McGarrett had three triple-black Mercurys through the 12 seasons of Five-0:
* 1967 Mercury Marquis (2-door hardtop)
* 1968 Mercury Park Lane Brougham (4-door hardtop)
* 1974 Mercury Marquis Brougham (4-door hardtop)
What is a hardtop?
Originally, hardtop referred to a car that had a metal roof, rather than a canvass one. In time, it came to refer to a car that had no pillar (or post) between the front and back doors, or behind the door on two-door cars. They lost favor as being unsafe in rollover situations. The pillar adds needed support. The last hardtops were on the 1978 Chrysler Newport and New Yorker.
1967 Mercury Marquis
Screen capture from "Cocoon" (pilot)
The 1967 Mercury Marquis was used only in the pilot episode, although it appeared in stock footage thereafter. It was black and sported a red interior. It is interesting to note that 1967 was the first year for the Marquis, which was meant to be a 2-door sports version of the Park Lane, which was introduced in the 1958 model year. When the Park Lane was phased out at the end of the 1968 model year, a 4-door model of the Marquis was introduced to take its place. The Ford Motor Company officially ceased production of the entire Mercury line at the end of 2010, although it took until mid-January 2011 to complete all orders and close production.
1968 Mercury Park Lane Brougham
Screen capture from "Rest in Peace, Somebody" (Season 4)
The 1968 Mercury Park Lane Brougham was used in entirety in Seasons 1-6, as well as in part of Season 7 (except for stock footage of the '67 Marquis). It was seen on occasion in new footage - usually involving hazardous driving - in Seasons 8 through 10, as well as in stock footage.
The Park Lane met its end in "Tall On the Wave" (Season 10), when it dove nose-first into a sand dune as Danno pursued a friend, who was under suspicion of murder. We last saw her as what appeared to be the Park Lane listed, smeared with gray tempera paint, in "Number One With a Bullet" (Season 11).
The Park Lane was hauled off to a warehouse at Diamond Head Studios (now Hawaii Film Studio) and stored. Years later, Michael Timothy of Illinois managed to locate the car. He acquired it and shipped it home, where he restored it. Read about and see pictures of it in the following article:
A Tale of McGarrett's Car. http://www.mjq.net/fiveo/50mercury.htm
1974 Mercury Marquis Brougham
Screen capture from "A Gun for McGarrett" (Season 7)
The 1974 Mercury Marquis Brougham was used in part of Season 7, as well as throughout Seasons 8 through 12. It was reputed to have lacked the get-up-and-go of the Park Lane, but then, it was one of the first models to use heavy five-mile-per-hour bumpers and a catalytic converter. Here are links to articles about and pictures of McGarrett's '74 Marquis:
I Rode in Steve McGarrett's Car. http://home.comcast.net/~waxtadpole/car.htm
For Sale: Used Car Driven By Five-0 Chief. http://archives.starbulletin.com/96/04/16/features/story3.html
Someone called McGarrett's ride "McGarrett's Old Muscle Car." Ouch! That hurts!
Used by permission of the Ford Motor Company
The Park Lane is seen parked before a Ford Tri-Motor, affectionately known as the “Tin Goose.” Premiering in 1925, it preceded Donald Douglas’ DC-3 by eight years and ended production in the same year that the DC-3 went into production, 1933.
The Tri-Motor was one of the first metal-clad aircraft, replacing the previous canvass-over-wood-frame construction, and helped to pave the way forward in aircraft design.
The Tri-Motor initially was used as a commercial aircraft, then went on to military use by the US Army-Air Corps, the US Navy, and the Royal Canadian Air Force.
To this day, a few Tri-Motors are in the air, offering excursion flights.
See the interior of the Tri-Motor: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Trimotor#mediaviewer/File:Ford_5-AT-B,_McMinnville,_OR.jpg
History of the Mercury Park Lane
The name “Park Lane” first was used for a Ford two-door station wagon.
Mercury Park Lane was built by the Mercury Division of the Ford Motor Company as a Mercury Monterey with extra trim.
The Park Lane was dropped while Mercury focused on its lower-end models.
Mercury Park Lane was built by the Lincoln-Mercury Division of the Ford Motor Company. It was reinstated to bridge the price gap between Ford and Lincoln automobiles.
Some Park Lanes had a “Breezeway” window; that is, a powered reverse slanted rear window that lowered into the body. Although it did not sell well, it is credited with marking the beginning of Mercury’s sleek car designs, when Mercurys stopped looking like Fords. The Breezeway window had been used previously on the 1957-1958 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser and the 1958-1960 Lincoln Continental.
In this period, the Marauder package gave the Park Lane a fastback roof design.
The Park Lane picked up a Brougham package, which offered more trim, nicer seats and door panels, etc.
Available in 4-door sedan and 4-door hardtop models
This year, only, available in 2-door fastback model. Some 2-door fastbacks and convertibles bore wood-grain side panels, called Yacht Paneling. These did not catch on with buyers.
Some Mercury Grand Marquis carried a revival of the Park Lane badge.
Steve McGarrett drove two other 1968 Mercury Park Lanes in the show. Well, actually, one was a Park Lane; the other was the station wagon version of the Park Lane, known as a Colony Park. He drove both in "Once Upon a Time" (Season 1), the Colony Park in Part 1 and the Park Lane in Part 2.
Someone visited the site who wanted to know why McGarrett's car did not have police lights. That's a good question, one I've wondered about, myself. It seems that, at the very least, he'd have had a bubble light he could stick on the roof whenever he took off after someone. As I recall, those "portable" lights were available in those days.
When I was last in Honolulu, I heard a siren and heaved to the curb in time to see a Mercury Grand Marquis speed past. It did have police lights, but, no, it was not triple-black, only gray. That was a fun event for me, for I've long wondered why the state didn't give McGarrett a lighter colored car in that hot and sunny location.
Screen capture from "Loose Ends Get Hit" (Season 8)
Did you know McGarrett was supposed to have received a new car in 1972? Yes! A 1972 Mercury Marquis Brougham – black, of course. We only saw him in it once, in Season 8’s “Loose Ends Get Hit.” Watch the video clip carefully. You will see three black Mercurys: a 1972 Marquis, the 1974 Marquis, and the 1968 Park Lane. The blue car is a 1974 Lincoln Continental.
One source said McGarrett didn’t get the 1972 Marquis, because Jack Lord wanted to continue using the Park Lane. Frankly, I don’t blame him. It had (and still has) a certain panache (both in styling and under the hood) that the log wagons of the early-to-middle 1970s couldn’t match.
The Best Car Chases. This You Tube clip is fantastic! It features scenes from "Hookman" (Season 6), "Over 50? Steal" (Season 3), "Burning Ice" (Season 4), and others. You won't want to miss this:
McGarrett's Evasive Driving Techniques. This You Tube clip from "A Death in the Family" (Season 10) shows good evasive techniques. I guess McGarrett attended law enforcement officer driver training at the FLETC (Federal Law Enforcement Training Center).
Ripping through Paris. This You Tube clip shows that McGarrett is still alive and well and ripping through the streets of Europe. Best of all, he hasn't aged a bit since Season 6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF5WwON970s&playnext=1&list=PLE05475A041E47AB8