The Mercury Montego was based on the Ford Torino platform and came with powertrains and options very similar to that model. Mercury continued production on the Montego through 1976, after which the company dropped the name and used the Cougar name instead.
Mercury originally introduced the Montego as a more upscale edition of the intermediate Comet. The primary differences between the two cars appeared in the curb moldings, the glove compartment lock and the cigar lighter.
The 1968 models came as a two-door hardtop, a four-door hardtop, a convertible or a station wagon. All body styles were available with base and more upscale MX trims. In 1969, the Montego also came with a luxury level MX Brougham trim.
Mercury dropped the convertible for 1970, but added new four-door hardtop body styles and a new style of station wagon. The 1970 and 1971 Montegos featured distinctive forward-thrusting hood and grille centers, while the 1970 Villager wagons and Broughams also featured concealed headlamps.
In 1972 and 1973, Mercury offered a sporty new fastback coupe called the Montego GT and sales increased 136% over 1971. The MX Brougham enjoyed an enormous jump in popularity, with sales increasing nearly 900% for the 2-door style and more than 1,000% for the 4-door style.
Montego sales remained healthy through 1973, when the government put out new emissions regulations. In addition, the Montego suddenly found itself competing with the more luxurious Mercury Cougar and the more fuel-efficient Mercury Monarch. Sales dropped drastically and Mercury eventually quite production on the Montegos in 1977.
During the mid-2000s, Mercury revived the Montego as a full-size car, but then renamed it the Mercury Sable in 2008. It's just as well since these newer Montegos shared little with their former selves except for the name.
The 3005 Montego was a large sedan that featured an automatic transmission. It also had a 3.0-liter V6 engine that boasted 203 horsepower. Options included an all-wheel drive configuration.
Under the hood
All of the Montego engines were made by the Ford Motor Company. Mercury Montegos came with 6-cylinder engines from 1968 to 1973. The 1968 base engines came with a 1-barrel carburetor that produced up to 115 horsepower. Customers had the option of purchasing a 2-barrel carburetor with an output of 210 hp and a 4-barrel carburetor that produced 230 hp. The Montegos from 1974 onward came with powerful V8 engines.
Several options were available with the 1968 Montegos. Customers could purchase bucket seats, power windows and power steering for about $100 each. The most expensive option at the time was the AM-FM stereo with antenna. This option cost buyers an extra $185.
Montego's MX edition featured full length body trim, chrome wheel well trim, wood inserts, a vinyl top, carpet and metal upper door frames. It also had woodgrain trimmed door panels and wooden inserts.
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