The Mercury Montego was a mid-size vehicle in the Mercury line of Ford Motor Company from 1968 to 1976. The nameplate first appeared in 1967 in Canada as part of the Mercury-derived Meteor line. After 1976, the basic design of the Montego was updated and the nameplate disappeared as the Cougar expanded its lineup. During the mid-2000s, the Montego name was revived for a full-size car; it was rebranded the Sable for 2008.
For 1970, the convertible was dropped, but new four-door hardtops and woodgrained MX Villager station wagon were added to the model selection. The 1970 and 1971 Montegos (and Cyclones) were notable for their striking forward-thrusting hood and grille centers. Concealed headlamps provided extra distinction for 1970 Broughams and Villagers.The 1968 models were available in four body styles: four-door sedan, two-door hardtop, station wagon and convertible, in base and fancier MX trim. In 1969, a luxury MX Brougham trim level was added. also in 1969 there was a ski-pac special not just the mx that came with a 351, posi trac system and a heavy duty heater
The 1972 Montego (and Torino, which the Montego very closely resembled) was fully restyled. Whereas previous Montegos (except wagons) had been produced on a single wheelbase with unitized construction, the 1972-1976 models were built body-on-frame and used a 114-inch (2,900 mm) span for coupe models, 118 inches for sedans and wagons. Although Ford called the four-door sedans "pillared hardtops", they used a thin "B" pillar with frameless door glass, and true four-door hardtops were not offered in this generation. In 1972 and 1973, a sporty fastback coupe called Montego GT (mirroring Ford's Gran Torino SportsRoof) was offered, replacing the Cyclone. 1972 sales were up 136% over the previous year, with the MX Brougham showing enormous increases, almost 897% in the 2-door and nearly 1,021% in the 4-door.
Montego sales through 1973 remained good, but were subsequently depressed by gas mileage concerns, and in-house competition from a restyled 1974 Cougar cast in the personal luxury mold and built on the Montego's platform with similar styling, and the more efficient Monarch introduced for 1975. For 1977, the Montego name was dropped, with Mercury's restyled intermediates all taking the Cougar name.
Six-cylinder engines were offered in Montegos through 1973. V8 power—up to a massive 460 cubic inches from 1974 forward—was available throughout the entire run.
In the 1968 NASCAR Grand National stock car season, the fastback Fairlane body style proved much slicker than other makes, but the nose of the Mercury Cyclone Fastback was the main reason pointed to it being even slightly faster than its Ford counterpart. Cale Yarborough drove a Wood Brothers Cyclone to victory in the Daytona 500, and the Mercury bodies would remain a major force in NASCAR through 2 generations of bodies. The battle over aerodynamics would prompt Chrysler to respond with specialized "winged wonder" Daytona and Superbird bodies after its own fastback bodies proved disappointing.