The Mercury S-55 is an automobile manufactured by Mercury, a division of the Ford Motor Company. Mercury added the S-55, a full-size performance / luxury vehicle to its S or "Special" line in 1962. The S-55 was first available from 1962 to 1963½. The S-55 was not available from mid-1963 to 1965. The S-55 was re-introduced in 1966 as its own model. In 1967 while still maintaining a unique model and body code it was now available as a packaged option i.e. S-55 Performance Package. 1967 marked the end of the big "S" model.
In 1962 Mercury introduced the S-55 a full-size car to match Ford’s Galaxie 500/XL. The S-55 joined the existing Mercury “S” or “Special” line consisting of the S-22 Comet and S-33 Meteor. The Comet S-22 was introduced in 1961 while the Meteor S-33, like the S-55, was introduced in 1962. The first year model run offered the S-55 package in two body styles, 2d ht and convertible.
The completely redesigned 1963 S-55 was offered in four different body styles: a 2-door Breezeway Hardtop, a 4-door Breezeway Hardtop, and a 2-door Convertible. Later as a 1963½ you could also get the S55 as a 2 door fastback. Each of these models included the full S-55 trim of bucket seats and console.
Power trains available for 1962–1963 included two different versions of the 390 (300 hp and 330 hp) and the 406 CID (3-2V or 4V). Available for the first time in 1963 was Ford's famous 427 CID 4V.
For 1964 and 1965 the S-55 model was not produced. The Comet S-22 and the Meteor S-33 were also discontinued. This marked the end of the S-22 and S-33 as they would not return. However the S-55 would once again be produced starting with the 1966 model year. Mercury did offer the Marauder during the S-55's absence.
For 1966, Mercury re-introduced the S-55 as separate model on its own with a 2-door Hardtop and a 2-door Convertible. While the S-55 in its previous years had been an upgraded interior and trim package, the 1966 S-55 was now all about performance. It was based on the Monterey trim level and came with the new for the year Super Marauder 428 V-8 engine that was rated at 345-hp. Dual exhaust for reduced engine back-pressure complete the power package. Ready at hand, a console mounted 4-speed manual transmission or a special Multi-Drive Merc-O-Matic automatic transmission (buyer's choice: optional at extra cost). (NOTE: Information available indicates that all automatic transmissions for the 1966 S-55 were the aluminum cased C6, however early production cars may have come with cast iron Ford "Cruise-O-Matic" or mixed material aluminum bell-housing and tail case with cast iron core Ford "Cruise-O-Matic" automatic transmission rebadged as Merc-O-Matic automatic transmission.) The interior featured bucket seats and a console with floor shifter similar to what you could find in Ford's luxury/performance full-size car, the 7-Litre. Styling accents include unique body side-striping, deluxe wheel covers and the distinctive S-55 emblem on rear quarter panel and 428 V-8 emblem on the front fender sides. The 1966 Mercury featured "Torque Box" construction—frames individually tuned to minimize noise and harshness. Styling was square and clean "in the Lincoln Continental tradition," as the ads put it. Few S-55's were sold, although Mercury generally had a successful big-car year in 1966.
The last year for a Mercury S-55 was 1967, now once again as an option package for the Monterey series like it had been in the early years. As in 1966 the only available engine was the 428 Super Marauder. It also featured an engine dress up kit, high performance suspension and a deluxe sound system. Both 2-door Hardtop and 2-door Convertible was available. The 1967 Mercury Monterey S-55 was phased out almost as soon as the model year began, probably because big performance cars were deemed inappropriate for a make with luxury aspirations. Styling was of the new rounded "Coke-bottle" school adopted this year, and somewhat less distinctive than before, though more and more like a Lincoln. The glamor and the S-55 special touches were all there, but the "S-55 Sports Package" offering was a sure sign that the end was near for the Mercury "Special" cars.