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Shop 11,500+ 1949-59 Ford & Mercury parts by selecting a category to the left.

Request your Free 320 page catalog for 1949-59 Ford & Mercury passenger cars including Edsel today!

The History of the 1949-59 Ford & Mercury Passenger Cars

Shortly after the end of WWII, the Ford Motor Company sought a new direction. Under the leadership of Henry Ford II, the company’s designers were challenged to create a car that was unlike anything offered by Detroit at the time. Introduced in June of 1948, the all-new 1949 Ford was a radical departure from previous automotive design, and a stylish precursor of the Fords that would follow throughout the 1950’s.

Perhaps the biggest break from the past was the 1949 Ford’s integral fender design. Unlike the bulging fender and body offerings that had preceded it, the ‘49 had a clean continuous line from the front fenders, through the doors, and on through the rear quarter panels. A smooth connection from grille to taillights took the eye over a sweeping silhouette. From its sleek chrome bullet nose at the center of the grille, on back to the horizontal taillights, the ‘49 was indeed unlike any other car of its day. With few subtle modifications, this body style was carried through the 1951 model year.

MAC’s has one of the largest selections of sheet metal parts for your Ford on the market today. Shop here.

1952 brought a new body style featuring a one-piece windshield. The Customline, Mainline and Crestlines of 1953 also boasted a one-piece windshield along with updated and modern interior fabrics. Ford's designers focused much of their energy on rooflines throughout this era, starting with the tinted plastic of the early Skyliners and culminating with the attractive stainless sweep of the 1955 and 1956 Crown Victorias.

MAC’s own Cartouche brand upholstery offers an extensive selection of authentic and non-authentic fabrics for your vintage Ford. Browse our selection.

New design elements of the decade were not limited to the body. The 1949 Ford would be the foundation from which many innovations and performance improvements would be launched throughout the 1950’s. Coupled with the long-standing Ford Flathead V8 engine, Ford’s first automatic transmission, the Ford-O-Matic, would provide a landmark improvement in performance and drivability. 1952 brought an updated chassis and suspension features.

1953 marked the end of an era, with the last of the venerable Flathead V8 engines rolling off the assembly line to make way for the new overhead valve 239 cubic inch Y-block V8. The horsepower wars were on, and Ford raced to keep ahead of the competition, eventually increasing the displacement of its Y-block to 312 cubic inches.

Shop from MAC’s vast selection of engine parts, including Ford Flathead parts and Y-block parts, today.

To house these modern powerplants, Ford introduced the longer, lower, and wider styling of the 1957 model line. This trend-setting year also included the introduction of the Skyliner retractable hardtop. The Skyliner’s transition from hardtop to convertible was carried out through a complex electrical system of relays, switches and motors that lifted the roof, and then smoothly lowered the hardtop into the trunk. Witnessing the rare retractable hardtop in action was a spectacle for its time, and one that continues to impress car show audiences to this day. 1957 also saw the introduction of the Ranchero, advertised as “More than a car! More than a truck!”

Fun Facts

The Ford Skyliner, available from 1957 through 1959, was the first retractable hardtop to ever be mass-produced.

A 1957 Skyliner in front of our Lockport, NY showroom.

James Dean drove a 1949 Mercury in the 1955 film, “Rebel Without a Cause.

James Dean's black 1949 Mercury in "Rebel Without a Cause."

Serving as the Official Pace Cars for the Indianapolis 500 were a 1953 Ford Crestline Sunliner and a 1957 Mercury Turnpike Convertible Cruiser. The Mercury pace car was awarded to 1957 Indy winner, Sam Hanks.

Sam Hanks 1957 Merc. Photo credit: finecars.cc

In 1958, Ford continued to pursue a competitive performance edge with the introduction of the "FE" series of big block engines, offering 332 and 352 cubic inch V8’s, and the Cruise-O-Matic automatic transmission. The popular Galaxie nameplate was first unveiled in 1959 as a top of the line model. The model name would serve Ford well throughout the next decade and on into 1972. As the 1950’s drew to a close, the end of the decade also brought with it the end of Ford's Skyliner retractable hardtop and full-sized Ranchero models. The Ranchero would continue, but as part of the Falcon line. A decade that started with a challenge to build a better car, 1950’s can well be remembered as a time of numerous styling, performance and luxury innovations from the Ford Motor Company.

