Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Have You Ever Heard Of A Mercury Truck?

That’s right, it’s a Mercury truck! As it turns out, due to some interesting dealer regulations, Mercury dealers in Canada got to sell trucks that were largely but not entirely re-badged Ford trucks. This one is a 1962 “unibody” Mercury M-250 (think F-250) with a V-8. It’s located in Canada, but if the purchaser is in the US, the seller will transport the car over the border and handle the necessary paperwork to sell it in North Dakota. It’s for sale here on eBay where bidding is just over $1,000 without a reserve as I write this.

I’m not sure whether this color scheme is original; I can’t imagine a black tailgate and hood with a red and white body, but I suppose you never know. I actually kind of like the way it looks! The dog-dish hub caps are original and all four are there. All of the Mercury emblems are there as well; I would imagine those would be pretty difficult to find, especially in the USA.

The seller states that the floor is in very good condition, with a small rust hole on the driver’s side and another small rust hole on the passengers side step. I’m not sure what the dark spot at the rear of the driver’s side front fender is. I do like how long the bed is; it certainly makes the truck more usable and I think the two-tone paint treatment really works.

As you might expect, the interior is pretty well-worn, but you can see the bright red and white that the truck was originally. I know a lot of folks would leave the paint alone, but I think this one would look gorgeous restored with a fresh coat of red and white paint. I’d have to find a Mercury club somewhere to show it off to afterwards! However, I think the condition of the interior means this has 136,000 rather than 36,000 miles.

Here’s the Y-block 292 V-8. That unusual cross-over pipe in the front is stock; anyone know details on that? The truck is said to run and drive well, and the seller has videos of it running and a 5 degree cold start that they will send to anyone interested. I know I’d be interested if things were a little different, but I’ll have to leave this one for someone else. Is it you?


1987 Mercury Cougar 20th Anniversary Edition

This 1987 Mercury Cougar 20th Anniversary Edition here on eBay has only 2,700 original miles and it’s already got a bid at $7,000. After seeing one of these in excellent condition at a you-pull-it this weekend, I’ve become a bit enamored with the concept of the 5.0 V8 in front while being coddled by a Mercury-like ride on the inside. Does this gentleman’s Mustang scream hairdresser’s car or is it an emerging classic? 

The interior is actually a pleasant blend of comfort and style, and seems well-organized by 1980's standards. The digital dashboard is equal parts futuristic and gimmicky but it works in a car like this. As you might expect, the low mileage translates to excellent seating surfaces and carpets, along with wood trim that appears unblemished from age.

The venerable 5.0 is almost synonymous with 1980's vestiges of power and status, thanks to Vanilla Ice. In this application, it feels a bit subdued, almost secondary to the Cougar’s stylish appearances. This is one of the last times I can remember Mercury having a car that truly stood out as unique and not just a quick re-hash of an existing model. Although the Lincoln Mark VII was a similar take on the same concept, the Cougar’s styling set it apart (to my eyes, anyway).

This is the view that puts this Cougar into a category all its own: the wraparound tail lights with the Cougar emblem in the reverse lenses and that rear quarter window that dramatically cuts inward as it slopes down to the door. Combined with factory wheels whose offset seems to favor an aggressive stance and this becomes one of my favorite versions of Mercury’s big coupe. How would you take your 5.0 V8 sled – the Lincoln, Mustang or Cougar?


1956 Mercury Medalist

The Medalist was introduced for 1956 as a model at the very bottom of the Mercury line to enable the buy-up from Fords to be easier. Apparently, the strategy was not a success as the model was discontinued after the one year! This original-appearing (see how I avoided the P-word?) car has lost its engine along the way, but is just waiting for you in Minot, North Dakota. It can be purchased here on eBay for the low buy-it-now price of $760. I’ll bet at this point you’re thinking Bronze at best, maybe even no medal at all. But stay tuned!

You guessed it, there’s another reason this car is inexpensive besides the lack of a 312 V8 powerplant. Rot! After examining the pictures pretty closely, I think the seller’s statement that it “has some typical lower body rust on bottoms of fenders, rockers and lower quarter panels” is pretty accurate. They don’t mention any rust in the floors, and maybe there isn’t any (dream on, Jamie). Still, with the possibility of no floor rust and such a low entry price, maybe you’d give it a medal now?

A restored one of these isn’t worth a whole lot, either, according to NADA. But I don’t think that’s the point with this car. When I went looking for patch panels, quite frankly I was astonished at the low prices. $27.99 for a complete rocker exterior panel? What? And similar prices on the rest of the panels you might need. Not a lot of silver needed, that’s for sure! Ok, I’m up to giving it a silver medal, especially since it’s a four-door and I can haul my whole family in it easily once I had it back on the road, and even afford to buy them dinner because I didn’t spend everything I had on the car!

