A few days ago, our Pick of the Day was a Pontiac Parisienne, a Poncho unique to the Canadian market. This time, the Pick of the Day is another unique Canadian, a Monarch six-passenger coupe listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Pasadena, California. (Click the link to view the listing)
As mentioned in the story of the Parisienne, Canada had tariffs on cars imported from the U.S., so several interesting vehicles developed that were only available to Canadians. Additionally, in the case of Monarch, Ford of Canada started a unique brand to give Ford dealerships more breadth of models, especially in a different price class. To you Yankees out there, Canada may seem an equivalent country today but, in the not-too-distant past, Canada was not as well developed as the U.S., and having one dealership with several brands was the norm because it could be miles and miles to the next dealership.
With a name inspired by Monterey Bay, the Mercury Monterey was introduced in 1952 as an improved version of the Mercury Custom.
The 1952 Mercury Monterey (72C) was first introduced as a luxurious two-door coupe, that later evolved into something more. Named after the Monterey Bay on the Central Coast, the Mercury Monterey was part of the Mercury Eight series to compete with other hardtops in the era.
Popular in the Hot Rod scene, the Monterey still holds its ground today. The Monterey serves to be the upscale version of its predecessor, the Mercury Eight, and remains popular amongst the crowd, resulting in the price they go for today.
Here’s more about the 1952 Mercury Monterey, and how much it costs.
Brief History Of The Mercury Monterey
Mercury was founded in 1939 with the original purpose of filling in the void for an entry-level, yet luxurious car. All production Mercury models are a product of other Ford components, and the long-roofed coupe is no exception.
The Mercury Monterey has a technical name of the Model 72 and was in production from 1952 to 1954. During the span of its production, it served multiple purposes: entry, mid, and high tiers. Mercury featured the Monterey with a 255 cubic-inch flathead V8, and while it didn’t make a lot of power, it obviously made all the right noises. The Flathead V8 from Ford wasn’t pioneering technology, but it became insanely popular upon mass production and the affordable price tag.
The Monterey platform ran from 1952 to 1974, posing in all shapes and sizes. Formerly, Mercury had been known as the “little Lincoln” due to its similar characteristics, which weren’t sitting right with them. In 1952, the Monterey got a styling refresh from the company, resulting in a convertible, four-door, and station wagon version of the car. While this didn’t exactly appeal to the purists, it did attract a wider crowd of people to the platform.
The “Jersey Devil” has a great running flathead, and a brand new dual exhaust, it’s time to refresh the brakes and take it for a spin! Steve works on going through the braking system that was actually recently replaced before the car sat. New wheel cylinders, a master cylinder and some rubber hoses and the braking system is good as new. Matt works on installing some new wide whites, and killer single bar flipper caps. Once back on the ground, Matt and Steve take it around the block for its maiden voyage!! A few more small projects to wrap up and we have ourselves a new daily driver!!
What spurs loyalty to a specific automaker? Does it come from treasured memories of family cars, your first ride, or simply a model’s engaging, eye-catching styling? For Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, resident Robert MacDowell, his adoration of Blue Oval brands stemmed from a 1957 Ford F-100 pickup truck and a 1953 Mercury, his first and second vehicles. Both left a lasting impression on Bob, as did his early career path.
After high school graduation in 1956, Bob became an Edsel parts man in 1957, learned auto mechanics and bodywork, went for Ford training, and became a certified Ford mechanic by 1960. The Edsel dealer he worked for switched to selling Mercury, and Bob later went to an Oldsmobile dealer for short time before adding a successful stint with an HVAC company and then NAPA, from where he retired. He reports that he still does 99 percent of the work on the cars in his collection in his well-equipped home shop/garage.
Bob has also long appreciated eclectic options and accessories —the 1965 390 Galaxie convertible he bought new is equipped with a three-speed manual transmission with overdrive and a 45-rpm record player—so when he laid eyes on this Sea Foam Green 1968 Mercury Park Lane convertible at Fall Carlisle in 2007, he had to have it. The seldom-seen extra-cost Colony Park Paneling (aka yacht-deck, wood-tone, or simulated walnut-tone paneling), which derived its name from the upscale Mercury station wagon that wore the same style of trim, struck a chord with him. Consequently, he purchased the car shortly after the event from a collector who kept it in a climate-controlled garage with about 30 other vehicles.
