Alternate universes scare me. The idea that there could be a reality so similar to our own but with the slightest difference that somehow changes everything is so spooky. I think that’s what bothers me with these trucks. They’re Mercury pickups, but WHY?
Of course, there is a straightforward explanation. There always is. Until the Auto Pact was signed in 1965 between the United States and Canada, doing away with most auto tariffs between the two countries and largely turning them into one market, Canadian Ford dealers were stocked rather differently than their American counterparts. Oftentimes, a dealership would only stock Mercuries and Lincolns but no Fords, leaving local buyers in rural communities without a commercial vehicle option in the Ford stable. Other than the Mercury M-Series trucks, that is.
According to a pretty comprehensive rundown of these bizarro-world pickups on Curbside Classic, the M-Series first launched in 1946 and carried on through 1968. The trucks came pretty much every size that was available at Ford dealers south of the border, but there were usually fewer engine options. Besides that, there wasn’t much that differentiated them from the Ford line.
This specific truck that I found for sale on classiccars.com is a really nice example from 1967, the penultimate production year for Mercury trucks. With a 352 cubic inch V8 inside and a gorgeous straight and (to my eye) rust-free body, it’s quite the truck no matter what brand is on the hood. Is it $30,000 dollars of truck? I don’t know. But I do know that I’m weirdly attracted to how uncanny it is.