Mercury 8 began production in 1938, with a 239 cu. in.
95 horsepower flathead V8 engine. Over 65,800 were sold
the first year, at a price of $916. It was
an all new car, sharing no body panels with either Ford
or Lincoln. Its body was six inches wider than Ford and
rode on a 116.0 inche wheelbase, four inches longer than
Ford Division's early 1960s "Total Performance" era,
Mercury produced some equivalent models, such as the
S-55 and the
Marauder, which shared the same body styles and
mechanics as the
Ford Galaxie 500/XL sports models. These big
Mercurys were somewhat successful in racing. In 1967,
Cougar was introduced as Mercury's version of the
Ford Mustang; although mechanically related, the
Cougar's looks were intended to be more of a "European"
flavor. Only Mercury's niche products, like the
Cougar XR-7, seemed to find real success with buyers.