Trucks & SUVs

Mercury Offered More Than Luxury: It Had Pickup Trucks

Although they’ve added luxury and performance, pickup trucks are mostly designed around utility. That hasn’t stopped luxury and style-focused carmakers from building them, even if only as concepts. The Lamborghini LM002, for instance, was a pickup with a V12. Mercedes offered E-Class utes, as has Mini. BMW’s built several one-off pickups using the X7 and a few M3s. And, there was also an American luxury brand, now defunct, that built pickups. Although never officially sold in the US, there were indeed Mercury trucks.

How the non-US Mercury truck came to be

2001 Mercury Cougar
2001 Mercury Cougar | Mercury

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Mercury was originally a brand Ford created to slot between its entry-level cars and the more upscale Lincolns in 1938. They were, both early on and in later years, essentially re-badged Fords with a few upscale additions. Lincoln was criticized for this but has recently undergone something of a renaissance. Mercury, unfortunately, couldn’t stand on its own and was killed off in 2011 following the Great Recession.

However, after WWII, the brand was still going strong. It was around this time that first Ford F-Series pickups were hitting the market. Ford wanted to offer them in Canada, where it had been building cars since 1904, Hemmings reports. Up to this point, MercuryPickup.com reports, it had also sold cars there under the ‘Monarch’ and ‘Meteor’ nameplates.

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In Canada, Ford wanted to split its dealers into Ford/Monarch and Mercury/Lincoln dealers. Basically, how Toyota and Lexus have separate dealers, despite Toyota making both. However, because Canada is a big place, not every town could get both a Ford/Monarch dealer and a Mercury/Lincoln dealer. This was problematic because, due to Canadian taxes, low-price vehicles were extremely vital for any automaker. So, to give the Mercury/Lincoln dealers a fighting chance, the Ford F-Series trucks were sold as Mercury trucks.

The Mercury M Series

The first Mercury trucks hit dealers in 1946, under the ‘M Series’ line. And, just like the F-Series they were based on, they came in a range of sizes.

Dark green vintage 1946 Mercury M68 pickup truck
1946 Mercury M68 pickup truck | Bring a Trailer

Initially, the Mercury trucks’ names were based on their GVW, similar to the F-Series. The M47, for example, had a 4700-lb GVW. The M68 had a 6800-lb GVW, and so on. After 1951, though, the names were changed to reflect the trucks’ relative sizes. The smallest became the M-1, the next-biggest the M-2, etc. Towards the end of production, the names changed again, to reflect the F-Series’ change to the F-100, F-250, and F-350.

Red 1949 Mercury M47 pickup truck interior with black viny seat, red dashboard, and black 3-spoke steering wheel
1949 Mercury M47 pickup truck interior | Bring a Trailer

But, although Mercury’s trucks were essentially F-Series, they did have some unique features. For one, until 1957, Mercury trucks were exclusively V8-powered; in the F-Series, it was an option. The M Series also had different grilles and bumpers with more chrome and more interior trim options.

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Today, a Mercury truck, while still capable, is arguably more of a curiosity. However, that does make them something of a bargain.

Pricing and availability

Red 1950 Ford F-1 pickup truck with cream grille
1950 Ford F-1 | Bring a Trailer

An early 50s Ford F-Series, Hagerty reports, can easily go for $35,000-$55,000. In April 2020, a 1950 F-1 went for $52,000 on Bring a Trailer.

Dark blue 1949 Mercury pickup truck with whitewall tires, side-rear view
1949 Mercury pickup truck side-rear view | Bonhams

In contrast, a Mercury truck can be found for significantly less. A restored 1949 M47 sold on BaT for $25,000 in 2018. Another well-maintained 1949 example was auctioned by Bonhams in 2017 for $20,350. And as of this writing, a 1946 M68 is listed at $22,000 on BaT. Modified and modernized examples are even cheaper.

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