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Mercury Sable

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Sable
Vehicle Model

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Wikipedia: Mercury Sable

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Reference Desk
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A car produced by Mercury.  Based on the Ford Taurus.  It has been available in sedan and station wagon versions, produced from 1986-2005 and 2007-2009.

Awards and acknowledgements include:
A Complete Guide to Used Cars (1995 Edition) Best Late-Model Bet in the Mid-size Car category (model years 1986-1995)
A Luxury Car Book 2000 (by Jack Gillis) Best Bet in the Intermediate category.
A Value Car Book 2000 (by Jack Gillis) Best Bet in the Intermediate category.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Mercury Sable page on 12 July 2016, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Mercury Sable is a four-door sedan and station wagon marketed over five generations by Mercury for model years 1986-2005 as a mid-size car and 2008-2009 as a full size car, with a hiatus for model years 2006 and 2007, when a rebadged variant was marketed as the Mercury Montego. During its 21-year production run, the Sable was itself a badge-engineered variant of the contemporary Ford Taurus.

Along with the Taurus, the Sable was a milestone design, highly influential vehicle in the marketplace, with a total of 2,112,374 Sables marketed from 1985-2005.

Background

Ford had lagged in introducing mid-size front-wheel-drive cars to compete against General Motors' Chevrolet Citation and its best-selling Chevrolet Celebrity/Pontiac 6000/Oldsmobile Cutlass/Buick Century quartet as well as Chrysler's well-received K cars and Japanese offerings from Honda, Datsun/Nissan and Toyota. The Mercury brand suffered even more from this delay. In 1982, Ford launched the redesigned Mercury Cougar to start a reinvigoration of the Mercury brand with new aerodynamic designs, and started development of the Sable. Because of this design, the Sable was a resounding success and launched Mercury into a new design era, as well as influencing the other American automakers to follow suit and create more aerodynamic cars, thus ending the "boxy" cars of the 1970s and 1980s.

The Taurus and Sable siblings used flush aerodynamic composite headlights. Ford was the first to produce and sell vehicles with such headlights in the U.S., when it introduced the Lincoln Mark VII in 1983. To do so, Ford (among other automakers) had to lobby the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to have them approved. The Taurus and Sable were the first domestically produced, mainstream sedans to use the new lights. They also went beyond the Audi 5000, with which they were often compared, to adopt a grille-less "bottom breather" nose, first pioneered by the Citroën DS in the 1950s, and also used briefly on the Mustang.

The Sable was unveiled along with the Taurus in a resounding fashion. For its aerodynamic shape, the launch was held in MGM Studios Soundstage 85, where Gone with the Wind was filmed. Ford workers came into the room, which was decorated in space-age decor, holding cups shaped like flying saucers and the Taurus and Sable were sitting behind a curtain, their outlines silhouetting. Then, with the flashing of strobe lights and a drum-roll, the curtain was pulled back and the two cars were revealed to the public. The Sable's design was considered so futuristic, that it was called by the press "The car that came from the moon". This introduction approach was used previously during the late 1950s by Ford to introduce a new car during a live broadcast called The Edsel Show.

The bodyshell was smooth and aerodynamic. The Sable twin had a wraparound "lightbar" with two headlights and a low-wattage stretch in between. Aircraft-style doors were used to reduce wind noise, and the handles were recessed. The Sable also had large glass areas with slim pillars, and were flush with the body. The rear glass wrapped fully around, and the B-pillars were painted black to give the illusion that the front and rear glass were connected. The interior was available with bucket seats — very rare for most U.S. midsize sedans — and the dashboard wrapped around the driver and fed into the door panels to create more of a "cockpit" feel.


Reference Desk

The Crittenden Automotive Library's "Reference Desk" is a collection of materials that cannot be shared due to copyright restrictions. Information from these resources, however, can be shared. Go to the Reference Desk page for more information.

