3-Years Only: 1954 Mercury Monterey Sun Valley

Every now and then a classic car will come across our desks here at Barn Finds that will have so many cool features that it is hard to know where to start with them. This 1954 Mercury Monterey Sun Valley is just such a car. It has so much going for it that it would be a guaranteed head-turner wherever it went. It is now for sale, and you will find the listing here on eBay. Located in Renton, Washington, bidding on the classic Mercury has reached $15,400, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

Finished in Arctic White with a Glenoaks Green top, the Monterey is a stunning looking car. It underwent a repaint many years ago, and this has held up well since then. There are no rust issues with the Mercury, and all of the paint and trim looks to be in largely good condition. There are a few minor dents on the hubcaps, but that appears to be the extent of the damage.

The Monterey’s party piece is the green-tinted plexiglass half-roof. This is an awesome feature and the one that gives the car its Sun Valley name. This looks to be in great condition, with no sign of any major scratches, crazing or cracking. The fact that it’s tinted should reduce the amount of heat that finds its way into the car, which is a relief.

Getting the Sun Valley up and moving is a 256ci V8 engine, which is backed by a 3-speed Merc-O-Matic transmission. The Mercury is also fitted with power steering and power brakes. Mechanically the car is very original. The only deviation has been the fitting of an electric fuel pump and pressure regulator in place of the original mechanical pump. The hole for the original pump has been closed over with a blanking plate, and the new owner could choose to leave this as it is, or fit a replacement mechanical pump if they are seeking originality. The owner says that the car starts, runs, and drives very nicely, with no unusual noises or smoke. He also provides this YouTube video of the car starting and running, and it sounds absolutely spot-on.

The interior of the Mercury is in good condition, but it isn’t perfect. The headliner has some staining at the rear of the plexiglass top, which suggests that there may have been a leak at some point. There is a seam separation in the leather facing on the driver’s seat and a small tear on the edge of the passenger seat. Both of these look like they could be repaired without replacing the cover, and I would be inclined to at least fix the seam separation before it deteriorates any further. For your added convenience, the Mercury is also fitted with power windows and a power seat. There are two things that really grab me with the interior of this car. The first is the color combination, which is just a sweet look, and really gives the car an almost tropical feel. The other is the aviation-inspired heater controls mounted behind the wheel. They really just have a great look to them.

In 1954, Mercury built 9,761 of the Sun Valley, which means that they weren’t a particularly rare car when new. As with so many cars of this era, long-term survival has been the issue, and there certainly aren’t anywhere near that number available today. This one is a nice example, but it isn’t perfect. What’s it worth? Values have been climbing steadily over the past 10-years, and while you can find really rough examples for around $10,000, an average car will set you back more than $30,000. If you are looking for a nice classic with some cool features that you can drive and enjoy immediately, this would have to be a strong contender.


  1. TimM

    Absolutely a beautiful car!! They don’t make bumpers like that anymore!!! The interior is nicer than some people’s living rooms I’ve been in!!! Complete class!!

    Like 5
  2. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    If I had money, tell you what I’d do
    I’d go downtown and buy a Mercury or two
    I’m crazy ’bout a Mercury, I’m crazy ’bout a Mercury
    I’m gonna buy me a Mercury and cruise it up and down the road

    Like 4
  3. Gary L

    Those clear roofs can be buffed to near new condition…..great car

    Like 1
  4. Will Fox

    Mercury Sun Valley/Ford Skyliner glass-tops are at the top of my list, if I can ever get a collector car. I know them inside/out, and have been following these since I was about 9 or 10 yrs old. The vast majority of `54 Sun Valleys I see are the traditional yellow/green or two-tone green combos they are known for, but mid-way through the `54 sales season, FoMoCo opened up the color offerings on these, and white/green was one of the new ones.The rarest color combination I’ve seen on `54s is the persimmon/cream, which actually was an early `55 option! This, to me, is an exceptional car in that it’s rust free, has leather instead of all vinyl, and is loaded. IMHO, this is a $25K example, easily. Far easier to find than the `55 Montclair Sun Valleys, of which only 1,787 were built. C’mon Powerball…….