Looking at the interior pictures, I’m starting to believe that lack of floor rust. Maybe I’m not dreaming after all. And it shouldn’t be too hard to get close to that seat upholstery, if not exact. I’d be building it as a driver anyway, so 100% accuracy would not be critical. That being said, if I could find the original fabric, I’d surely use it. The seller tells us that the windshield is cracked, but thanks to it being common with 1955-56 Fords, a new one is easy to find and not terribly expensive either.

If you look at the lower left of this ’56 Medalist brochure, it describes the four door sedan as “Powerful”. I suppose without an engine, that’s not strictly true, but I look at this as an opportunity! Any number of choices could go back in, from an original 312 V8 to a modern 4.6 modular and anything in between. And if you want that original 312, I found this 1956 Mercury Custom here on eBay where the owner will sell you the entire car or parts of it. Overall, I think this would rate a gold medal from me in the “I wish I could take this project on” category. It sure would be nice to be able to actually afford sheet metal parts! Would you give this Medalist a medal, and if so, what metal would it be made from?


1966 Mercury Monterey

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This 1966 Mercury Monterey is listed on Craigslist and is located in the capital of Montana: Helena. What a great-looking design this is! The seller is asking $3,000 for this somewhat rare fastback-style two-door hardtop and it’s just waiting there in Montana for you to buy it and finish it up.

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This middle-child Mercury was redesigned in 1965 to try and take advantage of the popularity of its direct descendant and big brother, the slab-sided Lincoln Continental. I think that this fastback version of the Monterey is fantastic. They made the fastback in the second half of 1966 as sort of an update of the notchback two-door hardtop design that was available in the first half of 1966.

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This is one straight car! This Merc is well on its way to being a show-stopper. The seller has already cut out all of the rust and welded in new metal and primed it so it’s ready for a few finishing touches and some paint. He mentions that this car “runs and drives very well” and that it has a new starter and that “all glass is good, trim is good, everything works as it should.”

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This is the smallest engine available in the Monterey for 1966, but even at that it’s impressive. This 390 V8 2-barrel has 275hp and I’m sure that it will blow the doors off of most modern vehicles, at least while going in a straight line. For 1966, the Monterey transmission options were either a 3 or 4-speed manual or two automatic choices: Ford’s C6 or a Merc-O-Matic 3-speed automatic. They sure had cool names for transmissions in previous decades!  The seller mentions that this car has power steering and gearing for quiet highway cruising. This is one car that I’d love to cruise in! Are you a fan of this generation of Mercury?


1971 Mercury Grand Marquis Coupe

Apart from the period aluminum wheels, this 1971 Mercury Grand Marquis is remarkably stock. It’s been garaged for it’s entire life, which lately has been in Avondale, Arizona. The owner doesn’t give a reason for selling, but they believe it’s a two-owner car (so I’m guessing perhaps three-owner if you include the current seller?). If you are interested in pursuing this giant coupe, it’s being offered here on eBay.

The big coupe has some shiny paint, although the seller admits it’s a repaint from somewhere along the line. There’s what looks like some damage right behind the right rear tires, and another problem in the right door. As a whole, though, both the chrome and the paint look pretty nice.

Ok, we have a wrinkle in the plan. Actually, we have a wrinkle in the door! Despite what the seller says, this will be a somewhat difficult repair to get correct (at least for the home restorer). On the bright side, white is the best color to hide bodywork (of course, that means you need to look this car over closely for previous work) and the seller’s assertion that you can match the paint is probably true. I’m hoping someone recorded the paint code so that it’s even easier.

You can see some minor wear on the car in the front, and some possible misalignment of the headlight doors, but overall I’m just happy to see that shiny chrome. I can fiddle with the fits, and touch up the paint, but rechroming is expensive!

The seller is very enthusiastic about the interior. While there are some nice features, and it’s obviously original, I’d like it better if there weren’t two tears in the driver’s seat, if the fading weren’t true at the top of the seats, and if the dash mat were not in place so I could see if the dash pad was cracked or if the mat was a preventative measure against the Arizona sun.

The star of the show for me is the 429 cubic inch V8, which almost unbelievably only has a two-barrel carburetor. It may not be original, but one of the first things I’d do is install a four-barrel to unleash the power of the huge engine. The ice-cold air conditioning and general clean appearance are pluses as well. I think this would be a great weekend driver (and even during the week with current gas prices) as a very distinctive coupe. What do you think? Feel like making an offer?


