Sunday, February 12, 2012

1942 Mercury Eight

There has been some people to criticize the style of both Fords and Mercurys in 1941. The latter somehow has fared better than the ugly Fords. Alas, 1942 brings a new grille that doesn't do much to improve the car's elegance. Add to this a disastrous new optional gearbox and production coming to a halt half-way through model year because of the world conflict, and 1942 won't remain in automotive history as Mercury's most memorable year.

Mercury's 1942 range includes a single line: Mercury Eight.

Mercury Eight
For 1942, Mercury proposes a much busier style than last year. The front end looks much heavier, with its wide grille split in two upper and lower parts, taking cues from the larger Lincolns. The parking lights are moved from the top of the front wings to the sides of the bonnet. Thick chromed decorations ran along both the front and rear wings. Overall, one may argue about the positive effect brought by these “improvements”. Hidden under these new bodies, the Mercurys keep their enlarged Ford V-8s, but their outputs are now raised to 100 bhp. In addition, all models can now be ordered with a “Liquamatic” transmission - not a fully automatic transmission as Oldsmobile proposes, but rather an automatic clutch provided by Warner Gear. This device rapidly proves highly unreliable, so much that during the year Ford proposes to all of its customers who have purchased Mercurys so equipped to return their vehicles in order to have them refitted with conventional clutches. At any rate, there aren’t not so many cars brought back to Ford dealerships as one may have feared as the production of all civilian vehicles is suspended early in 1942 to allow all Detroit factories to concentrate on war production.
Introduction: Late 1940. Construction: body on separate chassis. Engine: water-cooled V-8, 3.9-litre, 100 hp, mounted at the front. Transmission: to the rear wheels through a three-speed manual gearbox. Three-speed semi-automatic transmission optional. Suspension: rigid axles at the front and the rear. Brakes: hydraulic, to drums on all four wheels. Length: 514 cm. Top speed: n/a. Range: two-door business coupe, two-door sedan-coupe, two-door sedan, four-door town sedan, two-door club convertible, four-door station wagon.

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