The year 1965 meant a major change for the full-size Mercury as well as a new chapter in the Breezeway story.
The changes for the 1965 Mercury Breezeway started with a new chassis, based on a ’65 Ford perimeter frame with four-coil suspension for a quieter, more comfortable ride. On all but wagons, wheelbase increased by three inches (to 123) and overall length was up by almost as much. Inner bodies were shared with Ford, but the big Mercury looked no more like a Ford than Cleopatra looked like Mary Poppins.
The 1965 Mercury Breezeway featured
new Lincoln-inspired styling.
Grisinger and company drew up Mercs that were claimed to be “in the Lincoln Continental tradition.” Ramrod-straight front-fender edges, vertical taillights, a horizontal-bar grille with a protruding center section, and a “power bulge” hood made these cars look more Lincoln-like than any Mercury in years. Only engine choices seemed to stand pat, with the exception of limited availability of the 410-bhp “Super Marauder” 427.
Against this backdrop, the Breezeway style was restricted to four-door sedans, one for each series. The trailing edge of the C-pillars adopted a notched look down near the base, and the bright trim was reduced to a narrower band that sat a little higher up than it had before.
Perhaps predictably, total Breezeway production fell to 46,828, even though big-car output swelled to 181,699 units and overall Mercury production came to a record 346,751 in a boom year for the industry.
Pricing might have played a role, too. In the past, when a Breezeway and a Marauder of similar configuration were in the same series, both cars had the same starting price.
In ’65, the Monterey Breezeway sedan was teamed with a new conventionally styled four-door, but the Breezeway’s base price of $2,904 was $65 higher than its mate’s tab. The cheaper car outsold the costlier one, 23,363 to 19,569. The effect was repeated throughout the remainder of the Breezeway’s life.
For 1966, the Breezeway lineup was reduced to two four-door sedans, a $2,917 Monterey and a $3,389 Park Lane. Overall demand for full-sized Mercurys fell off by only about five percent, but with 22,870 built, orders for Breezeways were less than half what they’d been in 1965.
Find out about the 1966-1967 Mercury Breezeway in our next section.
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