The Park Lane was in its last year of production in 1968, and its line included two-door and four-door hardtops, four-door sedans, and a convertible. Though this 123-inch wheelbase, 220.1-inch-long, and 77.9-inch-wide luxury liner wasn’t the top model amongst Mercury’s solid-roof offerings, it did serve as such in soft-top form. The Monterey, which shared the same dimensions, was the entry-level full-size convertible.
Our example’s Marti Report reveals that just 1,111 Park Lane convertibles were built in 1968, and 876 were equipped with the standard Marauder Super 390-cu.in. engine. The 315-hp four-barrel V-8 is mated to the optional Merc-O-Matic C-6 three-speed transmission, and a 2.75:1-geared 9-inch axle resides out back. The car was ordered with options that included power steering, power front disc brakes, power windows, AM radio, Deluxe seatbelts, 8.45 x 15 white sidewall tires, and a remote-controlled driver’s side mirror.
Bob recalls that it had less than 33,000 miles on it when he bought it and was in “decent condition but still needed work.” Thus, his intention was to “bring it back to factory standards, not over restored like many do today,” and to participate in AACA events. It only took from late 2007 to 2009 to meet that objective
Canadian snowbirds are plentiful in Arizona this time of year, but this rare and unusual Mercury 2-door sedan seems to have roosted in the dry, warm climate permanently, judging by its remarkably original survivor condition.
The Pick of the Day is a 1947 Mercury 114x, which still wears its original 74-year-old paint and shows just 48,000 miles on its odometer, according to the Tucson, Arizona, dealer advertising the car on Classiccars.com.
The Mercury 114 was built by Ford of Canada for the home market as a more-affordable model, compared with the slightly bigger Mercury 118, the numbers noting the 114-inch and 118-inch wheelbases. The 114 was basically a rebadged and dressed-up Ford, although with a totally different grille treatment.
This sedan coupe, as Mercury called the 2-door configuration, is a rarely seen upmarket Super Deluxe version, designated by the x in its numeric name. It is therefore wearing some nice chrome accents and powered by Ford’s famous flathead V8, which in this model produces somewhere between 93 and 100 horsepower, the dealer says in the ad
Only a tiny percentage of the 10,393 Mercury 114s built for 1947 were Super Deluxe 114x models.
“The 1947 Mercury 114x offered here is one of only 34 produced for US and Canada, as noted in Jerry Heasley’s ‘The production figure book for U.S. cars’,” the seller says. “It remains largely original with only 48,000 original miles since new.
“The car is completely rust free and retains all of its original panels and floors. The paint is largely original and still shines very nice. It has multiple chips, dings, and scrapes from over 70 years of service. Both front fenders have had touch ups, but I cannot find anywhere else that has had paint work on the car.
Although probably not as many as rival GM, carmaker Ford has its share of skeletons in the closet. One of them is Mercury, a brand that has been around for about seven decades before being sacrificed to the altar of money-saving
During its time on the market, Mercury was responsible for making vehicles that, in some cases, are still sought after by collectors today. One such vehicle is the iconic Eight, a mid-range machine that came with that irreplaceable feel of classic design, seen on the cars made in the 1940s and 1950s.
The Eight was one of the brand’s heavy hitters and was made in a variety of body styles and rather large numbers. It’s unclear how many of them survive to this day, but if you’re lucky enough to stumble upon one in great condition, expect to pay a fortune for the privilege of owning it.
Lucky or not, we found one, sitting on the lot of cars of a dealer called MaxMotive. It’s a 1947 example, meaning a second generation, and it’s offered, in exchange for $60,750, complete with a very rare and collectible Operator’s Manual.
The car is a convertible, sporting a power-operated burgundy canvas that falls over a gray body and burgundy leather interior with a woodgrain dash.
Mercury, it seemed, was in the habit of being the division that never truly fit where it was intended. Throughout much of its existence, it was perceived as either a plush Ford or a baby Lincoln, and Dearborn’s front office never really helped change the public opinion along the way. That’s not to say there weren’t a few valiant efforts during the Fifties and early Sixties. However, if there was ever a moment when Mercury stood out as intended, it was when the division announced the arrival of the Cougar for 1967.