1978 Mercury Zephyr

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Merle Haggard’s home town of Bakersfield, CA is where this beauty can be found. I can’t imagine Mr. Haggard driving a light blue 1978 Mercury Zephyr, but who knows. This one is here on craigslist with an asking price of $5,000. Not a small chunk-o-change, but this non-haggard car looks like it’s in showroom condition.

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This whole era was somewhat maligned for its combination of regulations and build-quality. I was just coming into my driving age around the late-70s so I’m a fan of vehicles from that time. Who’s with me on that?! (crickets)

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There is no denying that this car is in fantastic shape. Like Mr. Haggard, even the color of this car is non-pretentious, it’s simply known as “Medium Blue”. Merle would be proud. 1978 was the first year for Mercury bringing back the Zephyr name, here as a fancy twin to the Ford Fairmont and a replacement for the Mercury Comet, believe it or not. Of course, the Comet was a fancy twin for the Ford Maverick. What a change.

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Unfortunately, there are no interior or engine photos of this car, but the seller says that this car has 61,000 miles and has a “6 cylinder engine with automatic transmission a/c and heater work tagged and smogged ready to go”. This car would have about 85 hp, which is a bit less than some owners’ cars have. The interior doesn’t look plaid to me, judging by the photos in the ad, which is a shame. Plaid interiors are always so much more interesting than solid colors are, as are plaid pants, which you most likely would have had on if you got one of these new in 1978. I’m guessing that it would look like this inside of this blue beauty.
If a person was looking for an unusual, nice, inexpensive newer-yet-older car for goofing around with on weekends, this one would surely stand out in the crowd. When the late-70s cars came out, like this nice non-haggard Zephyr, did you ask yourself, Are The Good Times Really Over For Good?


Lead Sled: 1950 Mercury Custom

1950 Mercury Custom
Update 5/17/16 – The owner just mentioned in the comments that they will throw in a flathead V8 if someone buys the car soon!

From 5/9/16 – This one takes me back! When I was a kid, a ’50 Merc was the car to have if you wanted to build a custom cruiser. In fact, there were a few in my small hometown that looked exactly like this one. Sure, the paint color may have been different, but the shaved trim, louvered hood, and 350 V8 were all the same. It makes sense though because the owner of this one claims that it was built in the ’80s. They have owned the car since 1997 and it needs some refreshing, but looks pretty good in the photos. Guess it should though since they are asking $30k here on craigslist. That may seem high, but I doubt you could replicate it for less.

Custom 350
Custom “Dice Man” valve covers and lots of chrome really dress up the engine. The A/C system would be a welcome feature to have during those hot summer car shows and cruise-ins. It’s funny how tastes change over time. This thing may not be “in style” today, but it was killer when it was built. The Moon hubcaps and turned down spotlights are period prefect. It just needs some lake pipes and furry dice to complete the look.

Custom Interior
Oh wait, there’s the furry dice! This puppy even a custom dice shifter and bus driver handle. I’m not sure why, but people born during a certain period really like those silly dice. My own father loved them so much that he bought a pair for my ’50 Chevy when I was in high school. They went on the rear-view mirror for about a day until I realized that they just made it harder to see out of the already low windshield. There must be some good drive-in memories attached to those furry things?

Ah, and my favorite part! What happens when you wire up a spark plug to the tailpipe? Flamethrower baby! This is a sight I have not seen for a long time. I always wanted to rig my car up to do this, but I was afraid that the rich running carb would cause the whole car to catch fire. I wanted to add one of those bars that would scrap and throw sparks when I dropped the rear air suspension. Oh, the indiscretions of youth! This car proves that the fun doesn’t have the end just because you are getting older. It does prove that your bank account had better keep up though.


1956 Mercury Custom Sedan

This 1956 Mercury Custom Sedan sat in North Dakota “for many years”, according to the owner. It’s now listed on eBay with a price of $1,800 and is found in Hightstown, New Jersey.

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The body looks great on this car. I guess “great” is a strong word, but it looks solid and relatively rust-free, other than surface rust. The seller does mention that all of the door handles are missing, which seems odd. And, there are some other trim pieces missing, too. Just think how good this car could look!

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Of course, the 800-pound gorilla in the room is that this car has two doors more than most people want in a collector car. If this Mercury were a two-door I’m guessing that the $1,800 price would seem pretty reasonable. Maybe the fact that it’s a four-door sedan (not even a hardtop) will hold it back a bit on the price. Or, maybe it won’t sell at all because it has four doors and it needs work. Lots of buyers wouldn’t consider putting money into restoring a four-door car.

