The Mercury Monarch is a compact automobile that was marketed by the Mercury division of Ford from 1975 to 1980. Adopting its nameplate from a marque of Ford Canada during the 1940s and 1950s, the Monarch was marketed as the Mercury counterpart of the Ford Granada in North America. Slotted between the Comet (replaced by the Zephyr for 1978) and the Montego (renamed the Cougar for 1977), a single generation of the Monarch was produced.
1978–1980 Monarch coupe
|Assembly||Mahwah, New Jersey|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Compact near-luxury car|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
2-door coupe 
|Related||Ford Granada (North America)|
|Engine||200 cu in (3.3 L) I6|
250 cu in (4.1 L) I6
302 cu in (4.9 L) Windsor V8
351 cu in (5.8 L) Windsor V8
|Successor||Mercury Cougar (1981)|
Originally developed to replace the Comet, the Monarch was remarketed in response to the 1973 fuel crisis as Ford sought to introduce premium-content compact vehicles. Sharing its chassis underpinnings with the Comet/Maverick, the Monarch and Granada marked the final evolution of the 1960–1965 Ford Falcon platform architecture.
Following the 1980 model year, the Monarch was discontinued, replaced by Cougar sedans and station wagons from 1981 and 1982. For 1983, the Cougar reverted to a coupe configuration, with other body designs adopting the Marquis nameplate (replaced by the Mercury Sable in 1986).
Developed as an extensively updated Mercury Comet for the 1975 model year, the Mercury Monarch originated as external circumstances outside of Ford Motor Company forced major changes in consumer buying habits. The 1973 fuel crisis would lead to buyers valuing luxury over performance, with fuel economy becoming a key attribute. As Ford predicted the compact segment would grow in sales, the Comet/Maverick would remain in production. For 1975, Ford introduced the restyled Maverick as the Ford Granada; the restyled Comet became Mercury Monarch.
Although General Motors introduced the Buick Apollo (later Skylark) and Oldsmobile Omega in 1973, the Granada/Monarch would be one of a few vehicles that would break a long-standing tradition within American auto manufacturers of associating size with luxury. To differentiate the Granada/Monarch from the Maverick/Comet, Ford offered the new-generation vehicles with a number of comfort and convenience features in a compact-segment car.
As with the Ford Granada, the Mercury Monarch shared its unibody chassis with its Ford Maverick/Mercury Comet predecessors. Based heavily on the first-generation Ford Falcon from 1960, the design utilized coil spring front suspension with a leaf-sprung live rear axle; due to its Falcon origins, the Monarch was also loosely mechanically related to the first-generation Ford Mustang and Mercury Cougar.
The base engine was a 200 cu in (3.3 L) inline six-cylinder engine, with a 250 cu in (4.1 L) inline six optional. V8 power came from one of two options: the 302 cu in (4.9 L) or 351 cu in (5.8 L) Windsor engines.
Although originally developed to become the Mercury Comet, the Mercury Monarch was differentiated from the Comet produced alongside it in a number of ways. Using the Mercedes-Benz 280 as a benchmark for its styling and interior packaging, the Monarch abandoned the Coke bottle styling of the Comet for straighter-edged body panels. In the front, the Monarch adapted much of the styling of the Marquis (with single exposed headlights). While the roofline of the four-door model was heavily influenced by Mercedes-Benz, the two-door was given its own roofline with vertical opera windows. The rear featured horizontal wrap-around taillamps with amber reflectors and a color-keyed decorative trim panel with a fuel filler door.
In 1978, the Monarch underwent an exterior facelift; the headlamps were converted from round to rectangular, with the turn signals moved under the headlamps. The taillamps were revised to all red lenses and the center trim panel was changed to a new design with an argent finish on base models and matching red reflector on top trim levels.
On the inside, in contrast from other Lincoln-Mercury cars, the Monarch was equipped with front bucket seats. While a feature associated with sporty cars at the time, the individual seats (from the European Ford Granada) were chosen for their support and range of adjustment. In contrast to European cars, the wood-trimmed dashboard of the Monarch was equipped with three instruments: a speedometer, fuel gauge, and a clock.
At its launch, the Monarch was available in two trim levels: base and Ghia. For 1977, the two-door coupe was produced in an S (Sports Coupe) trim. For 1978 and 1979, the ESS (European Sports Sedan) trim was available, distinguished by blacked-out exterior trim.
Grand Monarch GhiaEdit
The Mercury Grand Monarch Ghia was offered from 1975 to 1976, marketed as the highest-trim version of the Monarch. Adopting many features shared with the larger Marquis and Grand Marquis, the Grand Monarch Ghia offered a sophisticated central hydraulic power system and four-wheel disc brakes not used on the standard Monarch or Granada. According to the May 1976 edition of Car and Driver, three out of five of Ford top executives, including Henry Ford II, used the Mercury Grand Monarch Ghia as their personal car.
Other standard Grand Monarch Ghia features included:
- Leather trim
- Vinyl roof
- LCD clock
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Power steering
- Dual map lights
- Illuminated visor vanity mirror (passenger side)
- 14-inch cast-aluminum spoke wheels
- Solid-state ignition
- Whitewall steel-belted radial tires
- Reclining bucket seats with matching map pockets
- Plusher carpeting and soundproofing
For 1977, the Grand Monarch Ghia was withdrawn and repackaged as the Lincoln Versailles. Intended as a response to the Cadillac Seville, the Versailles adopted much of the content of the Grand Monarch Ghia with a slightly restyled exterior. Among one of the most controversial examples of badge engineering in the American automotive industry, the Lincoln Versailles was withdrawn during the 1980 model year.
- 1975 Mercury Monarch sales brochure
- "Motor Trend - Sep 1974". Retrieved 2011-03-21.
- "Road and Track - Aug 1974 first paragraph". Retrieved 2011-03-21.
- Popular Mechanics - Oct 1974 p104 second paragraph. Retrieved 2011-03-21.
- "Car and Driver - Aug 1974; second paragraph". Retrieved 2011-03-21.
- Flammang, James Standard Catalog of American Cars 1976–1999 3rd Edition (Iola, WI: Krause Publications, Inc 1999), p.636.
- Dammann, George The Cars of Lincoln Mercury (Sarasota, FLA: Crestline, 1987), p.485.
- "Production & Registry Totals". The Granada-Monarch-Versailles Registry. Archived from the original on 2009-05-30. Retrieved 2008-05-20.