    Like 5
  5. Billy

    I was with my father when he bought our ‘54 Monterey hardtop coupe in Modesto CA. It was Persimmons with a cream top and matching two-tone leather interior. I remember wandering around the dealership and caught sight of a yellow and green Monterey with OMG! a ‘glass’ roof. It didn’t take much to impress a 5 year old then, but after all these years a Sun Valley is still an impressive sight and recalls the days when imagination and creativity ruled automotive design. To my repeated pleas to buy the car with the glass roof, my dad bought the Persimmons coupe and as a family I guess we were all a lot cooler as a result.

    Like 2
  6. Pete Phillips

    Curious where the “3 Years Only” headline comes from. I’m only aware of 1954 and 1955 for these. Yes, this one is in exceptional condition and has some exceptional power options, wow!

  7. Morley Brown Member

    Great car, have had a few over the years , but what about all those signs behind the car–there is the real value?????????

  8. Tort Member

    The only comment I have is that it is a beautiful and classy car!!

    Like 2
  9. Mountainwoodie

    I’ve seen this car for sale recently but I can’t recall if it was on BF. I know it is the same Merc as the description stated the power seat gear was stripped and the seat wouldn’t move. Its going to be a problem if you don’t fit the seat exactly.

    So, did it not sell or is this a new owner/flipper/dealer. Anyone recall this?

    Also did I miss it or is the glass roof snap in sun cover missing?

    The first and last two door we had when I was a little kid was a grey ’54 Mercury. Oh well.

    • TimM

      Maybe it’s been recalled and you can bring it back for the seat!! Still a nice car!!!

  10. kiteflier

    I lived next door to a guy in Mountain View, Ca that flipped cars to pay his way through grad school at Stanford in the mid- 70’s. One day he knocked on my door and asked me to go with him and drive back a car he just bought, We rode over in his MG-TD and there was a Mercury like this with a green transparent roof. I drove it about halfway back with him following me when some guy cut me off so bad I had to stop. The guy’s car blocked me and he got out. He got up to my window and said, “How much you want for the car”?.
    I said, “not mine, talk to the guy in the MG”
    They talked about 10 minutes and my friend walked up and said, “I just doubled my money, we’ll follow him, it’s his car now”. The weirdest thing I remember was how everything looked green inside with that roof.

    Like 1
  11. BigDoc

    That takes me back to my 7-8 year old times. I thought that was the most beautiful I had ever seen up to that time. Now I know why I felt that way. What a beautiful car. I’m with Will come on P-Ball.

    Like 1
  12. Mike

    This was on a BaT auction two weeks ago and the bidding went up to $20k. Looks like he’s moving on to E-Bay this time.

    Like 1
  13. Guggie 13

    My neighbor had one of these back in 1954 , it was black with a white interior , always had a soft spot for that car .

  14. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    I had a 54 Ford skyliner about 50-55 years ago. It was a nice car, had all the options, electric seat, windows, power steering and brakes. I lived in Tacoma, Washington back then, so in the summer with the windows down it wasn’t to hot inside. The Ford had a 239 engine mine was a/t. I would like to buy this but I would have to give it to my daughter who lives in Lakeland, Washington and is a classic car lover. Watch out Maryanne you might just get this one.
    God bless America

  15. Gaspumpchas

    Had one with identical colors, never finished. sold and don’t know what happened to it, Friend of mine had a sunliner with the glass top and he said the glass top made it most uncomfortable to drive in the summer, cover didn’t help. Beautiful to look at!!

    • Bob

      Strange that the author mentions the plate that covers the stock fuel pump but doesn’t mention the narrow white walls which kills the looks of this car. Why do people insist putting these horrible tires on a pre ’62 car?

  16. Del

    A very special car. Have you seen the Lucy and Desi Arnez movie The Trailer ?

    It was an identical car in the Movie that hauled the trailer.

    Check out the Movie. Its 50s crap but the car is fabulous

  17. tiger66

    Mercury had glass tops in model years ’54 and ’55 only. Two years, not the 3 years in the headline. Ford offered a ’56 glass top (a Crown Vic), but not Mercury.

  18. Lee

    why does this car not have any outside/door or fender mirrors?????

  19. Gaspumpchas

    del, I think the one in the movie was a 53, and not a sun valley. Equally if not more beautiful than the 54!!


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