1978 Mercury Monarch
|Assembly||Mahwah, New Jersey
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Compact near-luxury car|
|Body style||4-door sedan
2-door coupe 
|Related||Ford Granada (North America)
|Engine||200 cu in (3.3 L) I6
250 cu in (4.1 L) I6
302 cu in (4.9 L) Windsor V8
351 cu in (5.8 L) Windsor V8
|Successor||Mercury Cougar (1980)|
The Mercury Monarch is a compact automobile that was manufactured by Mercury from 1975 to 1980. Released in the model year 1975, the Monarch was a badge-engineered version of the Ford Granada which was identical save for the grille, headlights, taillights and some interior and exterior trim. A total of 575,567 Monarchs were produced during this time period. For 1981, the Granada was replaced with a smaller version based on Ford's Fox platform, and the Mercury version took the Cougar name.
Monarch (Ford of Canada brand)
Monarch was first used by Ford of Canada from 1946 to 1957 and from 1959 to 1961. As such it was used as a standalone brand name, that used Mercury models, trimmed specifically for the Canadian markets. This was done to give Ford dealers a product to sell in the medium-price field. This was typical practice in the Canadian market, where smaller towns might have only a single dealer who was expected to offer a full range of products in various price classes. The Monarch was dropped for 1958 when the Edsel was introduced, but the poor acceptance of the Edsel led Ford to reintroduce Monarch for 1959. With a drop in medium-priced vehicle sales in the early 1960s, and the introduction of the similarly priced Ford Galaxie, the Monarch was dropped after the 1961 model year.
Monarch used the contemporary Mercury body with only unique grilles, taillights and other trim to distinguish them. Model names included Richelieu, Lucerne and Sceptre.
Developed as an extensively updated Mercury Comet for the 1975 model year, the Mercury Monarch originated as external circumstances outside of Ford Motor Company forced major changes in consumer buying habits. As the 1973 fuel crisis would lead to buyers valuing luxury over performance, with fuel economy becoming a key attribute. As Ford predicted the compact segment would grow in sales, the Comet/Maverick would remain in production. For 1975, Ford introduced the restyled Maverick as the Ford Granada; the restyled Comet became Mercury Monarch.
Although General Motors introduced the Buick Apollo (later Skylark) and Oldsmobile Omega in 1973, the Granada/Monarch would be one of a few vehicles that would break a long-standing tradition within American auto manufacturers of associating size with luxury. To differentiate the Granada/Monarch from the Maverick/Comet, Ford offered the new-generation vehicles with a number of comfort and convenience features in a compact-segment car.
As with the Ford Granada, the Mercury Monarch shared its unibody chassis with its Ford Maverick/Mercury Comet predecessors. Based heavily on the first-generation Ford Falcon from 1960, the design utilized coil spring front suspension with a leaf-sprung live rear axle; due to its Falcon origins, the Monarch was also loosely mechanically related to the first-generation Ford Mustang and Mercury Cougar.
Although originally developed to become the Mercury Comet, the Mercury Monarch was differentiated from the Comet produced alongside it in a number of ways. Using the Mercedes-Benz 280 as a benchmark for its styling and interior packaging, the Monarch abandoned the Coke bottle styling of the Comet for straighter-edged body panels. In the front, the Monarch adapted much of the styling of the Marquis (with single exposed headlights). While the roofline of the four-door model was heavily influenced by Mercedes-Benz, the two-door was given its own roofline; variations of it would later be seen as the Ford Thunderbird and Mercury Cougar were redesigned for 1977. The rear shared influence between German and American design, with a padded vinyl fascia between the taillights (as with the Mercury Marquis).
In 1978, the Granada/Monarch underwent an exterior facelift; the headlights were converted from round to rectangular, with the turn signals moved under the headlights (ironically, Mercedes-Benz had reversed that placement in 1976).
On the inside, in contrast from other Lincoln-Mercury cars, the Monarch was equipped with front bucket seats. While a feature associated with sporty cars at the time, the individual seats (from the European Ford Granada) were chosen for their support and range of adjustment. In sharp contrast to European cars, the wood-trimmed dashboard of the Monarch was equipped with three instruments: a speedometer, fuel gauge, and a clock.
At its launch, the Mercury Monarch was available in a base and Monarch Ghia trim levels. For 1977, the two-door coupe was produced in an S (Sports Coupe) trim. For 1978 and 1979, the ESS (European Sports Sedan) trim was available; the trim package featured blacked-out exterior trim.
Grand Monarch Ghia
The Mercury Grand Monarch Ghia was an upscale version of the Monarch built in 1975 and 1976. Grand Monarch Ghia had four-wheel disc brakes with a sophisticated central hydraulic power system as standard equipment. In 1977, the model was largely replaced by the Lincoln Versailles, which would include many of the same features.
Other standard luxury features included:
- Leather trim
- Vinyl roof
- LCD clock
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Power steering
- Dual map lights
- Illuminated visor vanity mirror (passenger side)
- 14-inch cast-aluminum spoke wheels
- Solid-state ignition
- Whitewall steel-belted radial tires
- Reclining bucket seats with matching map pockets
- Plusher carpeting and soundproofing
- 1975 Mercury Monarch sales brochure
- "Motor Trend - Sep 1974". Retrieved 2011-03-21.
- "Road and Track - Aug 1974 first paragraph". Retrieved 2011-03-21.
- Popular Mechanics - Oct 1974 p104 second paragraph. Retrieved 2011-03-21.
- "Car and Driver - Aug 1974; second paragraph". Retrieved 2011-03-21.
- Flammang, James Standard Catalog of American Cars 1976–1999 3rd Edition (Iola, WI: Krause Publications, Inc 1999), p.636.
- Dammann, George The Cars of Lincoln Mercury (Sarasota, FLA: Crestline, 1987), p.485.
- "Production & Registry Totals". The Granada-Monarch-Versailles Registry. Retrieved 2008-05-20.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mercury Monarch.|
- Mercury Monarch
- Monarch Source - History and Information resource for the Ford Monarch from 1946 to 1953
- American Granada, Monarch & Versailles Registry & Forums
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