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Mercury Meteor Montcalm

Model Year: 1961

Location of Manufacture: Oakville, Ontario

Affordable and stylish, the Meteor line was created specifically for the Canadian market. It had the fourth highest overall sales from 1949 to 1959, running behind the Chevrolet, Pontiac and Ford. By 1957, 250,000 Meteors had been built in Canada.

In 1954, the Meteor line began to promote itself as a distinctly Canadian car by using iconic and familiar names for the various models – the Niagara, the Rideau and, eventually, the Montcalm. The Montcalm, like the others in the Meteor series, was based on a Ford body, but was designed with its own unique grille and trim. It was, in effect, a Ford dressed as a Mercury for the Canadian market.

A new model of the Montcalm was released in 1960 as the “idea car” of the year. It featured luxurious interior finishes as well as two engine options – a V8 and an inline 6 cylinder – and increased braking power.

The new Montcalm was promoted as the car for the modern Canadian family. These were the same families who were moving to the suburbs, purchasing new electronic devices such as televisions and stereos, and improved domestic appliances, like the automatic dishwasher and the micro-wave oven. It was new, very modern era.

The Montcalm series ceased production in 1976, by which time nearly 600,000 of the cars had been produced in Ford of Canada’s Oakville, Ontario plant.