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Cool Old Press Photos: Ancient Mercury Memory Seats

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  • Cool Old Press Photos: Ancient Mercury Memory Seats


  • #2
    Re: Cool Old Press Photos: Ancient Mercury Memory Seats

    Hmm, an option I didn't believe would exist back then. I get lots of non-car people surprised at the fact my '67 has cruise control, power windows, power door locks (albeit vacuum operated) and a "Low Fuel" light. The ingenuity of the engineers way back then was pretty good. To be able to do things mechanically with primitive electrical devices is incredible, things computers and modern electronics have completely replaced.

    Anyone have a service manual to one of these old Mercury's?
    Escaped on a technicality.

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    • #3
      Re: Cool Old Press Photos: Ancient Mercury Memory Seats

      Wow, the memory seats are a new one to me. And when I was growing up, there was a Mercury dealer on the opposite corner our house was on and I remember looking at the 57's when they were new. Thanks.

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      • #4
        Re: Cool Old Press Photos: Ancient Mercury Memory Seats

        I was really surprised by this. I have a friend here whose dad owned the Mercury dealership here about that time. I just shot him an email to see if he had ever heard of this. I would bet it was expensive enough that not many cars came equipped with that option.

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        • #5
          Re: Cool Old Press Photos: Ancient Mercury Memory Seats

          Found a Mercury Turnpike with one http://www.rmauctions.com/CarDetails...C06&CarID=r134 . The T-bird came with a Dial-O-Matic seat memory control, probably same thing


          another shot http://www.conceptcarz.com/view/phot...ser_Photo.aspx

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          • #6
            Re: Cool Old Press Photos: Ancient Mercury Memory Seats

            It's interesting to see what they had to do back in those days to make this stuff sorta work (this kind of stuff was no where near as functional as today's gee-gaws are). Buick (and most of GM) had automatic headlamp dimmers back in these days. Of course there was an "electronic eye" (whatever THAT was) and about 500 relays, a hundred miles of wire, and few boxes with mystery stuff. I think the boxes were mostly full of either hope or smoke - or both. The curious thing is that they sometimes worked - but I never could get them to make the same decisions that I would. I never saw a Buick w/auto seat adjustment, so I don't know what might have been involved with that.

            Dan

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            • #7
              Re: Cool Old Press Photos: Ancient Mercury Memory Seats

              My '54 Buick has a heated seat, which I've found out was an option back to the '40s at least.

              It is actually a second heater system: regular fan motor, mounted in a hole in the floor under the driver's seat, so the fan blades are seat-side. a circular heater core surrounds the fan, with a sheetmetal housing over it. The housing vented the air under the front bench, had a little port going to the driver's feat, and another going to the driver's side passenger feet.
              The core had two 90-degree nipples that go through the floor, and were plumbed to the coolant system with heater hose, just like the heater under the dash. Had it's own individual switch on the dash board to control the fan speed.

              Pontiacs also had them.

              And everyone makes a big deal about modern cars with heated seats. Pffffff!

              I'm currently retrofitting one to my '62 Suburban.

              -Brad

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              • #8
                Re: Cool Old Press Photos: Ancient Mercury Memory Seats

                I've seen a bare, rusted seat frame with the memory option go for $1700. It was a while back, can't really remember what it looked like now.

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                • #9
                  Re: Cool Old Press Photos: Ancient Mercury Memory Seats

                  Like with the Star Trek series, we dream what should be...and gradually the reality we make catches up with it. I bet those Mercury seats were full of cam wheels and limit switches, what would now be done with electronics and stepper motors.

                  Heated seats go 'way back. Those long Duesies of yore needed to keep the Wall Street financiers in the back warm somehow and the logical place for heat to come from was the engine cooling water, with the exchanger under the seat. I once worked on a fifties Chrysler limo with that feature, a freind saw it and thought it was a "fart fan". I guess I probably asked him, "Don't you know rich people don't fart?". They get cold, though.
                  ...

