(Found In) Bayview (San Francisco): 1966 Lincoln Continental Convertible

11853886_10152968638602201_1167306201_nDuring these dog days of Summer before life files into the rigor of Fall activities and education, one might daydream about one final cruise under the warm Summer sun.

The more elegant the beast we bask in the better, right? Nothing says luxuriant sunbathing like a Camelot Continental. Ironically we meet up with the penultimate version of this breed of fun machine under foggy San Francisco Summer skies.

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(Found In) Inner Richmond (San Francisco) – 1962 Mercury Monterey 2 Door Hardtop Coupe

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Mercury, true to the body in the sky it is named for, never got too far away from the orbit of the (Ford) sun. Sometimes it danced towards being Junior Lincolns, but a majority of the time they spent their existence being nothing but fancy Fords. The one glaring moment counter to that would be the 1957-60 models that did share their body structure with senior Edsels for one year.

Appropriate as we go into Mercury Retrograde, we find one of the finest examples of Mercury appearing barely disguised in its role of “Fancy Ford.” With a smattering of mascara and a burst of blush, make-up was applied to the basic senior Ford body in an attempt to make something special for suburban buyers. Whether that was convincing or not could be summed up by how popular Mercury was compared to its contemporaries.

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