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Bargain Barn: 1964 Mercury Monterey Convertible


When reader Robert J. came across this 1964 Mercury Monterey on his local Craigslist he knew he needed to make a trip to see it. Upon taking a closer look he had to exercise some serious self-control so as to not buy it for himself. We know of the temptation that he was struggling with, as we would have been tempted to buy it too! With an asking price of $1,800, it had to be hard to pass it over. We know of a few individuals who would have bought it and flipped it, so we have to commend Robert for passing it along! Take a look at it here on craigslist in San Francisco.


The seller doesn’t offer much information about the convertible, but has listed their phone number for questions and Robert is also willing to share what information he gathered about it. This one could prove to be a great bargain project, especially if everything but the top is working. Special thanks to Robert for the tip and for having some restraint!


  1. paul

    sounds to good to be true

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  2. Robert J

    I thought so too Paul, so I went and had a look at it. It is sitting in the bay of a small service station near Piedmont, CA…basically Oakland. The seller started it up for me and it runs fine. It did have an exhaust leak at the junction of the passenger’s side manifold and the downtube, which they offered to fix before selling the car.
    There are extra bumpers and trim included with the car. The ones on the car look good though.
    The major issue that is driving this cars value down is rust. The trunk has two rust holes, the drivers side floor is rusted and the the most challenging bit is the passenger’s side rear fender which has a big rust hole along with some shoddy repair. That being said, the rust was not bad enough to scare me off because it was all something that a home tinkerer with a MIG welder could bring up to snuff over the course of a few months. The underbody looked acceptable with no extreme rust or frame damage, merely localized rust outs from water retention.
    It needs a top and would of course need a paint job after repairs. I didn’t get to drive it yet simply because they had the area in front of the service bay dug up for some construction. That is probably complete by now, so if anyone likes I would be pleased to go back an take the beautiful behemoth out for a spin.

    Post here if you have further questions, or inquire with BarnFinds for my e-mail address to discuss in more detail.

    I was within a hairs breadth of driving it home, but I am getting married next year and thought it would be best to stick to my savings plan for now.

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    • paul

      It is a very fare price but for me the wrong coast.

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  3. Robert J

    Also, for the record, the power top goes up and down, but there is no fabric on it. The top frame does have a broken joint on the passengers side that looks repairable for a home fabricator or a shop of course.

    The tires looked fine and the front tires did not have any irregular wear.

    The turn signals don’t work, but the headlights, radio and gauges appear to all work fine. All of the side glass is in place and the windows go up and down.

    You can see the rusty/poorly repaired right fender in the second picture in the ad.

    This is a huge car in person. You would really make the scene rolling in this, but don’t forget your gas card.

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  4. jim s

    not enought pictures or details in the CL listing but that is what a PI or in the case Robert J can help with ( thanks for doing that ). another make it safe then drive it. might be able to get away with out a top, depending on where you live. great find

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  5. ConservativesDefeated

    I think we re spoiled…….an 1800.00 Mercury convertible no matter how much rust , as long as the compression is relatively equal, and it runs and drive is just the price and kind of car any of us car nuts would have bought when we were young.

    I’m at the wrong end of California……..but somebody is going to buy this and have a ball.

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  6. Clinton S. Thomas, Th.D.

    I spotted this post on Facebook, and I love the car. Often Barn Finds shows great cars and cars with great potential, but this is one of the first I’d seriously seek to buy. Unfortunately, I’m not on the wrong end of CA, I’m on the wrong end of the country in Texarkana, USA. I hope someone really brings this one back to full life!

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  7. Michael M.

    A perfect weekend cruiser or parade car.

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  8. David G

    Anyone know which engine/transmission options this car possesses?

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    • Robert J

      It has a 396 big block with a two barrel carburetor. Kind of reminds me of Betelgeuse after the headhunter shrinks his head. Big engine, small carburetor.

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    • Rolly Doucet

      If the two barrel carb is what that car came with, the engine is likely a 352 cu in version of the “FE” family. Those engines are recognized with the intake manifild extending under the valve covers. The valve cover gasket covers part of the cylinder head, and part of the intake manifold. Transmissions in the Mercurys were usually the 3 speed Mercomatics. The Fordomatics were found in lower priced Ford cars, and were probably two speed. Engineers weren’t trying to baffle us with complicated technical language in those days.

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    • David G

      Just consulted my current KBB which shows that this car’s base engine is a 390 FE producing 250hp (could be a 2-bbl) but the engine *options* available for that year/model go up from there, as either two higher variants of the 390 *or* two 427 offerings up to 425hp for the 2x4bbl. (Wow, that would be fun.) Wonder which code this one has…

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  9. GeOf

    Montery is the batmobile, right?

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  10. Webby

    Big blocks & 2 bbl carbys. Hell, I don’t like 2 bbls on 300 inch V8s. Rant over, I can see the potential in this land yacht.

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    • Rolly Doucet

      The mid to large size engines that were offered with a two barrel carb were usually lower compression versions of the four barrel engines, and were designed to run on regular fuel, instead of high-test.

      Like 0

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