The Mercury Meteor is an automobile that was produced by Mercury from 1961 to 1963. For 1961, the name was applied to low-end full-sized vehicles; for 1962 and 1963, the name was applied to Mercury's mid-sized sedans, in a marketing attempt to appeal to the excitement surrounding the Space Race, before being discontinued. Introduced while Mercury as a marque was in flux, and never a solid marketplace performer in consumer sales, the Meteor remains more a side note than a well known Mercury product.
Riding the Fairlane's 116.5 inch wheelbase, the 1962 Meteors wore unique rear quarter panels that mimicked the Monterey's jet-pod tail lights. The base Meteor and better-trimmed Meteor Custom were available as two- and four-door sedans. The Meteor S-33 was a specially appointed two-door sedan featuring premium exterior trim and interior amenities including bucket seats, and a center console. Its styling and features were similar to the Fairlane 500 sports coupe.
For 1963, Meteors received a trim update and the addition of two body styles, a four-door station wagon and a two-door hardtop coupé. The four-door station wagon was added to both the Meteor and Meteor Custom series. In the Meteor Custom series the station wagon was referred to as the Mercury Country Cruise and featured simulated wood-grain trim on the exterior. The hardtop coupe was added to the Meteor Custom and Meteor S-33 series. The hardtop coupé replaced the two-door sedan in the Meteor S-33 series, as had the Fairlane sports coupé.
The base Meteor engine was a 170 cubic inch, inline six-cylinder engine with a one-barrel carburetor 101hp at 4000 rpm. Optional engines included a 221 cubic inch V-8 with a two-barrel carburetor that generated 145hp and a 260 cubic inch V-8 with a two-barrel carburetor that generated 164hp. A three-speed manual transmission was standard. Overdrive and Merc-O-Matic automatic transmissions were options. A four-speed manual transmission became an option for 1963.
Sales of the mid-sized Mercury Meteor were less than expected and the model was discontinued at the end of the 1963 model year.
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