Mercury closed for business in 2011, missing its 75th year by only two years. Created in 1938 by Edsel Ford, Mercury was marketed as a middle-priced brand for nearly its entire existence, bridging the price gap between the Ford and Lincoln model lines. Mercury competed for head to head against Oldsmobile within General Motors and most directly against Chrysler’s DeSoto, Hudson, and Studebaker.

How the Company got Started

In 1937, Edsel Ford began to develop ideas for what would later become the company, Mercury. Unlike Lincoln-Zephyr and DeLuxe Ford, Mercury was developed and marketed as a completely new brand. In November of 1938, Edsel Ford introduced four body styles of the Mercury Eight at the New York Auto Show. Along with a two-door sedan and a four-door sedan, Mercury revealed a two-door convertible and a two-door trunked sedan.

E.T. ‘Bob’ Gregorie was in charge of body design. While similar in concept to the modestly restyled De Luxe Ford, the V8-powered Mercury was an all-new car with its size between the V8 Ford and the V12 Lincoln-Zephyr; it was a mid-sized car.

From 1945 to its closure, Mercury was half of the Lincoln-Mercury Division of Ford, forming a combined sales network apart from Ford. Through the use of platform sharing and manufacturing commonality, Mercury vehicles shared components and engineering with Ford and Lincoln.

In 2010, Ford Motor Company announced the closure of the Mercury brand in an effort to focus on the Ford and Lincoln brands, ending manufacturing at the end of 2010. The final Mercury vehicle, a 2011 Mercury Grand Marquis, came off the assembly line on January 4, 2011.  Mercury is still an active, registered trademark of Ford Motor Company.

The Logo

Mercury Logo

Mercury was named after the Greek God of merchants and travelers, who is known chiefly for his winged sandals. Though it is also the planet’s name and liquid metal, the brand points to the mythological meaning. The Mercury visual identity has three style phases. The first one was a logical reflection of the brand’s name; the second was a test; the third and last redesign aimed at modernity and style.

The Mercury logo in the 1940s featured a profile of the Greek God to establish the brand’s name meaning. It was an intricately detailed image, which has been slightly modified throughout the years. The first version of Mercury’s logo identity lasted for almost twenty years. In the 1950s, the brand created a second emblem, which was used alongside the original one. This one had the sharp and bold letter “M,” whose wings were spread on both sides of the car grille.

In the 1960s, Mercury produced its most famous car model, the Mercury Cougar. This is when the brand’s visual identity focus changes dramatically. The cougar in the middle of the article has its mouth open and looks ready to attack. It was a representation of the power and authority of the brand, with its bold lines evoking a sense of strength and influence.

The monochrome emblem transformed to metallic when placed on the cars. The color added elegance and luxury to the brand’s symbol, making it look classic and stylish.


Sales were ultimately what decided the fate of Mercury. On June 2, 2010, Ford announced the closure of the Mercury line – effective at the end of the year – as the company concentrated its marketing and engineering efforts on the Ford and Lincoln model lines. They relocated all of its Mercury employees to Lincoln.

In terms of overall sales in North America, the Mercury brand only held a 1 percent share. After selling less than 93,000 vehicles for 2009, Mercury had sold fewer vehicles than either Oldsmobile or Plymouth before their closures. At the time, Mercury vehicles were sold in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Middle East. In 2010, 93,165 Mercury vehicles were sold. This was nearly 265,000 fewer than in 2000.

Discontinuation seemed the right route. Lincoln and Ford had seen growth and were strong enough to absorb all employees and liabilities.

Mercury sales

Most Popular Model

The most popular model would no doubt be the Grand Marquis. It was also the last Mercury automobile to come off the line in 2011. The Grand Marquis was a massive, very comfortable vehicle with lots of amenities, making it great for travel and larger families as it was very comfortable even with six people. Due to the vehicle’s size, pillow-like suspension, and low-effort steering, it has all the road feel of a luxury vehicle. The trunk was large enough to handle the luggage of a six-member family.  Law enforcement loved the speed and control as well as the room for all their gear.

Many Different Models


Avg Asking Price



Used: $9,071

New$ 25,925

“The rear-wheel-drive 2011 Mercury Grand Marquis is powered by a 4.6-liter V8 good for only 224 hp 275 lb-ft of torque. A four-speed automatic is standard. Going from zero to 60 mph requires about 8.5 seconds.”

