The Mercury Eight was the first model produced by the Mercury division of Ford between 1939 and 1951. It was created to sit between Ford and Lincoln as the intermediate make, offering a variety of body styles, each fitted with a V8 engine. It was the only model offered by Mercury until the marque started producing multiple series in the 1952 model year, at which point it was dropped as a model designation.

The Mercury Eight had three generations: the first generation (1939-1940) had its own body, inspired by the Lincoln-Zephyr; the second generation (1941-1948) adapted a Ford body; and the third generation (1949-1951) shared its body with the Lincoln. The Mercury Eight was marketed as a car that combined economy and performance, with a slogan “The car that truly dares to ask ‘Why?’”. It was also popular among customizers and hot rodders, who modified its appearance and performance.

The 1941 Mercury Eight got all-new styling and some engineering improvements. The Mercury now shared its bodyshell with the Ford Super DeLuxe and the wheelbase was expanded by 2.0 in (51 mm) to 118.0 in (2,997 mm).

There were many chassis refinements, including improved spring lengths, rates, and deflections, plus changes in shackling, shocks, and an improved stabilizer bar, but the old fashioned transverse springs were still used. The new body featured door bottoms that flared out over the running boards, allowing for wider seats and interiors. The car had 2.0 in (51 mm) more headroom, two-piece front fenders (three-piece at first), and more glass area. The front pillars were made slimmer and the windshield was widened, deepened, and angled more steeply. Parking lights were separate and set atop the fenders for greater visibility. Headlight bezels were redesigned.

In all closed Mercurys the rear-quarter windows opened out. Front vent wings were now crank-operated, and in closed cars the ventilation wing support bars rolled down with the windows. The 4-door convertible, offered in 1940, was gone, but a station wagon was added. The woodie wagon’s body behind the engine cowl was identical to Ford’s, and produced at the company’s Iron Mountain plant in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The “Eight” script was moved to the rear of the hood. 90,556 Mercury Eights were sold in the 1941 model year.

The Mercury 8 Club Utility 1941 was in the 1953 film From Here to Eternity, starring Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Montgomery Clift, and Frank Sinatra1. The car was driven by Deborah Kerr’s character, Karen Holmes, who was the wife of an army captain and had an affair with Lancaster’s character, Sergeant Warden. The car can be seen in several scenes, such as when Karen picks up Warden from the beach, or when they go to a hotel together. The car was a dark blue color with a tan top and had the license plate number 6M-76-41.

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