TypeTitle
1998 BookFord Taurus & Mercury Sable 1986 thru 1995 Automotive Repair Manual by Bob Henderson & John H. Haynes, Haynes North America
1999 BookFord Taurus/Sable 1996-99 Repair Manual: Covers all U.S. and Canadian models of Ford Taurus, SHO and Mercury Sable by Eric Michael Mihalyi, Chilton Automotive Books


Photographs

Mercury Sable Destroyed by Tornado Motor vehicles do not provide a safe haven in a tornado.
Image ID: wea03726, NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) Collection
Location: Illinois, Roanoke
Photo Date: 2004 July 13
Credit: NWS/Central Illionois WSFO
View photo of Mercury Sable Destroyed by Tornado - 188KB


Article Index

DateArticleAuthor/Source
21 May 20072008 Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable Receive Highest Safety RatingsAnthony Fontanelle


Documents

DateDocument Name & DetailsDocuments
classified date 1994Calspan On-Site Air Bag Deployment Investigation
Vehicle: 1990 Mercury Sable
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 5.6MB - 79 pages
classified date 1995On-Site Air Bag Investigation
1990 Mercury Sable GS, 4-door station wagon
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 21.5MB - 338 pages
classified date 1996On-scene / Vehicle to Vehicle / Front to Right Side
1992 Mercury Sable LS
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 72.1MB - 224 pages
August 1997On-Site Asymmetrical Air Bag Deployment Investigation
Vehicle - 1993 Mercury Sable
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 382KB - 14 pages
October 1997On-scene Investigation / Vehicle to Vehicle
1996 Mercury Sable
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 561KB - 21 pages
June 1998Veridian Remote Redesigned Air Bag Injury Investigation
SCI Technical Summary Report
Vehicle - 1998 Mercury Sable
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 157KB - 9 pages
July 1998Veridian On-Site Air Bag Related Child Driver Fatality Investigation
Vehicle: 1994 Mercury Sable Station Wagon
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 200KB - 14 pages
October 1998Remote, Redesigned Air Bag Special Study
1998 Mercury Sable
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 863KB - 10 pages
July 1999On-Site Air Bag Related Adult Driver Fatality Investigation
SCI Technical Summary Report
Vehicle - 1997 Mercury Sable
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 257KB - 14 pages
classified date 2000Special Crash Investigation Report
Case Vehicle: 1999 Mercury Sable GS, 4-door sedan
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 73.0MB - 131 pages
March 2000On-scene Investigation / Vehicle to Vehicle
2000 Mercury Sable LS
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 378KB - 14 pages
May 2000On-scene Advanced Occupant Protection Systems Investigation
2000 Mercury Sable LS
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 1,298KB - 15 pages
May 2000On-scene Investigation / Vehicle to Vehicle
2000 Mercury Sable LS
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 822KB - 17 pages
June 2000Advanced Occupant Protection System Study
2000 Mercury Sable Investigation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 337KB - 11 pages
classified date 2001Special Crash Investigation Report
Case Vehicle: 1999 Mercury Sable GS, 4-door sedan
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 3.8MB - 106 pages
January 2001On-scene Investigation / Vehicle to Vehicle
2001 Mercury Sable
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 678KB - 20 pages
April 2001Advanced Occupant Protection System Investigation
Vehicle: 2000 Mercury Sable
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 583KB - 13 pages
June 2001Veridian On-Site Advanced Occupant Protection System (AOPS) Investigation
Vehicle - 2001 Mercury Sable LS
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 917KB - 14 pages
classified date 2002Special Crash Investigation Report
Case Vehicle: 1998 Mercury Sable, 4-door sedan
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 5.0MB - 103 pages
February 2003Veridian On-Site Adult Air Bag Related Fatality Investigation
Vehicle: 1996 Mercury Sable
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 350KB - 16 pages
June 2003General Dynamics On-Site Child Safety Seat Investigation
Vehicle: 1997 Mercury Sable
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 258KB - 14 pages
24 April 2009Safety Compliance Testing for FMVSS 214: Side Impact Protection
2009 Mercury Sable
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 58.7MB - 199 pages


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