Canada’s Unique Autoscape, Part 1
Ford also took note after the war and, in 1946, introduced the Mercury 114 (114 referring to the shorter Ford wheelbase on which it sat) and the upscale Monarch, both unique to Canada.
The 114 was Ford’s way to provide a less-expensive Mercury to bridge the price gap between Ford and Mercury, and also provide a lower cost alternative to areas with no Ford dealership. As noted above, with Chrysler, most towns in Canada didn’t have both Ford and Lincoln/Mercury dealerships, and Lincoln/Mercury didn’t want to lose customers looking for a lower priced car to competitors. The car was also built in response to the aforementioned smaller Canadian Pontiacs, as Ford wanted in on the smaller Pontiac’s strong sales.
Effectively, the Mercury 114 wasn’t much more than a Ford with a Mercury-style grille. In 1949, the Mercury 114 was replaced with the Meteor—this time a standalone brand not badged as a Mercury (and not to be confused with the Mercury Meteor; Ford recycled the name for the 1962 and 1963 model years as a new, entry level Mercury). However the basic principles were the same, essentially a Ford car with Mercury-style grille and trimmings, and a Ford engine and drivetrain.
In 1952, the car gained a Mercury dash and a new grille treatment. 1953 saw another new grille treatment with a new star motif. With its own unique identity, it now looked less like a Mercury, though was still obviously based on a Ford. 1954 brought more changes, including model series that were introduced with Canadian sounding names like Niagara and Rideau. Lower priced models were introduced, reverting to simpler Ford-based interior trimmings. The cars where updated again, in 1955 and 1958, when the new Ford bodystyle debuted.
Continue this story on page 5.