We carry plenty of accessories and novelty items for the Flathead Ford V8 or Flathead Mercury V8 lover at MAC's Antique Auto Parts. Check out our newest item, the Ford Flathead V8 Piston Desk Lamp. It would make a great gift for the Ford restorer who has it all.

Mercury Arrives

Like the newly designed Ford, the 1949 Mercury was unveiled to an eager public in 1948. Based on the larger and more luxurious Lincoln platform, the Mercury represented the first dramatic postwar restyling.

Introduced in 1950, the Monterey 2-door Coupe was highlighted with a vinyl roof and a luxurious leather interior. The limited production for the first year Mercury Monterey made it one of the rarest Montereys ever produced.

This body style, with minor upgrades, would remain through the 1951 model year. In 1952, Mercury launched a completely restyled body, showcasing a hood scoop design, an elevated integral bumper and grille, and a novel aircraft inspired instrument cluster. Like Ford, Mercury now featured a one-piece windshield.

The 1952 Mercury Monterey, advertised as, “It’s the kind of car that will make you say – “Let’s take the Monterey,”” offered three transmission choices, the Silent-Ease standard, the Merc-O-Matic automatic, or Thrifty Touch-O-Matic Overdrive. The 1952 Monterey was also offered with a wide variety of paint color choices and luxurious matching interior colors, making it one of the most stylish models in the Mercury line.

MAC’s has Mercury Monterey parts, including headliners, convertible tops, and top boots. Shop here.

1953 and 1954 saw subtle mechanical and styling improvements, most notably the introduction of the overhead Y-block V8 engine in 1954.

The 1955 through 1956 offerings from Mercury featured longer and lower body styles. Mercury also introduced the Montclair and economical Medalist nameplates in the middle of the decade. The larger and now more powerful 312 cubic inch “Safety-Surge” V8 engine, boasting 225 horsepower, was introduced in 1956.

With both an increase in wheelbase and overall body length, the 1957-59 Mercurys were some of the sleekest on the highways. The unforgettable and aptly named Turnpike Cruiser was introduced in 1957. Remembered for it's quad headlamps and canted vee-shaped taillights, these models came standard with an automatic transmission and offered Continental kits and air-conditioning as options.

The pursuit of horsepower continued and the introduction of the Mercury Park Lane in 1958, a car designed to compete head on with the Buick Roadmaster, offered a 360 horsepower “Marauder” V8 engine.

Shop from MAC’s vast selection of engine parts, including Mercury parts, today.

An era of innovation, horsepower, and style, the decade of the 1950’s will forever be remembered as a time when the Mercury division truly came into its own.

Let MAC’s help you make the most of your restoration. Whether you need a few finishing touches for your completed classic or are just beginning to sort through your collection of vintage parts from your soon to be Concours, Custom, or Cruiser, we have what you need to complete your dream car. MAC’s has been serving the Ford restorer since 1978 and we carry an extensive collection of Ford and Mercury parts, accessories, supplies, manuals, and literature. Our fully illustrated 1949-1959 Ford & Mercury parts catalog lists 11,591 parts. You will easily find what you need including part numbers, prices, descriptions, number of parts required, and the years of application. Our catalog is free if you have a 1949-1959 Ford, 1949-59 Mercury or a 1958-60 Edsel. Outside the U.S. we do require a payment of $5.00 U.S. to cover the cost of postage.

Have a 1958-60 Edsel? Go to our new Edsel page here

Restore your Ford Custom, Custom 300, Deluxe, Crestliner, Victoria, Country Squire, Country Sedan, Mainline, Mainline Ranch Wagon, Customline, Sunliner, Courier, Skyliner, Fairlane, Crown Victoria, Parklane, Fairlane 500, Del Rio, Ranchero, Galaxie, or Mercury Custom, Monterey, Montclair, Medalist, Park Lane, Turnpike Cruiser, Commuter, Colony Park, Voyager, or Edsel Citation, Corsair, Pacer, Ranger, Bermuda, Roundup, or Villager with classic, vintage parts from MAC’s Antique Auto Parts. We carry restoration parts, for 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, and 1959 Ford and Mercury cars, and 1958, 1959, and 1960 Edsels.

Shop our wide selection of 1949-59 Ford & Mercury parts & accessories today!