Ran When Parked… 40 Years Ago!

1953 Mercury Monterey

Disclosure: This site may receive compensation from some link clicks and purchases.

If you are in the market for a project car from the fifties, may I recommend this 1953 Mercury Monterey? The seller claims that it was running when parked… 40 or so years ago! Some brake issues may have laid it up, but now it’s going to need a lot more than that to be driveable again. There’s a little rust in the floors and the seller isn’t sure if the flathead V8 is seized up or not. It does look like a good start to a big project though, so if you’re interested you can take a look here on craigslist where it’s listed for $2,400. A special thanks goes to Bill N for the tip!

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. JW454

    How hard is it to see if the engine is stuck? Put it in neutral, reach in, grab the fan blade, press on the belt for traction, and give it a pull. How hard is that? Sounds like a fair price but check the motor… it’s not that hard.

    Like 0
  2. wagon master

    A little rust? There are big gaping holes in the floor. We are so spoiled here in CA with pic of the litter clean cars. Little rust, means surface rust only, for us.
    I would call this almost a basket case.

    Like 0
    • JW454

      LOL I like this. wagon master, here in the rust belt, until the door handles are missing, it’s still repairable. LOL

      Like 0
      • Ed P

        Most folks sneer at bondo repairs but there is worse. Duct tape can be seen on some rust buckets in the Mid Atlantic region.

        Like 0
      • taxijohn

        I like that, we are about the same in the uk, if the transmission tunnel is still connected to the roof it can be brought back given enough time, enthusiasm & sheet steel!!

        Like 0
  3. grant

    Holy crap. My dad’s first car was a 53 Monterey. Too bad it’s so far away.

    Like 0
  4. fixit

    Long as frame is good, that isn’t rusty. Floor and rockers are fairly easy.

    Like 0
  5. MountainMan

    Man I like the early 50’s American cars! This seems like a decent project and $2400 with the seller being negotiable is not bad at all. The ad states the interior is included but was removed to asses the floor condition. It’s also stated in the posting on CL there is a title and most of the trim as well. There’s some rust to deal with , the worst in the trunk and there’s some on the floors but overall the body is pretty straight. It’s a shame the paint is too far gone to save it. I sure would like to have this one and doubt it will take long to find a new owner.

    Like 0
  6. mike young

    Pull plugs. 30 sec penetrant in each hole.(let sit overnight) Put in top gear. Push back and forth. If that won’t do. Pull inspection plate at Bell housing and use two large levers on ring gear. Motor locked? Rethink entire process.

    Like 0
  7. wagon master

    Don’t get me wrong, I love these cars, but I don’t see the upside with everything it apparently needs. I would love to have it if not too far gone!

    Like 0
  8. Jim

    I’m thinking it’s a good start for a project and I like cars that are different. You could make a nice driver from it, the flatheads are pretty tough, another guy mentioned oil in the cylinders for a day or so, I agree I’ve had very good luck with two ounces of Marvel Mystery oil in each bore and let it sit, it’ll work in. The side glass are all dead flat, any glass guy should be able to cut it FIR you. The body looks like it has some old repairs, I’d soda blast it to be sure. I probably see 50 Ford’s for every Merc the last few years. I have a friend with a ’55 with the Plexiglas roof panel loaded with options, beautiful, classy car, original except for motor and trans. If I only had more space!

    Like 0
  9. bigdoc13

    My uncle had a 1952 that was practically the same as this. It was my dating car when I was a teen. I have always wanted one since then.Too bad that I am now too old and broke to realize that dream.

    Like 0
  10. John Schiessl

    If it’s still the original flathead, that’s the one the hot rodders were looking for back in the day. I had a ’54 in high school in ’64 had more rust than this one. Drove it from Dubuque Iowa to Portland Or in two and a half days. Four qts.oil two pts. STP. 18 years old no fuss no worries! Great old car!

    Like 0
  11. Jim

    John when I started working on trucks in the early 70’s (ouch) there were still a lot of gas engine ttuckz on the road. Mostly straight 6, some straight 8’s, they took a beating, they didn’t rev but a lot of torque. I’ll bet my first 10yrs 60-70% of the engine repairs were head gaskets, tune-ups, some water and fuel pumps, you got real good at them fast. Some internal repairs but even then it was a quick hone, re-ring, maybe bearings, never junked many from catastrophic failure they just kept going and going. Good motors. Good memories.

    Like 0
  12. Jim

    What did damage them eventually was the unleaded gasoline and emissions laws, I’ve seen a few set up with modern camshaft and valvetrain parts and fuel injection, they run good and clean. Technology passed them by for mass production and all govt regs.

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.

Barn Finds