Sixty years old in 1999, Mercury Marine is the most recognized mane in the marine industry, and the memory of its founder, Carl Kiekhaefer, lives on in the hearts and minds of engineers and boat enthusiasts alike.
Rescuing a failing marine out board manufacturer, Carl Kiekhaefer and his organization overcame wartime shortages, government restrictions, stockholder rebellions and Kiekhaefer’s own raging paranoia. In spite of his infamous temper, or maybe because of it, those he hired remained loyal, inheriting Kiekhaefer’s grit and indomitable attitude as Mercury engines set world records for speed and endurance.
Kiekhaefer agreed to be acquired by Brunswick Corporation, in 1961, but was reluctant to handle the transition. He left the company nine tumultuous years later, and since then Mercury and Brunswick have learned to work as a team. As the wall came down, Mercury Marine expanded rapidly around the world in the seventies and early eighties with such world class products as the MerCrusier stern drive. Its name become synonymous with victory in races, fishing competitions and commercial boating.
Mercury was re-tested in the early 1990s, when the marine industry grapples with the worst recession in its history. Working with Brunswick, Mercury emerged with its own identity without losing Kiekhaefer legacy that abhors failure.
As Mercury Marine enters the new millennium, the company is poised for even greater accomplishments, and embarked on a new round of ventures and partnerships around the world. In this lavishly illustrated The Legend of Mercury Marine, Jeffrey L. rodengen ( author of the definitive biography of Carl Kiekhaefer, Iron fist: The Lives of Carl Kiekhaefer ) tells the story behind Mercury’s own rise and ultimate triumph, and reveals the mystique behind Mercury’s name.