Essex Models and Miniatures archive
Category: Mercury

Matchbox, and Mercury

by Peter
Categories: Cars, Diecast models, Emergency service vehicles, Matchbox, Mercury
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The Mercury Cougar is another one of those cars I would never of been aware of if it wasn’t for Matchbox, the two below are replacements for the one’s I had back in the 1970′s

Both numbered 62 in the 1-75, Matchbox Lensey range, the first one above in Metallic light green is actually not far off an original Mercury colour and was released in 1968 with metal wheels and tyres, one of this type would be a rare find, even more illusive is a cream version dating back to the early release.

The second one, the rat rod, was a 70′s issue and has the same base plate and interior although the casting differs as this one doesn’t have opening doors whereas the saloon does, and has an opening for the big engine, the back wheel arches have also been made slightly bigger to take a larger drag car like wheel.

Matchbox also did a Kingsize version of both of the above cars firstly the K21 Mercury Cougar saloon, issued in 1968 and followed by the dragster also K21 and issued in 1970/71 and just called Mercury dragster, both these models have opening doors and the saloon car has steerable front wheels.


The next Mercury released by Matchbox was harder to track down as Matchbox only called it a Mercury, anyway after my research, I found that this car was known as the Mercury Monterey, it has also been called the Mercury commuter more correctly, again this one preceeded Superfast wheels and was released in 1970, in lime green with metal wheels and tyres, the interior has two dogs facing out of the back window, this was number 73, a later release in 1978 was a Cougar Villager and numbered 74, both colours I have, see further down the page.

The Mercury commuter was later released with the thin superfast wheels in the metallic green, then in the red above with the bulls head decal.

Below the  Mercury Commuter estate or station wagon, was released as a police car, the interior differs as here it has traffic cones in the back, the Ford Galaxy police car was replaced by a Mercury version in 1969 and was also made as a Fire Chiefs car, the Mercury Commuter or Monterey was a popular choice for many US police forces of the time.

The estate police car was No59 and the saloon was No55

The police saloon was re-released with square beacons and the casting changed between the lights to accommodate these, this one doesn’t have a number on the base but still marked as Made in England by Lesney, it is likely to of remained No55, but I do know this casting went on until much later in various police liveries.

In 1978  Matchbox released the Cougar Villager and numbered it 74, as far as I know there were only two colour combinations, Blue or green metallic.

The tailgates opened and no longer have the dogs, both have a different colour shade to the tailgates.

The real cars

Mercury Cougar circa 1967

Mercury Monterey 1970

Mercury Monterey patrol car

For more on the Mercury Cougar Click Here

For more on the Mercury Monterey Click Here