Mercury Colony Park

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Mercury Colony Park
Merucry Colony Park 1984.jpg
1984 Mercury Grand Marquis Colony Park
Overview
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Production 1957–1991
Body and chassis
Class Full-size
Body style 4-door station wagon
Layout FR layout
Chronology
Predecessor Mercury Monterey station wagon (1952-1956)

The Mercury Colony Park was the top-of-the-line full-size station wagon offered by the Mercury division of Ford Motor Company between 1957 and 1991. Following the demise of Edsel, the Colony Park became the Mercury equivalent of the Ford Country Squire and the station wagon version of the Marquis in 1969.

It was distinguished by woodgrain paneling on the body sides and tailgate, a feature also associated with competitive station wagons such as the Chrysler Town & Country and the Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser.


1957–1958[edit]

First generation
1957 Mercury Colony Park.jpg
Overview
Model years 1957–1958
Body and chassis
Related Mercury Turnpike Cruiser
Mercury Park Lane
Mercury Montclair
Mercury Monterey
Mercury Voyager
Mercury Commuter
Edsel Citation
Edsel Corsair
Powertrain
Engine 368 cu in (6.0 L) Lincoln Y-Block V8
383 cu in (6.3 L) Marauder V8
430 cu in (7.0 L) Super Marauder V8
Transmission 3-speed manual
3-speed Merc-O-Matic automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 122.0 in (3,099 mm)[1]
Length 1957: 211.1 in (5,362 mm)
1958: 214.2 in (5,441 mm)
Width 79.1 in (2,009 mm)[1]
Height 58.3 in (1,481 mm)
Curb weight 4,400–4,800 lb (2,000–2,200 kg)

For 1957, Mercury followed Ford in creating a separate model series for its station wagons; the Colony Park served as the top model above the Voyager and the Commuter. Rather than sharing a body and chassis with the 1957 Ford, the Mercury line, including the station wagons, shared their chassis and body with two models from the upcoming Edsel division.

To differentiate itself from lesser Mercury wagons, the Colony Park was fitted with simulated woodgrain siding as standard equipment. Unlike Ford or Edsel wagons, Mercury wagons were all configured in a hardtop (pillarless) bodystyle unique .

Just as on the Mercury Turnpike Cruiser, the 368 cu in (6.0 L) Lincoln Y-Block V8 was standard equipment in 1957. In 1958, Mercury introduced 383 and 430 cubic-inch Marauder and Super Marauder V8s as options. Inside, an electric clock was also standard.[1] A padded dash was optional.[2]

1959–1960[edit]

Second generation
1960 Mercury Colony Park.jpg
Overview
Model years 1959–1960
Body and chassis
Related Mercury Park Lane
Mercury Montclair
Mercury Monterey
Mercury Commuter
Powertrain
Engine 383 cu in (6.3 L) Marauder V8
430 cu in (7.0 L) Super Marauder V8
Transmission 3-speed Merc-O-Matic automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 126.0 in (3,200 mm)
Length 1959: 218.2 in (5,542 mm)
1960: 219.2 in (5,568 mm)
Width 1959: 80.7 in (2,050 mm)
1960: 81.5 in (2,070 mm)
Height 57.8 in (1,468 mm)
Curb weight 4,800–4,900 lb (2,200–2,200 kg)

Along with the rest of the Mercury product line, the station wagons were updated for the 1959 model year; the mid-price Voyager was discontinued, trimming the station wagon line down to the Colony Park and the base-model Commuter.

With the demise of the premium-model Edsels, the Mercury division now had a body and chassis to itself. The 1959 redesign gave the Colony Park a 4-inch wheelbase stretch, to 126 inches. With a curb weight of nearly 5000 pounds, Mercury specified the 315-hp 430 cubic-inch MEL engine shared with Lincoln and the Ford Thunderbird.

Mercury station wagons of this vintage had the longest wheelbase, the widest bodies and the most cargo space of any station wagon ever built by this make.

1960 to 1970 comparison 1960 Colony Park 1970 Colony Park
Wheelbase 126.0 in (3,200 mm) 121.0 in (3,073 mm)
Track Width (front/rear) 60.0 in (1,524 mm) 64.1 in (1,628 mm)/64.3 in (1,633 mm)
Overall Length 219.2 in (5,568 mm) 220.5 in (5,601 mm)
Width 81.5 in (2,070 mm) 79.8 in (2,027 mm)
Top Front Seat to Top Tailgate (closed) 83.4 in (2,118 mm) 84.0 in (2,134 mm)
Top Second Seat to Top Tailgate (closed) 49.5 in (1,257 mm) 51.0 in (1,295 mm)
Width at Second Seat 60.8 in (1,544 mm) 62.0 in (1,575 mm)
Floor to Roof (over rear axle) 34.4 in (874 mm) 32.0 in (813 mm)
Total Cargo Capacity (behind front seat) 101.7 cu ft (2,880 L) 96.2 cu ft (2,724 L)
Total Cargo Capacity (behind rear seat) 60.4 cu ft (1,710 L) 58.4 cu ft (1,654 L)