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There has to be some mouse damage here since it was in NoDak for so many years. I guess mice are everywhere but it seems like farm country vehicles get hit particularly hard by those dastardly critters. The floors are going to need some welding work but the interior doesn’t look horrible, other than needing to have the seats fixed, new windlace, maybe having the steering wheel restored, welding new floor pans in… How’s that for a sales pitch!

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The seller thinks that this is either a 272 or 292 Y-Block V8 and it isn’t stuck, but of course will need a total rebuild, as will everything else on the car. It also has a 3-speed manual with a shifter on the column which is nice for those of us who prefer to shift for ourselves whenever possible. The big question here is if this car is worth the price due to it having four doors? This car will need a lot of work and a fair amount of money spent on getting it either in drivable condition or totally restored. Is it worth the time and money or would you hold out for a two-door version?


Orchid & White: 1957 Mercury Monterey With 39,000 Miles

This survivor is showing a claimed 39,000 original miles, and boy, does it look the part.  In period Sunset Orchid and Classic White livery this 1957 Mercury Monterey could have left 1957 and jumped to 2016 with only a few stops along the way! It’s located in Lakeland, Florida and is up for sale here on eBay, where the buy it now price is $26,500 and lower offers are being entertained.

Wow, look at that chrome (the rear bumper has been rechromed)! I love quasi-survivors like this. I say “quasi” because the car has been repainted once, so technically it’s not a survivor by our commenters’ definition. According to the seller, the car was originally sold in Crossett, Arkanasas and lived in the deep South it’s entire life. Last year it was purchased from the original owner’s son, repainted and slightly mechanically refurbished and now is being put back up for sale.

It looks, at least from a distance, that the paint job was done nicely. I’d like to see some closeups to see if glass and trim were removed or taped around; that’s a good indication of the effort put into the repaint. I also like the fact that this isn’t a Ford or Chevrolet–there are a lot of 1957 models of each of those around and it’s neat to see something different for a change!

The place where this car really shines is the original interior. I can’t believe how good this looks! And that print is SO 1950’s!

The dash is gorgeous as well. That is indeed a clutch pedal you see, unlike 98% of 1957 Mercury’s, this car has a 292 V8 with a three-speed manual transmission. Don’t you love that four-spoke steering wheel?

And here is that 292 V8. I’m going to assume that the air cleaner and valve covers have been repainted, but I’d love to know the reason for the odd looking finish on the firewall; what should it look like, experts? And how would you like to take this one home?


1951 Mercury Monterey

Source: classiccarnews

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Stored For 40 Years: 1962 Mercury Meteor


This 1962 Mercury Meteor 2-door represents an unusual (and short) chapter in FoMoCo history. The smaller Meteor was only made for two years and were based on the comparable Fairlane. This one is fresh out of 40 years of storage and is located in Shelton, Connecticut. It’s for sale here on eBay with a buy-it-now of $2,750 and open bidding below that. 


As you can see from the front bumper, the car hasn’t led a soft life. That being said, the only rust is supposedly a small hole in the driver’s side floor. There’s some work to be done on the right front fender from a crease, but I don’t think that’s too much to fix considering some of the rust buckets I’ve seen!


The “jet pod” tail lights are a far cry from the comparable Fairlane’s. I like the clean look in the rear and the sweeping trim down the sides of the car. I’ve never seen one of these Meteors in person, although I’ve seen a lot of similar Fairlanes. There were roughly 160k Meteors produced in 1962 compared to 300k Fairlanes in ’62 alone, so I guess that makes sense.


While the interior isn’t perfect, I don’t think it would look too bad once it was cleaned up. It could certainly be a lot worse, and I think the black paint and red interior are a great contrast. According to this reference, this is “Red Crush Vinyl and Black Westport Stripe” on the seats. The seller has pulled the carpet up to expose the floor; I’m hoping it will get replaced with red by the car’s new owner. Since this is a bench seat rather than buckets, we know it’s not the S-33 sporty model, and I think it’s the base model because looking at this brochure it appears the Custom models have a stainless or aluminum panel behind the rear wheels.


As best as I can tell, this is the original 223 cubic inch inline 6-cylinder. The seller tells us that they were able to free up the frozen engine through penetrating oil and working the fan blades by hand. The original rescuer of the car after it’s storage period (not the current seller) purchased new tires, a new fuel tank and sender, 2 brake drums and a master cylinder rebuild kit, none of which are installed but all are included. The seller explains (as does the note on the side window) that the car has no brakes at the moment, so I’d plan on rebuilding that master cylinder soon! Let us know if you’d like to bring this car home; I see it as something both unusual and a pretty solid vehicle to start with. As someone who really doesn’t like rust, I find this car very appealing!


1940 Mercury 09A Convertible Coupe

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Click Here to read all about this car as well as to view other pictures.