|Parent company||Ford Motor Company|
|Body style(s)||2-door coupe|
The Mercury Eight was the first Post War Mercury design, and the first named Mercury model (earlier Mercury vehicles had carried only the brand name). The engine was a Flathead V8 that produced slightly more power than the also newly-designed 1949 Ford. The styling of the Mercury Eight, when it was released in 1949, was successful in both ending the monotony of warmed-over pre-war style, and differentiating Mercury from its comparable Ford cousin, a trick that spelled sales success. Sales figures for both Ford and Mercury broke records in 1949.
Within its era and beyond, the Mercury Eight was popular with customizers. In 1949, Sam Barris built the first lead sled from a 1949 Mercury Eight; the Eight became a definitive lead sled, much like the Ford V-8 was becoming the definitive hot rod. The Eights were among the first models to receive an aftermarket OHV engine swap, since Oldsmobile and Cadillac had developed the first high-compression OHV V8 engines in 1949, whereas Ford was still using their sidevalve engine.
In popular culture
- The 49 Merc often appears in films set in the 1950s. It is James Dean's ride in Rebel without a cause and is driven by the Pharaohs gang in American Grafitti.
- A more recent film where it appears is The Cobra. Sylvester Stallone drives a supercharged Merc.
- The George Barris website, which featured the first chopped 1949 Mercury (among others).
- Custom cars
Mercury road vehicle timeline, 1950–1989 — next »
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