1959 Mercury Colony Park frame off restoration and info.

1961–1964[edit]

Third generation
1963 Mercury Colony Park.jpg
Overview
Also called Mercury Monterey Colony Park
Model years 1961–1964
Body and chassis
Related Mercury Park Lane
Mercury Montclair
Mercury Monterey
Mercury Meteor
Mercury Commuter
Ford Galaxie
Ford Fairlane
Ford 300
Ford Custom
Ford Country Squire
Dimensions
Wheelbase 120.0 in (3,048 mm)

The 1961-64 Mercury station wagons were the first since 1956 to share a body and chassis with Ford. This move was made because of declining Mercury sales from 1957 to 1960, and despite the obvious Ford origins of this generation of Mercurys, buyers began to return to the make. Indeed, the Mercury division's best sales years came during the early years when the cars were seen as little more than "gussied-up Fords."

Although Mercury station wagons remained a stand-alone series, the Colony Park was the wagon counterpart to the Monterey, which in 1962 and 1963 was the sole full-size sedan in the lineup (excluding the high-performance S-55).


1965–1968[edit]

Fourth generation
1965 Mercury Colony Park.jpg
Overview
Production 1965–1968
Body and chassis
Related Mercury Commuter
Ford LTD
Ford Country Squire
Ford Galaxie
Mercury Marquis
Mercury Monterey
Powertrain
Engine 390 cu in (6.4 L) FE V8
410 cu in (6.7 L) Marauder V8
Dimensions
Wheelbase 119.0 in (3,023 mm)

In 1965, Colony Park was promoted to "the Lincoln Continental of station wagons", when it was given the Lincoln Continental's suspension package (along with its cushy, floaterboat ride). It continued to enjoy this distinction through its final year.

The 1966 Colony Park was fitted with Ford's two-way "Magic Doorgate", which was designed to fold down like a conventional tailgate and also swing sideways like a door. Ford's dual-facing rear seats became available on the 1967 Colony Park. Mercury also introduced a feature where windflow was directed across the rear window through channels integrated and covered with the "D" pillar. This also allowed fresh air to enter into the rear of the vehicle if the rear window was retracted into the tailgate.

On third-generation Colony Parks, the standard engine was a 390 cu in (6.4 L) FE V8 with 270 horsepower (200 kW). From 1966 to 1967, the 410 cu in (6.7 L) FE "Marauder" V8 with 330 horsepower (250 kW) was an option.[3]

1966 Colony Park
1966 2-way tailgate with side-swing door handle


1969–1978[edit]

Fifth generation
1974 Mercury Marquis Colony Park wagon.jpg
1974 Mercury Marquis Colony Park
Overview
Also called Mercury Marquis Colony Park
Production 1969–1978
Body and chassis
Related Ford LTD
Ford Country Squire
Ford Galaxie
Mercury Grand Marquis
Mercury Marquis
Powertrain
Engine 351 cu in (5.8 L) Windsor V8
400 cu in (6.6 L) Cleveland V8
460 cu in (7.5 L) 385 V8
Dimensions
Wheelbase 121.0 in (3,073 mm)

When the full-size Mercury wagons were restyled for 1969, they were no longer a separate series, and the Colony Park became a member of the Marquis series. In contrast to the Marquis sedan, the Colony Park was based on the same 121-inch wheelbase as the Ford LTD. Also in 1969, the Magic Doorgate was reworked to that it could swing sideways without having to roll the window down.

Although narrower than the 1959–1960 generation, this generation of the Colony Park was the longest and heaviest of any before or after. Because of the car's sheer heft, Mercury equipped this generation with a 400-cubic-inch (6.6 liter) V-8 as standard, with the Lima series 429-cubic-inch and 460-cubic-inch (7.5 liter) optional. For the final model year of this generation, 1978, the 351-cubic-inch V-8 became standard except in California and 'High Altitude' areas where the 400 was required, although the 400-2V and 460 remained available as options (except that the 460 was not available in California after Model Year 1976 in any FoMoCo car line), although it was less than desirable. Most surviving examples carry either of the two larger engines, as they were far more popular—not to mention more capable of powering such a heavy vehicle.

Approximately 7,850,000 full-size Fords and Mercurys were sold over 1969-78.[4][5] This makes it the second best selling Ford automobile platform after the Ford Model T.

