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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mercury Meteor: Only in Canada, Eh?

1950 Meteor Custom Sedan
by Kate Tompkins
Here’s another Canadian car from my old archives—the Mercury Meteor. I’ve seen a few of these at car shows. The two-tone models with the side spears are especially striking.

While Canada’s Ford dealers were looking for a higher-priced Ford to add to their line-up, Mercury dealers were looking for a lower-priced Merc. In response to that demand, Ford Motor Company of Canada first produced the Mercury 114 (named for its wheelbase, which was smaller than the American Mercury 118) and then the Meteor line from 1949 to 1961 and 1965 to 1976. No models were produced for model years ’62--64, when the name was being used for the American Mercury Meteor.
1956 Meteor Rideau
by Kate Tompkins

The Meteor started out as a Ford body with Mercury trim, but later models (mid-60s on) were based on a Mercury body with a Ford interior. Only available with a V8 the first few years, Ford made a V6 available in the 1956 model year. The Meteor was initially available in the Custom version as a two or four door sedan, or club coupe. The Deluxe version offered the same body styles, with the addition of a business coupe. By 1950, a convertible and station wagon had been added to the line-up.

Like the Ford Monarch, the Meteor was available with a two-tone paint job. Also like the Monarch, it was a good seller. During the 50s, it was generally fourth in sales, following Chevrolet, Pontiac and Ford. A quarter of a million Meteors had been built by 1957.
1966 Meteor Montcalm
by Kate Tompkins

The Meteor series included the Rideau, the Rideau 500 (a higher-end version), the Montcalm, the Niagara, and the top of the line Montego (later the LeMoyne). From 1966 through 1970, there was a sport-themed version of the Montcalm produced, the S-33. From 1968 on, the Meteor became the Mercury Meteor and picked up Mercury badging.

If you see a car with a stylized shooting star on the rear, you’ve spotted a Meteor.

1956 Meteor Rideau
by Kate Tompkins

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