Sunday, February 12, 2012

1939 Mercury Eight

Here is Mercury's very first automobile, the series 99A, better known as the "Eight" (that's what's written on the car itself) or the "8" (that's the name that is systematically used in Mercury's ads). It has taken Edsel Ford years to convince his father Henry that their company needed an intermediate offer between the popular Fords and the posh Lincolns, and this way efficiently compete with General Motors. A Ford made fancier, it definitely shares the overall look of its cheaper counterpart, but actually not a single body panel is common to both brands.

Mercury's 1939 range includes a single line: Mercury Eight.

Mercury Eight
Edsel Ford’s brainchild, the Mercury Eight combines an enlarged Ford V-8 with a more complete equipment and the new Ford design, reminiscent of the acclaimed Lincoln Zephyr. It adopts the new hydraulic brakes Henry Ford has stubbornly refused to see on his cars for so long, but retains, as most American automobiles, rigid axles. Mercury’s advertisements claim, not without grounds, that its car succeeds in combining good performance with interesting economy. Four body styles are available in the range of this ambitious new brand, that intends to compete in the same price field as Pontiac and Dodge.
Introduction: November 1938. Construction: body on separate chassis. Engine: water-cooled V-8, 3.9-litre, 95 hp, mounted at the front. Transmission: to the rear wheels through a three-speed manual gearbox. Suspension: rigid axles at the front and the rear. Brakes: hydraulic, to drums on all four wheels. Length: 498 cm. Top speed: n/a. Range: two-door sedan-coupe, two-door sedan, four-door town sedan, two-door club convertible.

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