Junkyard Gem: 1955 Mercury Montclair Coupe

I uncover plenty of 1950s Detroit vehicles in the significant self-service auto graveyards I recurrent, but most of them are quite normal sedans that in no way stood substantially probability of getting fastened up and place back on the road. These types of is not the case with modern Junkyard Gem, which is a leading-trim-stage, closely optioned hardtop coupe from one particular of the most desirable design many years of the tailfins-and-chrome postwar period.

Just about each individual Mercury design ever created was a Ford model with some cosmetic variations used, and the ’55s appeared extremely related to their mechanically similar Ford brethren.

In 1955, the new Mercury came in a few trim concentrations: the entry-stage Custom, the medium-zoot Monterey, and the glitzy Montclair. Just about every was available as a hardtop coupe and four-doorway sedan, with wagon variations of the Tailor made and Monterey. The Montclair could be obtained as a convertible or with the wild “Solar Valley” glass roof.

The Montclair obtained its have line of hallucinogenic two-tone interiors, in get to make the everyday life of Europeans come to feel even additional gray and penurious (the Uk only dropped food items rationing in 1954, and the two Germanies were nevertheless clearing the rubble of their blown-up towns). This car’s upholstery has been bleached by a long time of sitting outside in the severe Substantial Plains local climate, but it commenced out as vivid pink and white “Chromatex” cloth.

The list cost on this car or truck was $2,631, or about $29,200 in 2022 bucks. The Sunshine Valley and convertible Montclair just about every price $2,712 ($30,100 these days). Ford didn’t supply a corresponding hardtop coupe in 1955, even though the Fairlane Crown Victoria two-doorway did glimpse extremely snazzy (and value a mere $2,302— $25,545 now— with the similar V8 motor as the Monterey). In the meantime, Oldsmobile supplied the handsome 88 Super Getaway Coupe for $2,714, though the Montclair had the additional potent engine.

Oldsmobile had been providing new automobiles with overhead-valve V8s due to the fact the 1949 product 12 months, although Ford did not ditch the Product A-era flathead V8 for new U.S.-industry automobiles right up until the 1954 design 12 months (you could buy a new Simca Esplanada in Brazil with an Ardun-headed Ford V8-60 all the way until eventually 1969). GM’s Chevrolet Division bought all the push in 1955 with the introduction of the manufacturer-new modest-block V8 motor, but Ford’s 292-cubic-inch (4.8-liter) Y-Block V8 made additional energy than the 265-dice (4.3-liter) Chevy and the 324ci Olds Rocket 88.

Of course, the tiny-block Chevy went on to have a substantially for a longer time and far more illustrious profession than did the Ford Y-Block (which proved to be an evolutionary lifeless stop and departed the North American scene just after 1964, after several years of truck-only use). That mentioned, the Montclair’s 292 was rated at a mighty 195 horsepower in 1955 if you assumed that wasn’t enough, you experienced to spend significant bucks to get something like a Hemi-equipped Chrysler 300 (named for its horsepower score). Truly worth noting, however, is that all the ’55 Mercury engines arrived with four-barrel carburetors as common products and this automobile has a simple previous two-barrel we can think an engine swap— or at the very least an consumption manifold swap — or two, figures into its earlier.

A a few-on-the-tree column-change manual was the foundation transmission in all US-current market 1955 Mercury vehicles, but this 1 has the optional Merc-O-Matic a few-velocity automatic. The Ford edition was regarded as the Ford-O-Matic, whilst it was named the Turbo-Travel when set up in a Lincoln.

If you really wanted righteous Mercury design in 1955, you required a “Continental package” to set the spare tire atop the rear bumper. This just one seems to be like an aftermarket device, which you can still get new now.

A equally outfitted ’55 Montclair Coupe just marketed at auction for 46 grand, so why failed to everyone rescue this one and restore it? I’d say the comprehensive corrosion is the principal offender for this car’s grim fate.

We can believe that the basket-situation inside, nuked by a long time of windowless exposure to the factors, also frightened absent likely rescuers. In the conclusion, it will just be scrap steel.

Within just a few decades, Mercuries experienced turn into substantially extra ponderous and overdecorated, while the styling enhanced tremendously — as it did with most automobiles, around the globe — during the middle 1960s.