1951 Mercury Eight Convertible / Photos, Specs, Styling Model History

Featured here is a beautiful and very rare 1951 Mercury Eight Convertible. The Mercury Eight model, created in 1938 by the efforts of Edsel Ford and Ford Sales Manager Jack Davis, was produced from 1939 through 1951. This was despite the fact that Henry Ford didn’t believe at that time he needed a new brand. The first year was excellent for Mercury with more than 65,000 units built, and it appeared that the regular Ford line sales volume was not affected by the new nameplate.

1951 mercury eight
1951 Mercury Eight Convertible










The Mercury Division Was Created

When the first Mercury went into production for the 1939 model year, the style was all new and did not share any paneling with either Ford or Lincoln vehicles. Four body styles were offered in 1939…a Town Sedan with four doors at $957; a Sedan with two doors at $915; a Sedan-Coupe for $957, and a Sport Convertible with an automatic top at $1,018.

In 1938 Mercury was set up as an entirely separate company as was Lincoln. This however changed in 1945 when the two were merged into Lincoln-Mercury. While Mercury was a brand new creation, Lincoln was purchased by Henry Ford in 1922. In regards to Mercury;s position within the Ford Motor Company models, The Mercury was considered by Ford as an entry level luxury vehicle. Ford’s marketing strategy at the time was to have automobile buyers see Mercury as a lower priced Lincoln rather than a higher priced Ford. Mercury filled a niche between the deluxe Ford V-8 and the Lincoln Zephyr V-12.


51 mercury convertible









Standard equipment included a cigarette lighter, electric clock, locking glove compartment, twin horns, two sun visors, arm rests on each front door, foot control for headlights with beam indicator on instrument panel and dimming control for instrument panel lights. In regards to design, Henry Ford who was not a big supporter of the new nameplate, stipulated that the new Mercury was to have many of the styling characteristics similar to the Ford line.

The first Mercury, the 1939 Mercury 8,Two Door Sedan sold for $915 with a flat head V-8 engine producing 95 HP. Mercury’s main competitors at the time and for decades were Buick and Oldsmobile.

The first post World War Two Mercury came out in 1949 and was an entirely new design as were all Ford Motor Company vehicles that year. The new look for Mercury and all Ford Motor Company vehicles featured integrated bodies which gave the cars a much more modern appearance. In the case with Mercury, many thought the new bulbous integrated design looked like a bathtub thus referred to it as such. Also the name “lead sled” was commonly used. Nevertheless, the Mercury’s looked good and much more modern than anything before it with its smooth, flowing lines.

1951 mercury








The most popular post-war Mercury’s are the 1949 through 1951 models, with the 1951 enjoying almost “cult-like” status. In general, the decade of the 1950’s ushered in many new innovations and very modern styling.

The 1951 Mercury Eight Convertibles are quite rare giving that only 6,625 units were produced. This was the last year for the legendary full size Mercury Eight series which began in 1939. It’s thought today that there may be only about 40 known survivors of the 1951 Mercury Convertible on the road and in museums.

1951 Mercury Convertible Specifications

The 1951 Mercury was built with a 255 cubic inch flat head V-8 engine producing 112 HP.

Mercury had an excellent 1951 model year with 310,387 vehicles built. This was better than the 1949 model year when the new post war designs hit the showroom floors.

Related Auto Museum Online articles are found on the links below..

Reference material for this article includes..55 Years of Mercury : The Complete History of the Big M by John Gunnell..Complete Book of Collectible Cars by the Editors of Consumer Guide..Mercury Gold Portfolio 1947-1966 by R.M. Clarke.

1951 mercury convertible









The 1951 Mercury Convertible Collector Car Popularity

The 1951 Mercury Convertible is a special car for several reasons. The model was the last of the series of “Mercury Eight” vehicles and also represented the third year of the new post war design. As mentioned, Mercury was a medium priced brand that filled the gap between the more affordable Fords and the luxurious Lincolns.The model remains one of the most popular of all early 1950’s cars with collectors.

Many of the early 1950’s Mercury’s have been chopped up and heavily customized. An original beauty like our featured example is very rare and many could go a lifetime without ever seeing one.

Current data on auction sale prices for the 1951 Mercury Convertible fall in a range from about $45,000 to $75,000. This price range takes into consideration originality, restoration age, mileage and overall mechanical condition. Perfect examples have sold at the high end of this range.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)