The first generation of the Mercury Montego was introduced in 1968 and remained in production until 1971. It was a higher-content version of the intermediate Comet, becoming its own nameplate as part of a 1970 redesign. In 1972, the Montego was fully redesigned alongside the Ford Torino. Changes include moving from the unibody to body-on-frame construction and a split-wheelbase chassis measuring 114-inches for the two-doors and 118-inches for the four-doors and wagons.
In compliance with rising safety regulations, the Montego received energy-absorbing bumpers in 1973. Cloth or vinyl interiors were offered. Trim levels included the Base, MX, MX Brougham, and the GT Series. Body styles on the base line included a sedan and hardtop coupe. The MX and MX Brougham had a sedan, hardtop coupe, and station wagon. The GT was a hardtop fastback and just 4,464 examples were built.
The MX series had rocker panel moldings and dual, upper body pin stripes. Upgrades to the interior included Deluxe sound insulation and color-keyed deep loop carpeting. The MX Series had a base price that was about $80 more than the base trim level.
The MX Brougham series had even more distinguishing features and upgrades to the interior. Deluxe wheel covers and upper body moldings help set them apart from the MX Series. Inside, there were bench seats with folding armrests.
Despite the absence of the Cyclone after 1971, Mercury continued to offer limited versions of performance with the Montego GT. The GT Series had deluxe sound insulation, deluxe wheel covers, deep loop carpeting, dual racing mirrors, a performance hood with non-functional dual scoops, and a sports-type three-spoke steering wheel.
The base engine was an overhead valve six-cylinder engine displacing 250 cubic-inches and offering 92 SAE horsepower. An optional overhead valve V8 engine with a 302 CID displacement and 137 SAE horsepower was available. Other engine options included a two-barrel 351 CID V8, a four-barrel Cobra Jet 351 CID V8, a two-barrel 400 CID V8, and a 429 CID four-barrel V8. By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2017
High bid of $4,000 at 2017 Mecum. (did not sell) This Mercury Montego is powered by a 351 cubic-inch V8 engine mated to an automatic transmission. It is finished in orange paint with a black vinyl top and a beige interior. There is air conditioning and 62,000 original miles. By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2017
Produced during the 1960's, the Montego was an intermediate vehicle manufactured by the Ford Motor company from 1960 until 1976.
A British version of the Mercury Montego was the Austin Montego. Available only in Canada, the Meteor Montego was the top trim level model of the Ford Meteor.
The model name was an inspiration from the exotic Montego Bay, the second city in size and importance in Jamaica. Montego Bay is also the island's tourism capital, and the name has been originally used for this Mercury vehicle since 1967.
Replacing the intermediate Comet in 1968 with the same body-type, it was upsized from the Mercury Cougar. The main differences between the Montego and Comet were the curb moldings, the cigar lighter and a glove box lock.
The MX version of Montego had both full length upper and lower body trim, and chrome wheel well trim. It also came with a vinyl top, metal upper door frames, wood inserts in the lower body molding, carpeting and wood grain trimmed door panels.
Basically considered to be a twin of the Ford Torino, the Cyclone was a variation of the Montego through 1971. The Cyclone came with a mid tire level body tape stripe and shared the same production numbers as the GT version.
In 2005, Mercury used the name for their version of the Ford Five Hundred which eventually replaced the Mercury Sable.
The new and improved Montego includes an optional all-wheel drive system, and has an MSRP of $25,000.By Jessica Donaldson
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