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Mercury Tracer

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Tracer
Vehicle Model

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Wikipedia: Mercury Tracer

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A car produced by Mercury from model years 1988-1999.  The second generation is essentially a Ford Escort with some minor bodywork changes.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Mercury Tracer page on 14 December 2016, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Mercury Tracer is a compact car that was marketed by Mercury from 1987 for the 1988 model year until 1999. The replacement for the Ford Escort-derived Lynx, the first generation of the Tracer was a modified version of the Asia-Pacific market Ford Laser, itself a variant of the Mazda 323. In 1990 for the 1991 model year, the Tracer became the Mercury counterpart of the Ford Escort in North America. All three generations of the Tracer were based on variations of the Mazda 323/Protegé.

The Ford Focus would serve as a common replacement for both the Ford Escort and the Mercury Tracer.

First generation (1988–1989)

The Tracer was introduced in late 1987 as a 1988 model, replacing the Lynx in the United States and Canada. For the first time since the 1978 Capri II, the Mazda 323-based Tracer was a model unique to the Mercury division. Although derived from the Ford Laser sold in Asia and Australia, it was sold without a Ford counterpart in North America. As with its predecessor, the Tracer was sold in three-door and five-door hatchback body styles along with a five-door station wagon. The Tracer hatchback shared its body shell with the Ford Laser; while the station wagon was based loosely on the five-door hatchback, it was a distinct design.

The Mercury Tracer was assembled in a number of production facilities; the location was dependent on the body style and the country to which it was exported. Three-door hatchbacks for the US market were built alongside the Mazda 323 in Hiroshima, Japan, while five-door models were built in Mexico by Hermosillo Stamping & Assembly, where all station wagons were produced. For the Canadian market, both three and five-door hatchback models were built in Taiwan by Ford Lio Ho.

Second generation (1991–1996)

After skipping the 1990 model year, the Tracer returned in early 1990 as a 1991 model. While again based on the Mazda B platform, it now shared a body with the Ford Escort and the Mazda Protegé. The hatchback models were replaced by a four-door sedan; the five-door station wagon was carried over. The Tracer was sold in three trim levels: GS, LS, and LTS. The LTS was discontinued in 1993.

Changes to the Tracer over this generation were relatively few. In 1992, the plastic grille insert was replaced by the light bar grille seen on the Topaz and Sable. In 1993, a driver's side airbag replaced the automatic seatbelts; in 1994, a passenger airbag was added, bringing a redesigned dashboard with it.

The Tracer LTS (which used the more powerful 1.8L Mazda engine shared with the Escort LX-E and Escort GT) was named to Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1991.


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
1996 BookFord Escort & Mercury Tracer 1991 thru 1996 Automotive Repair Manual by Alan Ahlstrand and John H. Haynes; Haynes


Photographs

Mercury Tracer Speedometer Photo by IFCAR
September 14, 2006
View photo of Mercury Tracer Speedometer - 106KB


Documents

DateDocument Name & DetailsDocuments
classified date 1995Remote Accident Investigation
1995 Mercury Tracer
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 17.0MB - 57 pages
July 1997On-Scene / Vehicle to Vehicle
1997 Mercury Tracer LS
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 747KB - 19 pages
January 1998SCI/NASS Combination Case Report
Vehicle - 1998 Mercury Tracer
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 1,266KB - 12 pages
July 1998Remote, Redesigned Air Bag Special Study
1998 Mercury Tracer
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 440KB - 10 pages
July 1999Remote, Redesigned Air Bag Special Study
1998 Ford Ranger & 1999 Mercury Tracer
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 295KB - 11 pages
classified date 2000Special Crash Investigation Report
Case Vehicle: 1998 Mercury Tracer, 4-door coupe
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 46.5MB - 113 pages
classified date 2006Special Crash Investigation Report
Case Vehicle: 1998 Mercury Tracer LS, 4-door sedan
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 10.7MB - 137 pages
classified date 2002Special Crash Investigation Report
Case Vehicle: 1999 Mercury Tracer LS, 4-door sedan
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 5.9MB - 110 pages
classified date 2000Special Crash Investigation Report
Case Vehicle: 1999 Mercury Tracer, 4-door sedan
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

PDF
- 41.9MB - 113 pages




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