Rather than simply giving the Mustang a facelift, Mercury designers reimagined the platform by creating a new foundation that was both longer and wider, coupled with a suspension tuned for a spirited, yet discerning buyer. Power was derived not from a six-cylinder, but rather a 200-hp 289-cu.in. V-8 issued as standard equipment. Stylists crafted a body tinged with European influences, with elegant, narrow wrap-around front and rear bumpers, finely contoured flanks, and larger sail panels emphasizing its coupe style. Cougar also got hidden headlamps and broad taillamps (with sequential turn signals) that reflected the design of the front end. Interiors were outfitted with vinyl bucket seats, plush carpeting, and a three-spoke “sport style” steering wheel. In effect, the Cougar was a harmonious blend of Thunderbird’s personal luxury accoutrements with Mustang’s agility and adaptable performance
As one of several new “pony cars” to emerge on the market at that time, the Cougar was a resounding success in its first year, attracting 123,672 buyers. If that weren’t enough, 27,221 more sprung for the mid-year release of the modestly fancier Cougar XR-7. Among those 150,800-plus buyers was Brooks Baldwin, then a recent college graduate who was living with her three girlfriends in Indianapolis, Indiana.“As we were graduating, the other girls purchased Mustangs. However, my father, Tom, was a salesman at C.R. Barkman Lincoln-Mercury, which was in nearby Rochester, so naturally I ended up buying a new Cougar instead. It was painted Lime Frost and had a black vinyl top, with a black interior, and my boyfriend Bill Thompson and I enjoyed driving around the area. It was also a perfect car for my commute,” Brooks remembers.
The Mercury was completely redesigned for 1952, along with other Ford vehicles, with the brand moving away from the rounded form of previous years, which was much-beloved by lead-sled custom builders.
The new look was taller and squarer, and more in line with modern taste as the chrome-bedecked cars of the ‘50s got under way. The Monterey became its own top-drawer model, with premium trim and features.
The Pick of the Day is a highly attractive 1952 Mercury Monterey convertible in red with a black-and-red interior, powered by the correct 255cid, 125-horsepower flathead V8 linked with a 3-speed manual transmission and overdrive.
The Mercury has had “limited ownership” during the past 35 years, according to the Canton, Ohio, dealer advertising the convertible on ClassicCars.com. Presumably, that means it’s been in the hands of just a few people during that time
When U.S. automobile production resumed after World War II, eager buyers scooped up warmed-over prewar models while advertising agencies cleverly avoided the phrase, “all new.”
Take Mercury, for instance. The division’s pitch for 1946 was “Step out with Mercury.” It was simple enough, and the mid-priced branch of Ford Motor Company promptly sold 86,603 cars. A year later, “More of everything you want” became the company’s slogan. Sure, the instrument panel dials had been updated, interior hardware was now finished in chrome (as was the grille surround), hub caps had been revised, and there was a new nameplate on the hood, but there was nothing “more” to Mercury. With little effort at the factory and the swipe of an artist’s brush, another 86,383 units were built during the model year.
By then, Mercury’s boardroom was aware that its vastly redesigned cars would be ready for production in late summer 1948. Thus, the ’48 Mercurys, like this Model 76 Club Convertible, entered showrooms with little fanfare.
The Club Convertible was now one of four body styles offered by Mercury, the others being a two-door Sedan Coupe, four-door Town Sedan, and a Station Wagon. In a calculated move, the exceptionally poor-selling two-door Coupe had been dropped in anticipation of the forthcoming redesign. Not unexpectedly, each retained the same grille design from the previous year, topped by running lamps flanking the pronounced hood. Front and rear fender trim was identical to that used a year prior, and a split windshield remained. The Club Convertible’s top was available in either “natural” or black-tinted fabric.
The 1948 line of Mercurys continued to utilize the division’s 239.4-cu.in. flathead V-8 engine, which had been upgraded a year prior with the use of lightweight, four-ring aluminum pistons, and carried a factory rating of 100 hp. Likewise, a column-shifted three-speed manual transmission was standard equipment. A full set of 12-inch hydraulic drum brakes managed stopping force, while passenger comfort was handled by “slow-acting springs” and shocks