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Meet The Spokepants: Cold Start

Cs Legs

I’m not really sure if there’s any other example of a pair of disembodied legs used to sell cars other than this 1964 brochure for the Mercury Meteor. But this Meteor brochure really does deliver on the disembodied legs, or perhaps enchanted living pants, in an effort to let all of you leg-growers out there know that, yes, there’s plenty of room for your walking arms there in the lower part of the car! Do people call legs “walking arms?” Or feet “floor hands?” Is that a thing?

Cs Meteor

You know what else is a thing? The Meteor had this amazing reverse-raked rear window that would actually slide down, which is pretty fantastic and extremely uncommon for a sedan. I’m not sure any other sedan did this, but there may be some obscure examples. Mass-market, though, the Meteor was it. It was pitched as an alternative to air-conditioning, which is an interesting tactic; while it definitely would help ventilation, it’s not A/C by a long shot, but A/C take rates in that era were not close to what it is now, in our age of ubiquitous A/C on every car in every category, so a clever alternative makes a lot of sense.

Hey, can this count as Mercury Monday?

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37 Responses

  1. Hmm, some three years earlier Dr Seuss had published the book The Sneetches and Other Stories; one of those other stories was “What Was I Scared Of?” where the protagonist encounters a disembodied pair of pants walking through the woods. One wonders if that was the inspiration for that Meteor ad (though the Meteor pants are purple with shoes while the Seuss pants were green sans shoes…)

  2. “Hey, can this count as Mercury Monday?” It’s Monday, it’s a Mercury. That’s a more accurate Mercury Monday than a lot of things you’ve posted for it. I think it counts.

      1. You’d think so, but in my experience crossovers aren’t always the best for head room. The raised seating position can undo any benefits the taller roofline provides. The best car I think I’ve ever owned in terms of head room is my 2007 Prius.

        Although I should note the only vehicle where I ever had to raise the seat from the lowest position was a Jeep Cherokee (the new one, the old one was terrible for me). The manual seats in those drop so low that the bottom of the windows were at about neck level even on me. Felt like I was sitting in a bucket until I bumped the seat up a couple of notches.

        1. ‘You’d think so, but in my experience crossovers aren’t always the best for head room. The raised seating position can undo any benefits the taller roofline provides.’

          Try a minivan. Even my microvan sized Mazda5 has a surprising amount of headroom. It does not have a sunroof though.

  3. “Hey, can this count as Mercury Monday?”

    If this counts as a Mercury Monday, then the floodgates have been opened for all of the odd Canadian-branded Mercurys, Meteors, Monarch, and Frontenacs.

    1. Any Merury Monday classification has been disallowed by the author’s subtle use of the article to gauge reader reception for two Torch neologisms: “walking arms” and “floor hands”.
      Henceforth, keep the focus firmly on Merc to qualify.

  4. The FoMoCo ‘Breezeways’. Known as the Mercury Montclair and Parklane here in the U.S. I owned a ’65 Montclair Breezeway during my Navy days in San Diego (a beach cruising chick magnet in the mid ’80’s if there ever was one), absolutely loved that barge.

  5. A pair of legs is all that’s left inside the car if that back window goes up when you’re trying to slide out through it.

    The potential for pet or child decapitation is interesting.

  6. So not the Meteor Motor Company of Piqua, Ohio , maker of ambulances and horses? I’m sure one of those has hauled some stand alone legs.

    Those breezeway cars are pretty wonderful. Like a convertible without the sunburn.

  7. Who is this targeted to? Someone with a dismemberment fetish? I mean which one of those ladies do the legs belong to? If not, what happened to their lower bodies? Where is the front end of that car? Does it even have one? That hint of a rear bumper and rear wheel. Are they just screwing with us? It’s all enough to make the lady on the left feel faint.

    This has crime scene written all over it.

  8. so, i went looking for more info about the car; there wasn’t a Mercury Meteor 1964 model? Meteor as an US model ended in ’63, but in ’64 Meteor was relaunched as a Canadian make (after a two year hiatus). per Wiki, the 1961 Mercury Meteor was a reskinning of the Edsel Ranger after that make was killed, and ’62-’63 MM’s were reskinned Fairlanes?

  9. My friends had one of these. There was a local place called Carvel that sold great soft ice cream. We’d go down there get our stuff & then drive around. The move was put all your garbage on the parcel shelf, get up to 65-70 open the front windows & then lower the rear-Blast off! Garbage gone!!!

    Seems like a really shitty thing to do now, but it was fun.

    1. Lots of good memories in a car like this. Even some while doing bad things.

      We used to do similar things in a station wagon with a roll-down rear window, without telling our parents.

      I do remember that we have a rule that all waste that went out the window was either food, paper or cardboard. No plastics or metals.

  10. Guy I know bought one with that window a couple years back on an impulse. No rust, just tinkers with it, daily drives it when the salt isn’t on the road. Said it was one of the best decisions he’s made.

    I’ll admit, I’m envious of him when I see pics of it out and about

          1. Drivers ed car I drove in the early ’80s had a brake peddle on both sides so that comes as close as I can remember. A friends car around the same time didn’t have the brake peddle on the passenger side but it did have a spot I could press on and actuate the brakes a bit. No idea what the car was but it was fun to mess with him from time to time. Not sure I ever told him about it.

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