1966 Mercury Monterey Sedan: Ford’s Middle Child

Back in the 1900s, an Austrian psychotherapist by the name of Alfred Adler came up with an interesting idea. Adler believe that one’s birth order was a major influence on the personality of a person.

For example, Adler believed that in a family with three children, the oldest and youngest children received the most attention from the parents with the middle child often being “forgotten.” Although Adler didn’t have any scientific research to support his theory, the idea of birth order is still well-known today.

So what does all this have to do with cars? Well for a long time, the Ford Motor Company was a family of 3 brands: Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury. Ford was the original and the oldest brand with the largest offering of cars, including entry-level vehicles. Lincoln was positioned as the luxury brand, maker of the finest vehicles that Ford had to offer. Then there was Mercury, the brand caught in the middle.

From the very beginning, Mercury suffered from a bit of an identity crisis. At one time, Mercury automobiles were marketed as an entry-level luxury car, a “junior Lincoln.” At other times, Mercury was billed as the performance division of Ford.

There was a time when Mercurys were significantly different from their Ford-badged kin, riding on stretched and lowered platforms. For most of its life though, Mercurys have been re-badged Fords that offered little in the way of unique features or styling.

Still, that doesn’t mean that Mercury didn’t produce anything worth a second look. Take this 1966 Monterey 4 door sedan for example. It is a big, full-size car just like the Galaxie.  It was available in six different configurations: 4 door sedan, 4 door hardtop sedan, 4 door breezeway, 2 door sedan, 2 door hardtop coupe, and a convertible. The one I ran across at the Pavilions is a 4 door sedan.

The Monterey had a more “slab sided” look than the Galaxie, and it had horizontal headlamps compared to the Galxie’s stacked headlamps. Mercury also had an exclusive 410 cubic inch (6.7L) engine starting in 1966, which was available on the Monterey and was never available in the Galaxie.

I think this car is very handsome looking, and it appears to have been amazingly well kept over the last 47 years. It serves as a reminder that even though Mercury was the middle child of the Ford family, there was still a time when they still tried to stand out before the designers just gave up altogether.

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