As a counterpoint to Inside Line's excellent The Art of Mercury photo essay I'd like to point out a few reasons Mercury should have been killed long ago and how they've never really had their act together since the 1970s. Starting with the most unattractive sports car ever - the 1990 Mercury Capri. An American Miata? Not really, the Australian built Capri's front wheel drive and sedan like styling meant Capri shoppers ran to the local Mazda dealer as soon as they got a whiff of this disaster.
But there was trouble long before in the form of the Merkur brand, a German built Ford or Mercury depending on how you look at it. How do you say ugly in German? I think it might be Merkur Scorpio. Hey Germany, please stick to building harsh riding $50,000 compact sedans and starting wars - you rock at both.
The 1986 Mercury Cougar was the only car that made the Chevy Celebrity look sexy. Congrats on that one!
Maybe it was the 1980s that really killed Mercury and they've been sort of a walking corpse ever since. The Mercury Topaz was a Ford Tempo clone...., and that's the good news. The cars were hoplessly unreliable and even doing a double take you'd still mistake a Topaz for the equally attractive Plymouth Acclaim, or Dodge Aries or maybe a Nissan Stanza (Pssst, that's not a compliment).
And what about this hideous contraption - it looks more surprised than Christina Gonzalez after her well publicized facelift. Thanks to Ford EXP.com for this gem. The Mercury LN7 was, well it was just a hideous contraption - and yes, I'm gonna keep using the word contraption.
And finally, please to present..., the 1999 Mercury Cougar! Ugly doesn't even begin to cover it. The edgy design seemed modern at the time but it looked dated real fast, sort of like that teal green Honda used on the 90s era Accords. This Cougar was a fairly large coupe and yet the rear seat was for contortionist and babies only - even then, I recall a few babies asking for more leg room. The quality was poor and even with the V6, you could feel the A/C sapping power as it cycled on and off. Horrible car. So long Mercury, I guess I won't miss you as much as I first thought.