by Dave Weber
Pictures by Zach Morecraft
In 1939, Ford Motor Corporation opted to introduce a new marque for their midline marketing position. They called it Mercury and even though WWII began soon after, Mercury did find a successful niche between the expensive Lincoln and the least costly Ford. The first Mercurys utilized much of the existing Ford body styling and parts, but did feature many enhancements to differentiate it from the existing Ford product.
After WWII ceased and the US again became a peaceful nation, the Mercury began using Lincoln parts and styling in the late 1940s. The Lincoln - Mercury Division was established and continues to exist at the present time. Even though Mercury still uses many Lincoln styling cues, the marque has succeeded in maintaining its' own identity.
Probably the first Mercurys to become extra popular were the 1949-1951 body styles. The coupe bodies were subsequently used by many and various professional and novice customizers ! During 1954- 1956, Mercury and companion Ford introduced a new styling concept on some of their 2 door Hardtop models. This consisted of the front section of the roof being removed and replaced with a tinted Plexiglas panel . The Mercury model was called the Sun Valley. In 1957, Mercury introduced a very radically styled model called the Turnpike Cruiser. This car featured a reverse slanted rear window and concave rear fender fins and other modern enhancements. Some people liked them; others did not!
In 1967 Mercury introduced the 2 Door Hardtop Coupe called the Cougar. It was a sister/ companion model to the already successful Ford Mustang. The Cougar "Muscle Car" version was called the Eliminator. But unlike the Mustang, the Cougar name subsequently was used as a model series which also included Convertibles, Sedans and Station Wagons in addition to the original Hardtop! This model series was discontinued after 1997.
In 1999, Mercury reintroduced the Cougar name. This time it was used it on a smaller frame European built 4 passenger 2 door car. But , except for the name it showed no resemblance to the former series. And it too was discontinued in 2001.
By 1948, the US economy had almost completely rebounded from World War II. New ideas were evident in all endeavors. This included the new automobile styling and mechanical innovations that began to appear. For example, the Studebaker in 1947 was a radical styling exercise when compared to the earlier conservative designs. Even more radical was the Tucker 4 door sedan that was finally introduced in 1948.
By Dave Weber Matchbox Photos by Zach Morecraft and 1:55 Lark from Shrock Brothers
The Studebaker Lark; a new compact car first appeared in 1959. This was over 100 years after the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company began producing commercial wagons.
Since the company began, it had on occasion suffered numerous financial setbacks. The most recent resulted in the merger into Studebaker- Packard Corporation in 1954. This new series of Lark cars subsequently resulted in production of sedans, convertibles, station wagons and hardtop convertibles before the company ceased operations in 1966. The mid body sections were unchanged from the larger products manufactured in 1958. But the new grillework design that was introduced resembled the Raymond Loewy designed Hawks that were already in production. They had a squarish appearance similar to the Mercedes-Benz radiator shell design of that era. In addition the Larks received a shortened front and rearend design. The midsections remained basically the same as the larger cars from the previous year. The blending of new and old designs presented an entirely new appearance to the consumer.
This article concludes my up to date review of the known various castings in 1/64 scale that have been produced of the C3. I do not consider this summary to be complete, as I am sure there are some of the more obscure Hong Kong / China products that I may not be aware of. Comments, corrections and additions are welcome. I am continuing alphabetically with the letters J-Z.
By Dave Weber and Zach Morecraft
2007 Shelby Mustang
images by Doug Breithaupt
This Third Generation Corvette first appeared in 1968. The C3 is recognized as the as the 'Big Vette'. The wheelbase was longer and the body had more curves. The 1968 model was referred to as the 'Mako Shark' The one word moniker of 'Stingray' was adopted in 1969 This same body style continued without any radical changes until 1978. The big change at that time was the relocation of the rear window on the Coupe model. It had been initially introduced as a 'flying buttress' fastback with a perpendicular rear window glass. The 1978 body introduced a large 1 piece wraparound rear window which remained in use until it was replaced by the C4 in 1984. It is noted that no Corvette was produced for 1983. Thus, the last official production year for the C3 was 1982.