Daily Features

A COOL-AS-ELVIS FIFTIES STAR: THE MERCURY TURNPIKE CRUISER

By on February 27, 2017
IMGP7716-001

IMGP7716-001

 

The Fifties was a decade of huge change in the United States.

 

A shy kid from Memphis named Elvis turned the musical world on its ear when he brought rock and roll to an eager teenage audience in the mid-50s.

 

Passenger jets took flight in the Fifties and TV became a force during the Eisenhower years.

 

turn

 

But Ike had his own game plan in 1956 when he signed off on the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways.

 

turn-1

 

The result was a series of major highways that connected all 48 of the lower states with a more efficient and faster road system. The decision spelled the end of famous highways like Route 66 as a major transportation route, but the new freeway system meant people got there faster and safer because of more driving lanes.

 

AD-contactIMGP8080

 

The new interstate system actually took several decades to build and continues to evolve so the roads can theoretically handle greater traffic loads.

 

IMGP4526

 

This amazing new highway system was still in its infancy in 1957 when Mercury debuted its Turnpike Cruiser. The term “turnpike” actually dates back to early England when it was used to describe a road toll barrier that was paid before traveler could go any further on the route.

 

turn

 

The term “toll booth” is very familiar to drivers on many interstates, so “turnpike” was a natural fit when the 1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser traveled down an interstate with a toll booth to help pay for the road.

 

IMGP8879

 

I always loved the name of this famous Mercury model from the late Fifties. The Turnpike Cruiser was only built for two years (1957-58) but it left a lifelong impression on me.

 

IMGP1369

 

This Mercury had a unique style that made it stand apart from the rest of Detroit’s finest at the time. The Turnpike Cruiser had an unusual front and rear end design that was very different from other Fords– let alone the competition.

 

_IGP2541

 

The headlights were suspended well below the top of the fender eyebrow and the rear taillights had a radical inverted design. The Turnpike Cruiser was conceived from a dare-to-be-different design and few could argue that it did not meets its goal.

 

 

The heavy use of chrome on late 1950s cars was not lost on the Turnpike Cruiser. It boasted some serious bright work that could be used as a sterling silver example of chrome excess during the early years of Ike’s interstate program.

 

Mercury was always a higher end member of the Ford family and had more appointments than a basic Ford model. The Turnpike Cruiser had a unique rear window that rolled down for extra ventilation on road trips.

 

The unique roll-down rear window reappeared in Mercury models during the mid-60s and once again proved to be a hit with customers.

 

IMGP5740

 

Another unusual feature on the Turnpike Cruiser was its radio antenna. The antenna was built into the A pillar (windshield pillar) and pointed forward to catch those rock and roll radio station signals-or maybe not.

 

The truth is a typical Turnpike Cruiser owner likely had his car radio tuned into easy listening stations where Perry Como and Nat King Cole were kings of the airwaves.

 

The Turnpike Cruiser became part of 1950s automotive folklore and left the building in an Elvis sense after a very short production run. President Eisenhower had a good idea when he initiated the interstate highway system in 1956.

 

IMGP7642

 

But Ford had an even better and cooler idea when it built its first Turnpike Cruiser in 1957. 

 

Jim Sutherland

 

CLICK HERE to Like us on Facebook

 

CLICK HERE to Follow us on Twitter

 

CLICK HERE to Follow us on Pinterest

 

Please re-post this article if you like it.

 

FACE

print

45184 Total Views 5 Views Today

About admin

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Facebook

Featured Ads

Rear View Mirror

bl-imgp4854

DECEMBER 16, 2014: DOES WHAT IS UNDER THE HOOD REALLY MATTER? …YOU BET IT DOES

  We at MSCC are not really judgmental when it comes to old rides.   After all, it boils down to personal choice and different budget levels when it...

December 16, 2014 View more...
ch-14122014 35425 pm

DECEMBER 2014: IS THERE A LESSON FOR CAR GUYS IN ‘A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS’?

  ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ has been a holiday favorite since 1965.   A few of us have watched it every year since we were kids roughly the same...

December 14, 2014 View more...
tv- 12122014 12215 pm

DECEMBER 14, 2014: SIX OBSCURE RIDES YOU MAY NOT REMEMBER FROM OLD TV COP SHOWS

  TV and law enforcement dramas have gone together since the first day a producer realized people love cop shows.   Ratings were important from the beginning and TV...

December 14, 2014 View more...
1947 matching fridge 12-002

DECEMBER 8, 2014: RED DEER CAR GUYS GET BEHIND THEIR ANNUAL FUNDRAISER

  Christmas is referred to as a time of giving and that is a concept Red Deer, AB car guys embrace in a big way every year.   They...

December 8, 2014 View more...

Most Viewed

My Star Showcase

My Star logo1-001

MSCC MARKET REPORT 2017

  MSCC MARKET REPORT 2017   Welcome to the newest feature at MyStarCollectorCar.   This will be a regional look at prices for collector vehicles based on actual sales...

