Thursday Trivia

Thirsday Trivia
Welcome to Thursday Trivia where we offer up a historical automotive trivia question and you try and solve it before seeing the answer after the jump. It’s like a history test, with cars!
This week’s question: What notable first for the Ford Motor Company did the initial Mercury Eight represent?
If you think you know the answer, make the jump and see if you are correct.
MercuryNamed after a Roman God of commerce, Mercury was part of the Ford Motor Company’s attempt to become an automotive niche-filler in the same manner as General Motors. The marque, along with the Lincoln-Zephyr, would slot above Ford in the company’s cornucopia of brands, and below Lincoln, the luxury brand that Ford had purchased in 1922. Mercury would straddle the wide price gap that existed between the common man Ford and the uncommonly priced higher tiers.
The first Mercury model – the Mercury Eight – was introduced for the 1938 model year, and it was its development that proved a notable first for the Ford Motor Company.
From AutoEvolution (emphasis added):

The first design, of course made by Ford’s development department, was the Mercury Eight or the Super Ford, which had a 95hp engine and a design that was hailed as being the most aerodynamic of its time. This was the first car which was first designed using a clay model.

Mercury proved wildly successful for Ford, and by the 1950s had gained a following for their style and ‘coolness’ factor. The use of clay as a medium for auto modeling also became an industry standard for decades. Of course that all wouldn’t last, and Mercury suffered a long, slow decline starting in the seventies and culminating with the marque’s ultimate demise in 2011, while CAD modeling has in most cases supplanted clay as the stylist’s medium of choice.

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  1. PotbellyJoe ★★★★★ Avatar
    PotbellyJoe ★★★★★

    Meanwhile Clay Ford was also born in 1938.

  2. dukeisduke Avatar

    The Mercury was introduced in 1938, but the first model year was 1939.