Was someone putting lsd in the water cooler at the Mercury styling studios in the late '50s? What else can explain the glorious, collective madness of the men who dreamed up the metal sculptures of that era. Over-the-top was the norm for a few glorious years in Detroit, and Mercury was right in the thick of it.
When it came to space age, rocket ship and ray-gun inspired tail lights, Mercury have to be the king.
Here's five examples starting with 1957 through to 1960.
Mercury sales brochures and print ads described the '57 tail lights thus:
New V-angle tail-lights: Functional, decorative. Massive red beacons finish off the rear end treatment in distinctive good taste. Tail-light visbility - from both side and rear - is increased.
A '57 hardtop sedan in two tone. Note the slide-down rear window partition - a Mercury option through to 1965.
1958 Park Lane convertible - if anything the rear styling is slightly toned down, but that wouldn't have been difficult.
1958 four door hardtop - ever seen so many tail lights on one car? By my count there'd have to be 8 individual globes at least. Stylish wraparound rear window and C pillar incorporated in to the rear doors - brilliant.
1960 two door hardtop sedan - upright, low-rider tail lights - note the wraparound rear window and overhanging roof.
1960 hardtop wagon - the last pillarless year for Mercury wagons. How low are the tail lights!?
The 1960 Comet - Mercury's version of the new Ford Falcon - with cantilevered rear lenses to differentiate from its' Falcon stablemate.
Comet side view - note the awkward, angled fins with lenses integrated in to the rear edges. They appear to be too big for the car, but certainly stand out which was clearly the designer's intention - mission accomplished.