From the very first Mercury automobile produced in 1939, the automotive brand has often been viewed as either a “junior” Lincoln or as a “senior” Ford. During the 1950's, however, Mercury styling stood alone.
The 1957 Turnpike Cruiser introduced dramatic new styling,
which designers used as a foundation to build on in 1958 and 1959 before
moving on to a totally new design.
A total of 4,060 top-of-the-line
1959 Mercury Park Lane hardtop coupes were manufactured, one of them
purchased new at a Redlands, Calif., Lincoln/Mercury dealership. The
base price was $3,955.
the big Mercury was gently driven by the original owner and regularly
garaged for 27 years. The odometer had recorded only 27,000 miles when
the second owner, also a Redlands resident, bought the car in 1986.
the time the third owner bought the car in 2008 and took it home to
Phoenix, Ariz., the odometer had registered 43,000 miles. The first
three owners had always maintained and protected the 18.5-foot-long
Mercury for 52 years.
Soon after acquiring the Mercury Park Lane,
the third owner ran out of room to garage the vehicle properly and
rather than subject it to the ravages of the weather he offered it for
sale on ebay.
This is where Sandy Edelstein, a Palm Springs,
Calif., mortgage lender enters the picture. He often electronically
surfs on his computer and in February 2011 he saw the Mercury as he was
perusing the Internet.
“It took my breath away,” Edelstein says. “If I have to sell the furniture, I’ve got to have this car,” he thought.
was nothing about the Silver Beige Metallic Mercury that he did not
like, from the brushed aluminum panels on the rear fenders to the
parking lights mounted in the massive front bumper.
on the car and was successful. He sent the owner a good faith deposit
and essentially had just purchased a car sight unseen, except for
the Mercury was located only a 3.5-hour drive away, Edelstein decided
to go see his purchase. “When I saw it,” he says, “it was everything
advertised — and more.”
Edelstein says it appeared to be in such good
condition that he was tempted to drive it home. Then he looked at the
25-year-old, 14-inch bias ply tires and decided to have a truck haul it
to his home in Palm Springs. The Mercury now rolls on a new set of white
sidewall radial tires.
be on the safe side, Edelstein had all the fluids flushed and changed,
as well as inspecting the suspension, steering and brake systems.
side windows and seats are electrically operated. Steering via the
three-spoke deep-dish steering wheel is power-assisted, as is the
braking system. A Multidrive Merc-O-Matic transmission transfers 345
horsepower from the 430-cubic-inch V-8 engine to the rear-drive wheels.
singular flaw in the 1959 Mercury, Edelstein says, is that the padded
dashboard was warped and faded. He laments that installing a new
dashboard consumed six weeks, time he would rather have spent driving
the Mercury. The new dashboard houses the original AM radio with not
only a front speaker, but also one in the rear. The radio push buttons
are arranged vertically. Equipped with no air conditioning, the wing
vent windows in the front doors direct welcome fresh air into the
“The interior is a festival in mauve,”
Edelstein says of the interior hue. He reports that the brocade and
vinyl upholstery, the dashboard and carpet all share the same color.
A lot of fuel is required to move a 4,311-pound automobile on a 128-inch wheelbase.
the Mercury’s gasoline tank has a capacity, Edelstein says, of 26
gallons. He feeds his Mercury premium grade gasoline.
beautifully,” Edelstein says. “It’s smooth, solid and stable.” He
reports that his 1959 Mercury Park Lane is also a scene-stealer. No
matter where he goes the car is the center of attention.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Photo on right: The proud owner,
Mr. Jim Miller on the left and Mr. Ed Cook on the right
I purchased this car in August of 2006. When I found it in a color advertisement in a car trader magazine, I was taken by its’ looks. I had been looking for a hot rod of some kind narrowing it down to some kind of Mustang but couldn’t find anything that grabbed me.
Then I saw a car ad that said, “1956 Mercury Crown Montclair, have your ever seen one?”, and I looked at the color picture of this amazing car I thought I hadn’t ever seen one! I drove up to Santa Barbara and looked it over, not very carefully I might add! The car was an older restoration and had not been taken care of very well. I purchased it anyway, not really knowing what I was doing or what I was about to get my self into. But, I didn’t care, this car grabbed me by the heart! I took it home and went straight to work on it!
