Mercury's greatest hits

Ford's mid-level brand has had a few big hits over the years. These are some of the best.

1 of 5
BACKNEXT
1949 Mercury Eight
1949 Mercury Eight
Value today: $30,000-$45,000 (not customized)

Henry Ford's son Edsel started the Mercury brand in 1939 as a way to fill the pricing gap between the inexpensive Ford brand and the luxury Lincoln brand.

Unlike his father, Edsel believed in the importance of design in automobiles and Mercury offered customers something a little more stylish than a Ford, often with a little more performance, too.

Mercury really took off with the introduction of the 1949 model. That same year, Ford introduced the '49 Ford -- no model names in those days -- that brought Ford back from the brink of disaster in the years following World War II while introducing modern smooth-fendered automotive design.

The Mercury version was the subject of the hit song "Mercury Blues" ("I'm crazy 'bout a Mercury...") but it really became famous as James Dean's ride in "Rebel Without a Cause." It also quickly became popular with car customizers, who still create chopped" '49 Mercurys, like this one.

Sadly, Mercury hit its zenith with this car, just a decade after its birth. Sixty-one model years later, Ford announced Wednesday it had decided to kill the brand.

"They never achieved this sort of swagger or notoriety again," said McKeel Hagerty, president of the collector car insurance company Hagerty Insurance.


NEXT: 1960 Mercury Comet
Last updated June 03 2010: 10:43 AM ET
Find Your Next Car
More Galleries
50 years of the Ford Mustang Take a drive down memory lane with our favorite photos of the car through the years. More
Cool cars from the New York Auto Show These are some of the most interesting new models and concept vehicles from the Big Apple's car show. More
8 CEOs who took a pay cut in 2013 Median CEO pay inched up 9% in 2013 to $13.9 million. But not everyone got a bump last year. Here are eight CEOs who missed out. More

Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.