History of Mercury
Mercury is an automobile marque of the Ford Motor Company founded in 1939 by Edsel Ford, son of Henry Ford, to market entry-level-luxury cars slotted between Ford-branded regular models and Lincoln-branded luxury vehicles, similar to General Motors' Buick (and former Oldsmobile) brand and Chrysler's Chrysler brand. Today, all Mercury models are based on Ford platforms. The name "Mercury" is derived from the "messenger of the gods" of Roman mythology, and during its early years, the Mercury brand was known for performance, which was briefly revived in 2003 with the Mercury Marauder.
Mercury was its own division at Ford until 1945 when it was combined with Lincoln into the Lincoln-Mercury Division, with Ford hoping the brand would be known as a "junior Lincoln", rather than an upmarket Ford. In 1949, Mercury introduced the first of its "new look", integrated bodies, at the same time that Ford and Lincoln also changed styling radically. Again in 1952, Mercury offered a further modernization in its look. In 1958, the Lincoln-Mercury Division and the ill-fated Edsel brand were joined into the Mercury-Edsel-Lincoln Division; with the demise of Edsel in 1960, it has been in the Lincoln-Mercury Division ever since.
Mercury, like the defunct Edsel, was created from scratch, rather than being a takeover of an existing company like Lincoln. Mercury's heyday was in the 1950s, when its formula of stretching and lowering existing Ford platforms was very successful. The marque has changed several times throughout its history. During the 1940s and 1950s, the make moved between as a "gussied up" Ford, to a "junior Lincoln" and even to having its own body designs. From the late 1950s, through the 1960s and early 1970s, Mercury began to distance itself from Ford and offered several different looking models such as the Turnpike Cruiser, Park Lane, Cougar and Marquis. During Ford Division's "Total Performance" era in the early 1960s, Mercury produced some equivalent models, such as the full-size S-55 Marauders, which shared the same body styles and mechanics as the Ford Galaxie 500/XL sports models. These big Mercurys were somewhat successful in racing. But in the late 1970s to the early 1980s the brand was joined at the hip with Ford again and its image suffered as a result.