August 3, 2017 View more...
products-IMGP5647

MSCC Products and Services Showcase

These are all great businesses and they support MyStarCollector Car through their advertising  so we can continue to bring you our  insight into the old car hobby 365 days...

July 13, 2016 View more...
IGP2993-NOVA SC

CONTACT MSCC ABOUT YOUR 2017 CAR SHOWS, CLUB MEETINGS AND CLUB RELATED EVENTS

  CONTACT MSCC ABOUT YOUR 2017 CAR SHOWS, CLUB MEETINGS AND CLUB RELATED EVENTS   Have you already scheduled your car show for 2017?   “Send MSCC the information...

October 26, 2015 View more...
IMGP0377-001

AUGUST 2017 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS: MyStarCollectorCar

  It’s never too early to contact us about your club or community car show for 2017. Get your listing to us and take advantage of the exposure you’ll...

October 9, 2015 View more...

More At My Star

AUGUST 18 FIVE FOR FRIDAY: FIVE REASONS MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR LOVES ITS NEW FORMAT

  MSCC fired up our new format in August, 2015 are now celebrating the 2nd anniversary of the best format decision ever made here at MyStarCollectorCar.com.   The new format took plenty of trial and a lot of error before we found our mojo with the revamped website.   The new format is based upon See More

MSCC FIVE FOR FRIDAY: JIM PICKS HIS FAVORITE RIDES FROM SUMMER 2017

  This article may be the toughest assignment I have ever given myself here at MyStarCollectorCar because I loved every vintage car and truck this past summer.   There is still some summer left for us at MyStar so we will revisit this topic again at the end of the car show year, but right See More

MSCC AUGUST 16 “WHAT’S IT?” WEDNESDAY—AN EASY ONE?

2017 MSCC “WHAT’S IT?”   WEDNESDAY MSCC What’s It? Wednesday is back for 2017.   This is a weekly guessing game for car guys and it was one of the most popular new MSCC features in 2016.       MSCC AUGUST 16 “WHAT’S IT?” WEDNESDAY—AN EASY ONE?   This one should be a puffball for See More

MSCC WANTS YOUR CAR SHOW INFO- UH NOPE-WRONG-WE’RE BEGGING FOR IT

  The secret to a great car show is massive exposure.   MSCC can give your event massive exposure-but we need your help to make your show a home run with car guys.   There are good reasons why MyStarCollectorCar is number one in a Google Canada search for monthly car shows and events.   See More

Editor’s Picks

IMGP7176-001

THE GUILD GARAGE: WHEN A HALF HOUR CAR SHOW JUST SEEMS LIKE AN HOUR

  Restoration Garage always lived up to its non-car guy producers’ goal to produce a docu-drama.   The producers appeared to believe in the standard TV playbook wherein a...

August 3, 2017 View more...
IMG_1451

MSCC AUGUST 2017 ROAD WARRIORS—ON THE ROAD WITH A BOATLOAD OF COOL

  Road warriors are the truest celebration of the car hobby.   There’s a fair amount of risk because an old C-body Chrysler doesn’t stop, handle or change lanes...

July 31, 2017 View more...
IMGP8955-001

CHEERS TO YOU–IT AIN’T EASY BEING A VOLUNTEER AT A CAR SHOW

  Volunteers are a special group of people because they are willing to tackle a thankless job and donate their time to a particular cause.   They are the...

July 24, 2017 View more...
5

WELCOME TO MSCC FIVE FOR FRIDAY—FIVE GREAT SONGS WITH SUMMER IN THE TITLE

WELCOME TO MSCC FIVE FOR FRIDAY—FIVE GREAT SONGS WITH SUMMER IN THE TITLE   MyStarCollectorCar never stands still—that’s the nature of the hobby because old iron that stands still...

July 20, 2017 View more...

Car Shows and Events

IGP2993-NOVA SC
CONTACT US TO LIST YOUR 2017 CAR SHOWS

CONTACT US TO LIST YOUR 2017 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS info@mystarcollectorcar.com 727214 Total Views 2502 Views Today

June 23, 2017
165ce9588de34a61a8112aaf9a57c456_1-001
MICHENER ALLEN AUCTION AUGUST 19, 2017: ’73 CHALLENGER

MICHENER ALLEN COLLECTOR AUCTION AUGUST 19, 2017   1973 Dodge Challenger 2 Dr       Make:   Dodge   Model: Challenger Drivetrain:          RWD     Ext Color:            Blue Engine:...

June 19, 2017
phpThumb_generated_thumbnailpng red deer
10TH ANNUAL RED DEER FALL FINALE & SPEED SHOW

 10TH ANNUAL RED DEER FALL FINALE & SPEED SHOW     COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION – CLASSIC CAR AUCTION The 10th Annual Fall Finale Classic Car Auction September 8th-10th, 2016 –...

April 21, 2017
IMGP0377-001
AUGUST 2017 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS: MyStarCollectorCar

  It’s never too early to contact us about your club or community car show for 2017. Get your listing to us and take advantage of the exposure you’ll...

October 9, 2015

Ads

Ads responsive