Sunday, June 06, 2010

Another one bites the dust.

AMC In the beginning of the automotive age, there were literally hundreds of car companies.  Studebaker, Fischer, Hertz, Packard and Rambler, to name a few.  By the time I became aware of cars (when I was 3 according to my dad) they had coalesced into 4 major American car companies ; American Motors (Rambler and Jeep), General Motors (Chevy, Buick, Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Cadillac), Chrysler (Dodge, Plymouth and Chrysler) chrysler and Ford (Ford, Lincoln, Mercury).

Things were pretty stable back then.  AMC had the ugliest cars on the planet and Jeeps were trucks. Chevy was basic, Buick more upscale, Pontiac more sporty, Oldsmobile upscale and sporty and Cadillac was fordemb all luxury cars.  Dodge was the basic line, Plymouth the more upscale and Chrysler the luxury line; Ford, Mercury and Lincoln followed the same pattern.  You could tell cars built by AMC, GMC, Chrysler and Ford apart from each other a mile away, and you knew what to expect from it by the name on it’s trunk lid.

gm 1987 saw the demise of AMC, absorbed by Chrysler who scrapped everything except the Jeep badge.  But then things were stable again, the “Big Three” remained untouched.  Until 2001, when Chrysler decided to discontinue their Plymouth line.  Shortly after, General Motors shut down their Oldsmobile line, and just recently their Pontiac line.

mercuryWell, I read in the paper today that Ford has decided to discontinue the Mercury line.  Bummer.   Of course it’s great that the company is doing things to remain financially strong,  but I have to admit, just like the news that they were discontinuing the LTD (Crown Victoria) line, it makes me a little sad to hear Mercury is done.



A Paperback Writer said...

I can't find anything for the Mercury for you, but here's one for the Oldsmobile:

PS. I really want to bring my 2 1/2 year-old neighbor to visit you and your cars for about 15 minutes sometime. The kid identifies cars by who owns them. For example, all Priuses are "Mommy's car." All 4-door VWs are his "aunt's" car. And all of my favorite type are identified by my name. Of course, he still gets confused. He handed me a small vehicle in church today and told me it was a Jeep. It wasn't; it had Land Rover plastered to the side of it.
Anyway, I think it's time we introduce him to Ford LTDS, don't you? Then they can all be "Max's car."

Max said...

My merry Oldsmobile - loved it! You know I'd love to show off my cars to anyone willing to listen. And if I can instill the love of these old cars into someone that young - even better. Let's see - I think I have some free time over the next 2 months.....

A Paperback Writer said...

I'll tell his mom you liked the idea. She thought it'd be great when I mentioned it today in church. You will find the child amusing; I know I do. (This is the one who swallowed his mom's wedding ring and the one who was "trimming" my bushes the other day, wearing only a diaper and chocolate pudding.)

As for "Merry Oldsmobile," I wonder if the lyricist caught the double entendre in the line "You can go as far as you'd like with me in my merry Oldsmobile." ;)

Max said...

You know, you can never be sure about those double entendres, it very well could have been intended.
As for the kid, I already feel a kinship with him. According to my dad, when I was about 3 every time we passed a Rambler I'd yell out "Like Daddy's car!" He said it was really annoying whenever we passed the Rambler dealership right around the corner.

The Gearheads said...

This makes me sad, very much so since I happen to own a Mercury. Ahhh, but the up side of this is that it will help make Ford a stronger company. And since, unlike Kaiser Jeep of the old Wagoneer I owned, I should be able to find parts for my Mercury. Not like I didn't see it coming, the Mercury (or as Kate Jackson pronounced it Mer-ker-ee) line has been dwindling along with the commercials. My hopes of seeing the cat rived are smashed.

The Gearheads said...

I did mean to say "revived" not "rived"

Max said...

My brain automatically corrected for you - I didn't even notice.