Mercury is a division of Ford Motor Company . Unlike most other divisions of large motor companies, Mercury was started from scratch in 1939. Ford had the brand Lincoln Motor Company, a high end brand, and Edsel Ford saw an opportunity to have a brand that was between Ford and Lincoln. The Mercury brand would be distinguished by unique styling and better performance than other Ford’s, and be named after the roman god of the same name.
Mercury’s first car was the Mercury Eight, which became a hit with more than 155,000 sold before production stopped for World War II. The Mercury Eight offered 95 horsepower, 10 more than the standard V8 Ford offered in it’s lineups. After the war, Ford marketed Mercury closer to Lincoln than Ford. Mercury gained it’s status in 1960’s when the Comet and Meteor models were released. These cars pushed the envelope for performance and stylish amenities at reasonable prices. The decade ended with the now famous muscle car, the Mercury Cougar. This was a version of the Mustang built on the same platform.
Sales increased dramatically in the 1970’s and 1980’s, making Mercury a profitable division when many others hit hard times during the fuel crisis of the 1970’s. American’s tastes quickly moved to smaller vehicles, and Mercury responded with the Capri and Bobcat in the 1970’s, and the Lynx in the 1980’s.