Mercury History: Henry Ford adopted the Mercury brand in 1939 to compete with the General Motors Buick but most models were based on other Ford models. Mercury became a part of the Lincoln division in 1945 and adopted the Lincoln platform in 1949, the year Mercury's also became know as "Lead Sleds". Mercury's heyday was in the 1950's but it was considered a spin off of Fords, and then Lincolns, until the early 1970s when the Cougar and Marquis were introduced. Sales peaked in 1978 when almost 600,000 units were sold but by the 1980s the Mercury had lost its uniqueness again and the image began to suffer. Ford tried to revive the Mercury lineup in the 1990s with front-wheel drive, an import called the "MMerkur" and a mini van but less than 100,000 units were sold in 2010. Ford dropped Mercury from the Lincoln division the following year. The first Mercury logo was a head profile of the Roman god Mercury. From the 1960s to the 1980s the Cougar became the logo amid a series of cat-named models followed. Some of the upper end models adopted the Lincoln diamond.