MERCURY
LIFE SPAN: 1939-2010
RISE TO POWER: Henry Ford's son Edsel envisioned a brand that would sit between Ford's everyman offerings and Lincoln's luxury models. He named the brand after the Roman god and introduced the Mercury 8. Mercury found success modifying Ford platforms and creating models could play in a couple different markets.
NOTABLE MODELS: Cougar, Coupe, Comet
DEATH KNELL: In the '80s and '90s, Mercury began simply re-badging Ford models and selling them. During the Aughts, as Fords became even more luxurious, Mercury cars began to seem redundant. Industry insides wondered if it would last. Alas, it did not.