Saturday, June 26, 2010

Merc Obit

FoMoCo has decided to write finis to the Mercury car line, (and the Ford Crown Vic too - it is only available for fleet purchase). The Mercury car is one thing, but what about the Mercury truck?
Ford had two dealer strings in Canada in the 1940s to 1960s, much as Chrysler and GM did. The Ford car dealers were given the Ford trucks to sell and the Monarch cars (a Mercury in slightly different clothing) and Lincolns. The other string led off with the Meteor (an often better looking Ford) and Mercury. To give them a truck line, Mercury trucks came along capitalizing on the higher end and better known Mercury car.
Merc trucks were only slightly differentiated Fords, but did have some "go fasters" as we used to call irrelevant chrome do-dads, to give then a slightly up market feel compared to Ford. [Canadian Tire Corp for a time sold the Tennessee Go Faster whistling mud flaps]
Mercury trucks were introduced in 1946 and eliminated in 1968. As usual, the longest living were fire trucks, and once again Thibault used many, many Mercurys in their production over the years. It was probably because there was more chrome on them, and they looked better!

1. A 1952 Merc in front of 1948 Ford on Ile Madame, near Arichat, NS July 26, 1981. The larger Merc was probably a fire truck in an earlier life.

2. Valley-Kemptown NS, District Fire Brigade's Tanker 3 ran this ca. 1966 Mercury 600 series unit, complete with homemade plywood body, in June 1989.

3. By the time I caught up with Baie St-Paul's ca, 1961 Mercury/ Thibault it had been retired. It is a 700 series. May 12, 2005.

4. Annapolis-Royal, NS FD also operated a Mercury/Thibault. Their ca. 1960 No.1 is the slightly larger 750 series. September 6, 1985.

5. Sillery QC, [suburb of Quebec City] Services des Incendies #15 was a Mercury C type tilt cab of unknown vintage, with Thibault 85 foot aerial ladder, August 3, 1986. They were still relying on one cherry type red light and a siren- not the rolling Christmas trees we see these days. Perhaps other drivers paid more attention back then.

6. Alma, NS had this nifty c.1971-72 Mercury 700 series Tanker #1, with intriguing home built body. The yellow "swimming pool" was set up for tanker relays to discharge to. In rural areas without hydrants, tankers do shuttle runs from ponds, lakes or standpipes and dump into these portable reservoirs. Pumpers then fight the fire with a more or less constant supply of water.

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