Mercury Montego

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There is also a British car called the Austin Montego.
Mercury Montego
2005 Mercury Montego
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Production 1968–1976
Assembly Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Milpitas, California, United States
Lorain, Ohio, United States
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Oakville, Ontario, Canada

The Mercury Montego was a mid-size vehicle in the Mercury line of Ford Motor Company from 1968 to 1976. The nameplate first appeared in 1967 in Canada as part of the Mercury-derived Meteor line. After 1976, the basic design of the Montego was updated and the nameplate disappeared as the Cougar expanded its lineup. During the mid-2000s, the Montego name was revived for a full-size car; it was rebranded the Sable for 2008.

It was named for the Jamaican city of Montego Bay.

First generation (1968–1971)[edit]

'69 Mercury Montego (Auto classique Salaberry-De-Valleyfield '11).JPG
1969 Mercury Montego 2-door hardtop
Production 1968–1971
Body and chassis
Class Intermediate
Body style 4-door sedan
4-door wagon
2-door hardtop coupe
2-door convertible
Layout FR layout
Related Ford Torino
Engine 250 cu in (4.1 L) I6
302 cu in (4.9 L) V8
351 cu in (5.8 L) V8
390 cu in (6.4 L) V8
400 cu in (6.6 L) V8
429 cu in (7.0 L) V8
Transmission 3-speed automatic
3-speed manual
4-speed manual
Wheelbase 116.0 in (2,946 mm)
113.0 in (2,870 mm) (wagon)[1]
Length 206.0 in (5,232 mm)
204.0 in (5,182 mm) (wagon)
Predecessor Mercury Comet
Successor Mercury Cougar (coupe)
Mercury Monarch (sedan & wagon)

The Montego was introduced for 1968 as an upscale version of the intermediate Mercury Comet, which it eventually supplanted after 1969. It was essentially a twin of the Ford Torino. The Cyclone was a high performance variant of the Montego through 1971.

The 1968 models were available in four body styles: four-door sedan, two-door hardtop, station wagon and convertible, in base and fancier MX trim.

For 1970, the convertible was dropped, but new four-door hardtops and woodgrained MX Villager station wagon were added to the model selection. The 1970 and 1971 Montegos (and Cyclones) were notable for their striking forward-thrusting hood and grille centers. Concealed headlamps provided extra distinction for 1970 Broughams and Villagers.

1969 Mercury Montego MX Villager station wagon
1969 Mercury Montego MX convertible

Second generation (1972-1976)[edit]

1974 Mercury Montego MX Brougham.jpg
1974 Mercury Montego MX Brougham
Production 1972–1976
Body and chassis
Class Intermediate
Body style 4-door sedan
4-door station wagon
2-door hardtop coupe
2-door fastback coupe
Layout FR layout
Related Ford Torino
Mercury Cougar
Engine 250 cu in (4.1 L) I6
302 cu in (4.9 L) V8
351 cu in (5.8 L) V8
390 cu in (6.4 L) V8
400 cu in (6.6 L) V8
460 cu in (7.5 L) V8[1][2]
Transmission 3-speed automatic
3-speed manual
Wheelbase 118.0 in (2,997 mm) (sedan, wagon)
114.0 in (2,896 mm) (coupe, convert.)[2]
Length 223.1 in (5,667 mm) (sedan, wagon)
215.5 in (5,474 mm) (coupe, convert.)
Predecessor Mercury Comet
Mercury Cyclone
Successor Mercury Cougar (sedan & wagon)
Mercury Monarch (coupe)

The 1972 Montego (and Torino, which the Montego very closely resembled)[3] was fully restyled. Whereas previous Montegos (except wagons) had been produced on a single wheelbase with unitized construction, the 1972-1976 models were built body-on-frame and used a 114-inch (2,900 mm) span for coupe models, 118 inches for sedans and wagons. Although Ford called the four-door sedans "pillared hardtops", they used a thin "B" pillar with frameless door glass, and true four-door hardtops were not offered in this generation. In 1972 and 1973, a sporty fastback coupe called Montego GT (mirroring Ford's Gran Torino SportsRoof) was offered, replacing the Cyclone. 1972 sales were up 136% over the previous year,[4] with the MX Brougham showing enormous increases, almost 897% in the 2-door and nearly 1,021% in the 4-door.[4]

Interior view, 1974 Mercury Montego MX Brougham hardtop

Montego sales through 1973 remained good, but were subsequently depressed by gas mileage concerns, and in-house competition from a restyled 1974 Cougar cast in the personal luxury mold and built on the Montego's platform with similar styling, and the more efficient Monarch introduced for 1975. For 1977, the Montego name was dropped, with Mercury's restyled intermediates all taking the Cougar name.