The brakes were checked and adjusted then worked on tuning up the engine. Soon, I realized I needed to replace the weather stripping on the front and rear windows. The stainless on the car was in good shape and I didn’t want just anyone taking it off to get the glass out. After some searching around the area, I was steered, literally, to Mr. Ed Cook of Camarillo, California. I was told that Mr. Cook was a Ford expert restorer and did excellent work. I called Ed and set up an appointment to bring the car over to his house. Ed removed the stainless pieces from the windows and after removing the glass he “suggested” removing the rest of the stainless and chrome and having it polished and pot metal re-chromed. Well, one thing lead to the next and everything except the body came off the car including all of the front and rear suspension. The body was sanded down, some areas were repaired and the entire car was repainted in the same color scheme as it was when purchased. The 312 cu. In Y-block was rebuilt and an original Offenhauser Tri Power Intake manifold and valve covers were installed and three Stromborg 97 carburetors to feed it. Red’s headers were installed and connected to two inch exhaust pipes with 26 inch Smittys Mufflers for that authentic 50’s sound. The Sunset Coral and dark Gray Metallic paint are correct ’56 Ford colors and together they make this car a real attraction.
If you look at the lines of this car you can see how well the Crown Tiara molding works on the Montclair. The stainless and chrome side molding, the rocker panel and the stone guard are all sculpted on the car so that addition of the crown molding to the car’s lines flow to perfection. I think that the Crown molding fits the Mercury far better than on the the Ford body, mostly due to the lightning blot chrome configuration and the bumped out rear fender slab. When people see this car, they can’t believe how beautiful the car looks. The word stunning comes up regularly. The wire wheels from Motorspot make the car look regal. Had Mercury mass produced this car, I truly believe sales would easily have surpassed the Ford Crown Victoria and maybe even Chevrolet. Examine this car closely, study the lines and you will see how well the lines all flow together.
Not too many Mercurys win “Best of Show” at a Mustang Club car Show. This one recently did just that on July 19th, 2008! This car was picked by Motor Trend Magazine as one of the 10 Cool Cars at the Fabulous Fords Forever Car Show at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, Ca. in April 2008 as well! There were over 2200 cars at this show, 1500 were Mustangs! To go along with the show, Mustang Times featured a picture of this car in an article from the Buena Park Ford Show on the first page of the article.
As I said, every where this car goes it draws a crowd. People come back to see it three, four and five times! Am I proud of this car? You bet! It is a one of one and people look at this car and remember when… When their parents had one, when they bought one new, when they were first married and went on their honeymoon in a Mercury or when it was the very first car they owned. They remember when cars were really cool! I hear people say everyday, they don’t make cars like this anymore. This is a real beauty!
I have been very fortunate to be awarded recognition at almost every event I have attended to date. This is amazing, fun, exciting, and I am blessed to have such a timeless piece of art to drive. A lot of people at car shows, tell me how refreshing it is to see something other than a Chevy here. They tell me how tired they are of going to shows and seeing nothing but some form of a tri-5 Chevy. A friend of mine has a superb 1953 Hudson Hornet that is stock except for the paint and a conversion to 12 volt with an alternator. When that car is at a show people can’t get enough of it! When we cruise around town people give us the thumbs up take pictures of the car or come up to us at a stoplight and tell us how much they like the car. It is very rewarding.
Southern California’s Classic Car Marketing just listed a stunning Black and White 1956 Mercury Montclair Custom for sale. The dealership tells us this Merc is a custom show car that has been done to the nines. It features a 350 small block Chevy with a Camaro 5-speed.
Here’s some more information on the car:
Done up in a perfect color combination Black and White on Black and White, every detail is just the cats pajamas. This Mercury has that “WOW” factor that you just gotta keep looking at it, then you just want to get in and cruise in it. The car has just over 6000 miles since completion, with the body being shaved and the nose graphed. The interior was completed to match the exterior and is all traditional with tuck and roll upholstery. With ice cold air conditioning, rack and pinion steering, power disc brakes up front, polished tilt column, custom gauges, aluminum radiator, lake pipes, 5 polished wheels, and a cool Continental Kit, this is one low, show and go cruiser.
This has got to be the very best, unmolested 50s Mercury on the planet! 36,700 true miles, attested by the original factory upholstery. The 255 ci flathead V-8 and overdrive 3 speed transmission propel this iconic automobile effortlessly down the highway. All glass is original and crystal clear, new weather stripping throughout. No rust ever. The level of detail is incredible. Ashtray and bumper jack unused, all chrome and trim was removed, polished an replated prior to the application of show quality Trojan Gray finish with the correct texture to make a factory new presentation of this time capsule American icon.