1972 Colony Park
1976 Colony Park

1979–1991[edit]

Sixth generation
Mercury-Grand-Marquis-Colony-Park-wagon.jpg
Overview
Also called Mercury Grand Marquis Colony Park
Production 1979–1991
124,027 produced
Assembly Hazelwood, Missouri (St. Louis Assembly)
Talbotville, Ontario, (St. Thomas Assembly)
Body and chassis
Platform Ford Panther platform
Related Ford LTD
Ford Country Squire
Ford LTD Crown Victoria
Mercury Grand Marquis
Mercury Marquis
Powertrain
Engine 302 cu in (4.9 L) 5.0 Windsor V8
351 cu in (5.8 L) Windsor V8
Transmission 3-speed C4 automatic
3-speed FMX automatic
4-speed AOD automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 114.3 in (2,903 mm)
Length 219 in (5,563 mm)
Width 79.3 in (2,014 mm)[6]
Height 56.5 in (1,435 mm)[6]
Curb weight 4,032 lb (1,829 kg) [6]

As part of a redesign for the 1979 model year, the Colony Park was moved from the Marquis line into the Grand Marquis line. In an ironic move, the redesign was part of extensive physical downsizing to the Mercury full-size product line. Joining its rivals from GM and Chrysler, the Colony Park had lost over 11 inches in length, 6.6 inches in wheelbase, 0.4 inches in width, and had shed slightly over 1,000 lbs in weight (in comparison to its 1978 predecessor).[7] As before, woodgrain siding remained standard equipment, along with 8-passenger seating.

The Colony Park was powered by two engines: a 4.9 L Windsor V8 (identified as a 5.0 L by Ford) with a carbureted 5.8 L Windsor V8. The former 400- and 460-cubic-inch engines were discontinued, and the 5.8L was dropped after 1982, as most customers deemed the 302 Windsor engine sufficiently powerful. To further enhance fuel economy, in 1981, both engines were paired with the 4-speed AOD overdrive transmission, and the 4.9L V8 was given fuel injection.

This generation of Colony Park would see few substantial changes during its thirteen-year lifespan. For 1983, it became the sole full-size Mercury wagon as the previous year's 'base' Marquis wagon was no longer offered as a full-size model. In 1986, the 5.8L engine made its return as an (rarely specified) option. Starting in 1987, the Colony Park wagon was offered in GS and LS trim.

After nine years with only detail changes to the body and trim, the Colony Park received a major update alongside the Grand Marquis for 1988. From the windshield forward, a more aerodynamic front end better integrated the fenders, grille, headlights, and bumpers. Inside, the front seats were modernized. For 1990, as part of an addition of a drivers' side airbag, the entire instrument panel and dashboard received a redesign; all outboard seats received 3-point seatbelts.

1979–1987 Mercury Colony Park front 
1984 Mercury Colony Park rear 
1979-1991 Production Figures[8]
Year 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 Total production
Units 13,758 5,781 6,293 8,004 12,394 17,421 14,119 9,891 10,691 9,456 8,665 4,450 3,104 124,027

Discontinuation[edit]

When the Grand Marquis was redesigned with aero-styling for 1992, the Colony Park station wagon was dropped from Mercury's lineup. By that time, full-size station wagons were no longer popular due to the increasing popularity of minivans and SUVs. The last full-size station wagons, the Chevrolet Caprice, the Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser and the Buick Roadmaster Estate ended production in 1996. In 2005, DaimlerChrysler briefly reintroduced the Dodge Magnum name on a full-size wagon, based on the LX platform Chrysler 300, but it was dropped in 2008.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Flory, Jr., J. "Kelly" (2008). American Cars, 1946–1959 Every Model Every Year. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7864-3229-5. 
  2. ^ http://www.oldcarbrochures.com/static/NA/Mercury/1957%20Mercury/1957_Mercury_Brochure/1957%20Mercury%20Brochure-31.html
  3. ^ 1968 Kelley Blue Book
  4. ^ Kowalke, Ron (1997). Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946–1975. Krause publications. ISBN 0-87341-521-3. 
  5. ^ Flammang, James Standard Catalog of American Cars 1976–1999 3rd Edition (Iola, WI: Krause Publications, Inc 1999)
  6. ^ a b c http://www.edmunds.com/mercury/grand-marquis/1991/features-specs.html?style=2497
  7. ^ http://www.automobile-catalog.com/auta_cmp2.php
  8. ^ "Box Panther Production Numbers". Retrieved 21 February 2014. 

External links[edit]

  • Grandmarq.net Forum dedicated to the Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury Panther Chassis