Six-cylinder engines were offered in Montegos through 1973. V8 power—up to a massive 460 cubic inches from 1974 forward—was available throughout the entire run.

1974 Mercury Montego MX Villager station wagon
Mercury Montego GT

Third generation (2005–2007)[edit]

Main article: Ford Five Hundred
2005–2007 (D333)
2004-2006 Mercury Montego.jpg
2005 Mercury Montego Premier
Also called Ford Five Hundred
Production 2005–2007
Assembly Chicago, Illinois, United States
Body and chassis
Class Full-size
Body style 4-door sedan
Layout Front engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Platform Ford D3 platform
Related Ford Taurus
Ford Freestyle
Volvo S60
Volvo S80
Engine 3.0 L Duratec 30 V6 203 hp
Transmission Ford/ZF CVT
6-speed Aisin automatic
Wheelbase 112.9 in (2,868 mm)
Length 200.4 in (5,090 mm)
Width 74.5 in (1,892 mm)
Height 61.5 in (1,562 mm)
Predecessor Mercury Sable
Successor Mercury Sable

After a twenty-nine year hiatus, the Mercury division revived the Montego name for the 2005 model year. Along with the smaller Mercury Milan, the Montego was slotted in the Mercury lineup as the replacement for the Sable. A twin of the Ford Five Hundred, it was classified as a large car, making it the first new full-size Mercury since 1992.

Starting at an MSRP of $25,000, the Montego openly differed from the Grand Marquis. Compared to its counterpart, it was a foot shorter, six inches narrower, five inches taller, and had five seats instead of six. Instead of rear-wheel drive powered by a V8 engine, the Montego came standard with a 3.0L Duratec V6; an all-wheel drive system was an option. Front-wheel drive versions were equipped with a 6-speed Aisin AW F21++ automatic while AWD versions were equipped with a ZF CVT.

In contrast to the Five Hundred, the Montego was produced in two trim levels: Luxury (standard) and Premier (deluxe).

The Montego was built in Chicago, alongside its former cousins, the Ford Five Hundred and Ford Freestyle crossover. This plant formerly built both the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable. The Montego was marketed in the US and Mexico as well as Canada. The car was praised by owners and received generally positive reviews.[5] But to an ever greater degree than the Ford Five-Hundred, the Montego experienced lackluster sales through the 2005 and 2006 model years, attributed mainly to a lack of customer recognition.


Calendar Year American sales
2004[6] 2,974
2005 27,007
2006[7] 22,332
2007 10,755


Along with a minor redesign, the 2008 Five Hundred was renamed the Taurus, and the Montego was renamed the Sable as it was felt that these long-standing nameplates had better consumer recognition. [2] The new Sable went on sale in Summer 2007 and featured a new 3.5L V6 already available in the smaller Lincoln MKZ.

Use in competition[edit]

A Mercury Montego fielded by Wood Brothers Racing.

In the 1968 NASCAR Grand National stock car season, the fastback Fairlane body style proved much slicker than other makes, but the nose of the Mercury Cyclone Fastback was the main reason pointed to it being even slightly faster than its Ford counterpart. Cale Yarborough drove a Wood Brothers Cyclone to victory in the Daytona 500, and the Mercury bodies would remain a major force in NASCAR through 2 generations of bodies. The battle over aerodynamics would prompt Chrysler to respond with specialized "winged wonder" Daytona and Superbird bodies after its own fastback bodies proved disappointing.[8]


  1. ^ a b 1969 Mercury Brochure
  2. ^ a b 1974 Lincoln-Mercury Div. Brochure
  3. ^ Flory, J. "Kelly", Jr. American Cars 1960-1972 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Coy, 2004), p.911.
  4. ^ a b Flory, p.914.
  5. ^ Edmunds review
  6. ^ "Ford Achieves First Car Sales Increase Since 1999". 2004-11-17. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  7. ^ "Ford Motor Company 2007 sales". January 3, 2008. 
  8. ^ [1] 68 Mercury Cyclone GT

External links[edit]