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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Ford Monarch: Only in Canada, Eh?

With Canada Day being on Monday, it seemed like a good time to rerun this old column from 2010.
1956 Monarch Lucerne Phaeton
by Kate Tompkins

While most times the big three auto manufacturers produced the same cars on both sides of the 49th parallel, sometimes a model was only available in Canada. Such was the case with the Monarch (not to be confused with the Mercury Monarch built in the 1970s).

Canada’s Ford dealers wanted a mid-priced car for their showrooms and Ford Canada delivered with the Monarch. First built in 1946, the Monarch was based on a Mercury chassis, but had Ford trim and taillights. It didn’t look that different from the other Fords and Mercurys on the road, but apparently it filled a market niche. Canadians bought lots of Monarchs.
1956 Monarch Lucerne Phaeton
by Kate Tompkins

Ford responded by giving the car its own trim in 1949, including a lion hood ornament and a unique grille. But what really made the car different from American Fords of the time was the fact that it was available with a two-tone paint scheme from 1949 to 1951. It actually outsold Mercury in Canada in 1953 and 1954.

In 1958 the Monarch disappeared to be replaced by the Edsel. Needless to say, the Monarch reappeared the following year. The 1958 Monarch is sometimes known as the Monarch II.

1957 Monarch Lucerne
by Kate Tompkins
The Monarch came in various versions over the years. There was the Monarch Monterey, the Custom, the Lucerne, the Custom Lucerne, the Richelieu, the Turnpike Cruiser and the Sceptre. The Sceptre was the top of the line model for 1959, and at 223 inches with a 128 inch wheelbase, was the biggest Monarch ever built. Ford Canada continued to build the Monarch until 1961, by which time other Ford models had filled the niche.


Or maybe not. How do you replace a car that, to quote their 1951 brochure, lets you “ride like a king?”
1957 Monarch Lucerne
by Kate Tompkins

[SOURCES: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_Monarch, http://monarchsource.com/wp/?page_id=3]

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