It all started when Ford of Canada decided to split its Ford and Lincoln-Mercury divisions into separate sales networks and create the Monarch and Meteor sub-brands. The Mercury truck was born as a necessity in rural communities that did not have access to both Ford and Lincoln-Mercury dealerships. With minimal model overlap to worry about in these areas, Ford of Canada decided to slap "Mercury" emblems on trucks.
As you might have already guessed, Mercury pickups were based on Ford products. When the brand started offering trucks in 1946, Ford still relied on its full-size cars for platforms. That changed in 1948 when the company launched the first-generation F-Series. Mercury adopted the M-Series name and used the same GVWR-based designation as its parent company.
While largely similar to the Fords, the Mercury trucks had brand-specific grilles and slightly different trim inside and out. The M-Series remained in production through 1968, covering five different generations of the F-Series. Mercury also built a few medium-duty trucks, a bus chassis, and a tilt-cab version of the Ford C-Series. The latter remained in production until 1972.
All these haulers are hard to find today in the US. Not only because many were sold in Canada but also because they weren't high sellers. For instance, while Ford moved nearly 100,000 pickups in 1947, Mercury delivered just 8,100 haulers that year. Total production numbers are a bit of a mystery, but the M-Series is arguably the rarest American pickup of the 1950s and 1960s.
You'd be hard-pressed to see one in the metal, and you'd need a ton of luck to stumble upon an example that's not a rust bucket. Fully restored examples are even rarer because these trucks don't get the love they deserve. If you haven't seen one yet, here's a two-tone 1958 M-100 that looks like it just left the assembly line.
Yup, this truck was restored to a Concours-ready finish, and it's probably one of the finest M-Series haulers in existence. It's also painted a very 1950s-specific blue-and-white livery with a matching interior and a spotless, wood-trimmed bed. It's based on the third-gen F-Series but rocks a unique front grille and large "Mercury" lettering on the nose.
There's no word on whether the six-cylinder in the super-clean engine bay is a numbers-matching mill, but it's definitely period correct. The first-year F-100 came with a 223-cubic-inch (3.7-liter) inline-six as standard, while the options list included a 272-cubic-inch (4.5-liter) Y-block V8. This powerplant is most likely the base Mileage Maker with 139 horsepower on tap.
It's not exactly a hot rod, but this Mercury is ready to win beauty contests at any car show. And it's a rare gem that deserves your attention. Check it out in the video below.