Mercury Montego

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There is also a British car called the Austin Montego.
Mercury Montego
2005 Mercury Montego
Manufacturer Mercury (Ford)
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 is a nameplate that was applied to three distinct vehicles marketed by Mercury.

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.

For model years 2005-2007, the Montego name was revived for a full-size car, a rebadged variant of the Ford Five Hundred.

The Montego names derives from 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

The Montego entered production on July 12, 2004.[5] 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.

The Montego was manufactured in Chicago, alongside rebadged variants, the Ford Five Hundred and Ford Freestyle where Ford formerly manufactured previous generations of the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable. The Montego was marketed in the US and Mexico as well as Canada.

With Ford having acquired Volvo in 1999, the Montego features body structural and safety technology developed by Volvo and first used on Volvo's S80 and XC90, with Ford having used Volvo's structural and safety engineers on the project.[6] For side impact protection the bodywork is braced at the B-pillar via an energy-channeling structural cross-car roof tube and a corresponding undercar energy channelling cross-tube — with the front seats mounted above the lower tube, locating them above a side impact energy path. The system derives from a side-impact safety design marketed by Volvo as its Side Impact Protection System (SIPS).[7][8]

Along with the Montego, the rebadged Ford Five Hundred and Ford Freestyle crossover SUV) are based on the Ford D3 platform, a variant of the Volvo P2 which supports the Volvo S60 and S80 sedans, V70 wagon, and XC70 and XC90 SUVs). Ford's chief designer said "it was a challenge to sculpt a Ford-styled body around a Volvo chassis, and added that designers used what he calls plainer surfaces with taut lines to give the car a modern look without losing its passenger-car proportions."[7]

Marketed as Command Seating, the Montego features high H-point seating (the location of the occupants hip-point relative to the road or the vehicle floor); its H-point is closer to the ground than that of a sport utility vehicle, but higher than a typical sedan, easing entry and exit. Also, the distance from the H-point to the floor of the vehicle is reflective of more upright seating. At its press launch, Ford said the Five Hundred's H-point is up to four and a half inches higher than its competitors. The Montego also features theater seating, where second row seats are higher: in the front row, the distance between the H-point and the heel point, where the occupant's foot touches the floor, is 12.7 inches — in the second row the distance between the H-point and the heel point is 15.7 inches.

The Montego featured HID headlamps and LED tail lamps — at the time, the largest application of LED taillights in the Ford Motor Company lineup.[8] To augment its 21 cubic feet of trunk space, the Montego featured a fold down rear seat, as well as a fold down front passenger seating, enabling transport of an object up to 10 feet long, inside its cabin.

The Montego, Five Hundred and Freestyle were manufactured using a Volvo-derived system called Total Vehicle Geometry (TVG) to ensure fit, finish and craftsmanship — by requiring comprehensive participation by all engineers as well as suppliers and vendors. Heavily using computer-aided design, TVG tracks all design modifications, translating them into the central CAD database which in turn allows each engineer access to current project data. The system improves part tolerance at the body-in-white stage as well as early cabin integrity testing, via air leakage testing. TVG improved fit and finish at the first prototype stage and decreases pilot manufacturing times.[8]

On Wednesday February 7,2007 at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show, Ford CEO Alan Mulally unveiled the 2008 model Mercury Sable, largely a rebadged Montego.


Calendar Year American sales
2004[9] 2,974
2005 27,007
2006[10] 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. [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.[11]


  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. ^ Binder, Alan K, ed. (2005). Ward's Automotive Yearbook 2005. Ward's Communications, Inc. p. 112. 
  6. ^ "Ford's Magic New Number". Larry Edsall, Web2cars. 
  7. ^ a b "2006 Ford Five Hundred". Larry Edsall, 
  8. ^ a b c "2005 Mercury Montego Introduced". The Auto Channel, February 7, 2004. 
  9. ^ "Ford Achieves First Car Sales Increase Since 1999". 2004-11-17. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  10. ^ "Ford Motor Company 2007 sales". January 3, 2008. 
  11. ^ [1] 68 Mercury Cyclone GT

External links[edit]