Thursday, May 26, 2011

1957 Mercury Voyager 9-passenger Station Wagon

"A style-sensation in any setting is this stunning new Voyager. Distinctive and versatile, it serves as a big, style-smart family car that can be adapted to carry 'king-sized' loads  . . .  for business or pleasure  . . .  in the city, suburbs, farm or ranch. No need to pamper this beauty either — it has 'built-in' stamina for the toughest assignments."

We're always tempted to shoot just photos of the flashy and well-kept cars, when in Cuba. But off the spotlight, there are a lot of mousy "workhorses" that, at first glance, don't seem to be worth a picture. Nonetheless, some of them deserve our attention, because they are pretty rare. Such as the 1957 Mercury Voyager station wagon.

The ambitious Mercury lineup for 1957 sported a number of "firsts" for the brand: for the first time, Mercurys didn't share the bodyshell with a Ford or Lincoln, but rode on their own, exclusive chassis. Designed by Don DeLa Rossa, the cars looked futuristic even for the contemporary taste, and they were a deliberate departure from the refined and elegant looks of their predecessors. Especially the glitzy, line-topping Turnpike Cruiser was virtually a roadworthy, gadget-laden showcar. Mercury station wagons now became an own series; the Voyager, which was equipped comparable to the Monterey sedan, being the mid-level trim line, above the Commuter and topped by the Colony Park. Even these supposedly practical station wagons featured gimmicks galore, in example a rear window that completely retracted into the down-folding tailgate. Originally, Mercury station wagons were only offered as pillarless hardtops, and we reckon that at one point our pictured car received its unusual B-post treatment together with a complete door replacement.

Anyway, in the U.S. and even more so in Cuba, a station wagon in Mercury's price segment wasn't a very popular choice: from more than 286.000 Mercurys which were produced in 1957, just 35.792 were station wagons. Yet, living conditions in today's Cuba have changed this picture substantially: station wagons are now very popular among the taxistas, simply because they can accommodate more paying passengers on every single trip.

1 Kommentare:

Caristas said...

Very interesting car, and rare -- the records show only 3,716 Voyager four-door nine-passenger wagons being built that year. And this one, with its added B-pillars, might be the only sedan!