Mercury just never seemed to truly hit its stride. Sure, there were some great cars, but they always seemed to be stuck in the middle. Introduced in 1939 as a slightly more upmarket variant of the well-loved Ford V8, it had its own sheetmetal and sold rather respectably, with nearly 65,000 units built in its first model year; but in short order, Mercury became an uptrimmed Ford. With the exception of the natty 1949-51 models, Mercury never got a really unique look. At least, that is, until the mid- to late-’50s.
The mid-price market really took off in the mid- to late-’50s. Makes like Oldsmobile and Buick were making hay as the sun shone, and Ford looked on with jealousy as Buick took third place in U.S. sales. The all-new 1952 Mercury looked a lot like the 1952 Lincoln–which also looked a lot like the 1952 Ford–but that would be corrected quite soon.