Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Monday, November 3, 2014
For 1962, Mercury marketing decided that the Monterey nameplate had better consumer recognition than the Meteor moniker as far as full-sized vehicles were concerned (despite the fact that Meteor outsold Monterey), and instead assigned the Meteor name to a new line of mid-sized cars based on the Ford Fairlane which, in turn, was based on a long-wheelbase version of the Ford Falcon chassis. This smaller, mid-sized Meteor filled the product gap between the full-sized Monterey and the compact, Ford Falcon-based Mercury Comet.
Riding the Fairlane’s 116.5 wheelbase, the 1962 Meteors wore unique rear quarter panels that mimicked the Monterey's jet-pod tail lights. The base Meteor and better-trimmed Meteor Custom were available in two- and four-door sedans. The Meteor S-33 was a specially trimmed two-door sedan featuring premium exterior trim and interior appointments including bucket seats, and a center console. Its styling and features were similar to the Fairlane 500 Sports Coupe.
For 1963 Meteors received an annual trim update and the addition of two body styles, a four-door station wagon and a two-door hardtop coupe. The four-door station wagon was added to both the Meteor series and the Meteor Custom series. In the Meteor Custom series the station wagon was referred to as the Mercury Country Cruiser and featured simulated wood-grain trim on the exterior. The hardtop coupe was added to the Meteor Custom and Meteor S-33 series. The hardtop coupe replaced the 2-door sedan in the Meteor S-33 series, as had the Fairlane Sports Coupe.
The base Meteor engine was a 170 cubic inch displacement inline 6-cylinder engine with a 1-barrel carburetor 101 horsepower (75 kW) @ 4000 rpm. Optional engines included a 221 cubic inch V-8 with 2-barrel carburetor that generated 145 horsepower (108 kW) and a 260 cubic inch V-8 with 2-barrel carburetor that generated 164 horsepower (122 kW). A three-speed manual transmission was standard. Overdrive and Merc-O-Matic automatic transmissions were options. A 4-speed manual transmission became an option for 1963.
Sales of the mid-sized Mercury Meteor were disappointing and the model was discontinued at the end of the 1963 model year.