The 1956 Mercury XM Turnpike Cruiser stands as one of Mercury's most iconic concept cars. It embodied the elegance and unique styling of the era, captivating enthusiasts with its audacious design and innovative features.
Originally, the inspiration for the XM Turnpike Cruiser came from its predecessor, the 1955 XM-8100 Turnpike Cruiser Experimental Car. This luxury concept vehicle had a feminine touch, showcasing sophisticated design elements that would later reappear in the 1957 Mercury.
The 1956 XM Turnpike Cruiser was specifically designed for long, fast drives, drawing inspiration from the newly emerging Interstate Highway System. Its distinctive features included 12-inch wide V-shaped taillights, concave-sculpted rear fenders, and a large, flat roof that appeared to float above the two-tone interior. Opening the doors revealed twin transparent roof panels that flipped up, adding a touch of innovation to the overall design.
Interestingly, many design elements from the 1956 XM Turnpike Cruiser made their way into the regular production model of the 1957 Turnpike Cruiser. This demonstrates the influence and impact of this remarkable concept car on the subsequent Mercury lineup.
The 1956 Mercury XM Turnpike Cruiser remains a cherished piece of automotive history, embodying the spirit of innovation and boldness that defined the era. Its unique styling and forward-thinking features continue to inspire automotive enthusiasts to this day.
Images: Ford Motor Company; www.automotivehistoryonline.com; www.oldcarbrochures.com
Sources: www.oriole.net; www.automotivehistoryonline.com; www.chicagoautoshow.com