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                  • #10
                    Re: Cool Old Press Photos: Ancient Mercury Memory Seats

                    This gadget was marketed as "Seat-O-Matic" on the '57-'59 Mercury Turnpike Cruisers and was pretty clever, though it was not a true memory seat as we know it. Using the dash control the driver "programmed" one of seven fore/aft positions and five height positions into the four-way seat, which preset a matching set of limit switches on the fore/aft and vertical seat motors. When the ignition was shut off, the seat automatically ran all the way back and down. When the ignition was turned on, the seat moved back up into the position set by the limit switches.


                    As you can see, this setup was not terribly complicated. However: The 1957 Cadillac Eldorado had a six-way electric seat with a true memory function -- though it was all accomplished electro-mechanically, of course. The '58 Pontiac Bonneville used a four-way version of this gizmo. Under the Caddy's seat there was a metal box that must have looked like a telephone exchange inside to a '57-vintage mechanic. (The dotted line below indicates the circuit box.) Restoring a '57-'58 Eldo is a mission quest.



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                    • #11
                      Re: Cool Old Press Photos: Ancient Mercury Memory Seats

                      Bill...you rule!

                      Those diagrams are awesome.

                      Brian
                      That which you manifest is before you.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Cool Old Press Photos: Ancient Mercury Memory Seats

                        Thank you for the kind words, Brian. I'm just glad there are people who care about this stuff. A year or two ago I was judging at a concours and came across a '57 Turnpike Cruiser with Seat-O-Matic. When I asked the owner, an older gentleman, if it still worked he lit up like a Christmas Tree and gave me a demo, describing all the work he went through to restore it.

                        To me the Turnpike Cruiser does not get enough attention today. Four headlamps, gadgets galore, 600 linear feet of chrome trim... along with the Cadillac Eldorados, the '58 Buick, and a few others, it represents the height of the age of the Insolent Chariots.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Cool Old Press Photos: Ancient Mercury Memory Seats

                          Bill did you happed to see this entry from a couple weeks back?



                          Thanks for sharing that stuff.

                          Brian
                          That which you manifest is before you.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Cool Old Press Photos: Ancient Mercury Memory Seats

                            Awesome, you are all over it. For '58 they backed off a bit except for the engine. The 430 CID MEL V8 was available in a "Marauder" version, with high compression, a cam and three two-barrels. Rated at 400 hp... how's that for early muscle? It had an enormous rectangular cast aluminum air cleaner assembly that looked like a kitchen appliance, an electric skillet perhaps. Very rare, have only seen one in person. The MEL engine was an interesting piece; the combusion chambers were in the cylinders like a Chevy W engine.

                            To me, the late '50s was high point in ambition and confidence for the Detroit automakers, much like the musclecar era but in a different direction. Check out cars like the Lincoln Continental Mk II or the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham. They sold for $12-14K new (when a new Bel Air was $2300) and they cost even more than that to build. Halo cars, just to show what they could do. In 2009 dollars that's like 150 Gs. As kso4 said, if they could dream it they built it.

                            Is my love of Detroit showing? Breaks my heart to see the current situation. The automakers won WWII. At Willow Run they built one four-engine bomber per HOUR. With pencil-and-paper technology, no computers, and with workers who had never set foot in a factory. And they converted production and spooled it up in a matter of months. It was the greatest industrial machine in the history of the world.

                            Imagine you are some poor German farmer in 1944 and you hear a sound, soon growing into a roar and darkening the sky. It's 1200 bombers on their way to Berlin, a formation so large it takes hours to pass over. And you know there is another one just like it coming in the afternoon, and the British will be coming with another mission that night. At that point you are silently asking the fuhrer, "Adolf, WTF were you thinking?"

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                            • #15
                              Re: Cool Old Press Photos: Ancient Mercury Memory Seats

                              Originally posted by CooL-NeWeLL
                              Found a Mercury Turnpike with one http://www.rmauctions.com/CarDetails...C06&CarID=r134 . The T-bird came with a Dial-O-Matic seat memory control, probably same thing


                              another shot http://www.conceptcarz.com/view/phot...ser_Photo.aspx
                              I had a 57 bird with the Dial-o-Matic.Never tried to see if it worked as the seat position was acceptable and I was not interested in chasing electrical gremlins.

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