Mercury  - XM-Turnpike Cruiser
1956 XM Turnpike Cruiser was designed with fast, long driving in mind. It was inspired by the greatly expanding Interstate Highway System. A lot of the design elements were later seen on the regular production model 1957 Turnpike Cruiser. The transparent roof panels flipped up when the doors were opened. The design of this car greatly influenced the 1959 Mercury automobiles. The car is now located somewhere in California waiting for a total restoration.
Here's a Mercury "idea" car that represents another chapter in the saga of the never-ending search by Mercury stylists and engineers to develop innovations keyed to the ever-changing trends in modern motoring.
XM-Turnpike Cruiser is not merely a "dream" car. It is a full-scale, fully operative automotive styling laboratory dedicated to the specific task of pioneering, testing, and perfecting new ideas in design, new features, new safety and new power application.
A unique, new plastic "butterfly" top gently pops up when the door is opened, facilitating passenger entry and exit. A new "compound wraparound" windshield curves back at the top as well as at the sides, providing altogether new viewing horizons for all passengers. This double-curved window flows gracefully back into the low-silhouette top (only 52.4" high) and adds to the illusion that the top is floating on air.
New fluted side channels that cap a long, low fender line, and swept-back wheel wells carry out the tomorrow look to the nth degree. Interiors are of soft, glove makers' leather. Seats are individually contoured for greater comfort.
Tomorrow, as today, Mercury will continue to lead in styling, in motor car advances. This fully operative experimental car is evidence of such forward planning.
Among the many new and unusual styling and engineering approaches is the XM-Turnpike Cruiser's sculptured grille-work featuring twin jet pods on each side set in chrome-plated nacelles • Hooded, recessed head lamps add to the forward-thrusting look • Deeply fluted side channels flow smoothly back from the doors into large V-shaped taillights, accentuating the modern, contemporary styling • Horizontally ribbed chrome extends from fender to fender beneath the gentle overhang of the rear deck lid • Located in each rear fender are chromed, dual exhaust stacks • New delayed-action headlights remain on 30 to 40 seconds after being switched off—they are also a driving and foglight combination • A bank of four chrome-edged cylinders house speedometer, tachometer, fuel and temperature gages and oil and battery charge indicators.