"Mercury is a brand sending a message that modern design will lead its rejuvenation. Mercury is returning to its roots as a design leader introducing the Messenger concept, a distinctive and energetic high-performance two-seat sports coupe." So said Ford's former interplanetary brand when it introduced the Mercury Messenger at the 2003 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Needless to say, that hoped-for rejuvenation never actually panned out.
As much as we'd like to say that Ford spent a few hundred million giving Mercury a much-needed halo car instead of shuttering the brand entirely, it didn't happen and the reality is that the eight generation of the Mercury Cougar went on to be the last non-Ford-based automobile ever to roll off the showroom floor. Sad, no?
Perhaps all is not lost, however. According to Automotive Traveler, the 2003 Mercury Messenger Concept is about to go under the gavel at the RM Auction during the festivities at Pebble Beach on August 13 and 14. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Because the car was nothing more than a styling exercise, there's no drivetrain in the Messenger... but we'd like to think that some willing participant will find a way to make it all go down the road with a brand spankin' new 5.0-liter V8 underhood.