Used: $12,990

New: $22,750

“2011 Mercury Milan adds one-touch power front windows and integrated spotter mirrors to the standard equipment list. New options include rain-sensing windshield wipers, HD radio, an appearance package featuring 18-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, and a rear spoiler. The available voice-operated Sync system also boasts a new traffic, directions, and information service.

The fold-flat front passenger seat has been dropped. The optional Sony audio system now has a single-CD player in place of last year's six-disc changer.”

Used: $4,000

New: $27,400

“The Mariner offers a number of high-end features unavailable on most rivals, such as Ford's Sync voice-activated multimedia system. Once connected through your Bluetooth-compatible phone, Sync can also provide traffic reports and turn-by-turn directions.”

Used: $9,995

New: $29,480

“The Mercury Mountaineer is an upscale twin to the Ford Explorer. It competes against SUVs like the Buick Enclave and Kia Borrego. It’s available in base or Premier trim, with optional four-wheel drive. It seats up to seven people.”

Used: $12,490

New: $25,120

“Sables are powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that offers adequate power. This engine replaces the 3.0-liter V-6 that powered the Montego from 2005 to 2007. The new V-6 makes 263 horsepower, compared to its predecessor’s 203 hp, but the car feels slower than it really is.”

Mercury Muscle Cars and Motorsports

Cale Yarborough was among the NASCAR greats who drove Mercurys to stock-car victories in the ’60s. Mercury’s drag-racing credentials were just as strong. “Dyno” Don Nicholson and Ronnie Sox were just two of the top quarter-milers who piloted Mercury Comet compacts.

Stock-class Comets cleaned up at the 1964 NHRA Winternationals, and Factory Experimental Comets were among the quickest and most advanced drag cars of the day. Mercury’s Cougar pony car was competitive in the SCCA’s wildly popular Trans-Am race series.

What street credit Mercury mustered centered on the Comet Cyclone GT, which had graduated to the midsize Fairlane chassis for 1966. Cougar was introduced in 1967 with the 390 as its biggest available engine and then upped its firepower for ’68 with the Cougar GT-E, which came with a 390-bhp 427. The hottest Cougars and Cyclones soon adopted the new 428 Cobra Jet, and as the engine became Ford’s flagship performance mill, late-’60s  newspaper and magazine ads read “Lincoln-Mercury’s zip code: CJ428.”

By 1969, performance Mercurys were available with most of the bright colors, stripes, and body styles that had become synonymous with American muscle. The 1969 and ’70 Cougar Eliminator featured a stand-up rear-deck spoiler, bold side stripes, and bright new “Grabber” colors. It backed up its bold looks with the full slate of Ford performance V-8s, from the 290-bhp Boss 302 to the 335-bhp 428 CJ. Mercury also fielded the Cyclone Spoiler and Spoiler II in 1969, complete with special-trim editions in the colors of racers Cale Yarborough and Dan Gurney.

Mercury’s largest-displacement performance engine was Ford’s familiar Cobra Jet, introduced in 1970. The 1970 Cyclone Spoiler, which finally appeared, had distinct styling from the Ford Torino. With a full array of muscle hardware as standard equipment, this was the best volume-production Mercury muscle car of the period, capable of mid-14-seconds in the quarter-mile. For those who couldn’t afford the Spoiler, the Cyclone GT was Mercury’s lower-priced option, with a 351 V-8 standard and the 429 optional.

When high performance fell out of fashion after 1971, Mercury wasted no time closing up its muscle-car tent. The division embraced the faux-luxury fad that swept Detroit in the 1970s. That may have pained the few buyers looking to Mercury for a different-drummer muscle car. Still, it signaled a return to the marque’s traditional mission of a mid-sized, mid-luxury, affordable automobile.

Ford may have closed the doors on the future of Mercury, but it certainly will not ever erase its past. Mercury had an impact on the automobile industry and motorsports. Motorsport museums worldwide will always have retired, replicated, photographed Mercurys as a part of their exhibits.

Looking to sell a Mercury for Cash?

After learning all about how valuable Mercury cars are, are you looking to sell your old one? If so, let us help you. Zippy Cash for Cars can help you get the best value for your money with our services, leaving you with enough funds to purchase a brand new Mercury with ease. For more information on how to sell your Mercury with us, contact us here.

  • 20+ years buying cars

  • 220,000 happy customers and counting

  • 50 states. We’re in all 50 states.

Get Your Offer Now

Start by getting an offer on your car in under 2 minutes.