Mercury's lush Park Lane convertible hit the deck with a new option for the 1968 Mercury Park Lane called "Yacht Paneling." Though an appliqué, it was a nice, nostalgic nod to the real woodies of the late 1940s.

1968 Mercury Park Lane
The yacht paneling option on the
1968 Mercury Park Lane was not offered on later models.
See more pictures of classic convertibles.

Full-size late-'60s Mercurys were what we'd now call "near luxury" models, yet they were typically big, smooth, feature-laden machines. The all-new '65s were even grandly trumpeted as being "In the Lincoln Continental tradition," especially their square, formal styling. A more fulsome look arrived for '67, when Mercury billed itself "The Man's Car." How times have changed!

1968 Mercury Park Lane
The 1968 Mercury Park Lane yacht paneling look carried into its interior.

Mercury's big '68s were not much changed, still riding a 123-inch wheelbase and offering V-8s up to 428 cubic inches, but there was an interesting new option called "Yacht Paneling." Restricted at first to the top-line Park Lane fastback and $3822 convertible, this involved woody-look side trim like that on Colony Park wagons. As a full-length decal, Yacht Paneling wasn't structural like the real wood on Mercury's 1946 Sportsman convertible, but it was no less distinctive. However, it was none too popular either, lasting only this one year. Of the 1112 Park Lane ragtops built for '68, just a handful were Yacht Paneled, and a mere 15 are known to exist today. Sometimes, it just doesn't pay to go "retro."

For more classic convertibles of the 1960s and 1970s, see:

1960 Dodge Polara
1960 Edsel Ranger
1961 Ford Galaxie Sunliner
1962 Dodge Polara 500
1963 Chevrolet Impala SS
1963 Ford Falcon Futura
1963 Plymouth Sport Fury
1963 Studebaker Lark Daytona
1965 Chrysler 300L
1965 Rambler American 440
1966 Chevrolet Corvair Monza
1969 Plymouth Road Runner
1969 Shelby GT-500 1973 Mercury Cougar XR-7 1975 Chevrolet Caprice Classic 1975 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale
1975 Pontiac Grand Ville 1976 Cadillac Eldorado

For more information on all kinds of cars, try these: