Readers’ Cars & Trucks

November 1, 2011 | By Staff

Our Mercury Collection: a 1975 Cougar, 1991 Topaz and a 2008 Mariner

WITH THE RECENT passing of the Mercury brand and viewing articles that other readers have sent in, here is my story about the three Mercurys my wife and I currently own.

I bought the 1975 Cougar in 1978. The car has always been garaged and is all original except for the vinyl top which was replaced with the same vinyl that the factory installed. We have taken the Cougar on many family vacations to several states. The 351M Cleveland V-8 provides plenty of power; the car is roomy and is comfortable to ride in. (I have been told by passengers that it floats down the highway.) Moreover, it has provided years of trouble-free driving.

Now the Cougar sets in the garage except for an occasional ride, attendance at a car show or going on a cruise. It has won trophies at car shows with comments from people such as “I don’t see this model around anymore.”

I remember seeing a television commercial for the 1975 Cougar with the late actress Farrah Fawcett. That same commercial is on You Tube today.

The 1991 Topaz was the first new car my wife and I owned. The Topaz also has been on many trips and is reliable and economical to drive. As of July this car has been in the family for 20 years. My mother owned the car for a few years and it was my daughter’s first car.

We purchased the 2008 Mariner in July of last year. My wife is very happy with the Mariner which handles well for an SUV and is fun to drive.

I enjoy looking at and reading your magazine. Keep up the good work.

Mark Plackemeier Missouri

Editor’s note: While Ford Motor Co. intended to shut down Mercury production before the end of 2010, snowstorms delayed their build cycles and the last Mercury, a white 2011 Grand Marquis, came off the company’s assembly line in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, on Jan. 4 of this year.

Interestingly enough, while Mercury had been established in 1939 by Edsel Ford, Henry Ford’s son, and was a part of the company for more than seven decades, Ford Motor did nothing to observe the passing of the brand:Ford did not keep the last of the Mercs, a six-passenger,V-8 powered, body-on-frame sedan, a true retro treasure. Instead of putting it on display, it was sold to an unnamed fleet customer. In fact, the company didn’t even take a photo of the last of the Mercurys for its archives. “Unfortunately, there is no photo of that specific unit—sorry,” a company spokesperson was quoted as saying at the time.

Evidence that a true Mercury family lives here. From left to right are their ’75 Cougar, a 1991 Topaz and the newest addition, a 2008 Mariner.
Evidence that a true Mercury family lives here. From left to right are their ’75 Cougar, a 1991 Topaz and the newest addition, a 2008 Mariner.

But then given Ford’s current fascination with dashboard display technology, their attitude toward the last Mercury comes as no surprise.After all, how many electronic devices do you suppose you could operate off of or through a Grand Marquis dash anyway.

However, it’s ironic to note that while the brand closeout got the cold shoulder from Ford, the Grand Marquis did manage to end its run on an up note. Mercury sold 28,543 of the big sedans in 2010…a 15 percent increase over the year before.