Live Auctions

Breezeway Cruiser: 1964 Mercury Monterey

Car makers are always trying to differentiate their wares from one another. During the 1960s, Mercury offered the “Breezeway” retractable rear window on some of their 2 and 4-door models. With it came a distinctive roofline that allowed the flat rear window to disappear into the trunk. This 1964 Monterey is one such car and the feature was popular enough to help Mercury sell some 54,000 cars so equipped. This edition appears to be a two-owner automobile that hasn’t changed hands in 12 years. It’s located in Willmar, Minnesota and available here on craigslist for $7,500. Thanks, local_sheriff, for bringing another great find our way!

Mercury’s Monterey was part of the line-up from 1952-74, with its name derived from Monterey Bay. It was the only Mercury nameplate in continuous production throughout the 1960s. For the car’s fifth generation (1961-64), the Monterey was the entry-level model for Mercury’s full-size cars. In 1963, the Monterey was given a substantial revision to its roofline, bringing back the retractable rear window used previously by the 1958-60 Continental and Turnpike Cruiser. For 1964, the Monterey would have a big-boy V-8 as standard, the 390 cubic inch engine. 250 hp was the basic output with 300 hp available.

The seller acquired this ’64 Monterey with the Breezeway window from its original owner in 2008 (as per a time-dated photo). The rest of the photos are time-stamped 2009, which means either the seller doesn’t know how to set the clock on his camera, or 11-year-old photos are being used to represent the car. Mercury sold some 42,500 Monterey’s for 1964, just nine percent of them or under 4,000 copies being the 2-door sedan, putting the seller’s car in some rare-ish company today. The mileage is said to be just 58,000.

We’re told that everything associated with the body, paint and interior are all original. Quite a few undercarriage photos are provided, but none of them reflect the only rust the seller says the car has, the bottom side of the rocker panels. The seller says the inside of the rockers are good, but new pieces are being provided with the sale (which tells me the seller had intended to change them at some point). The underbelly of the car appears to have been detailed and looks quite tidy. It’s a nice-looking car from whatever angle you look. We assume the car runs, but the seller never actually mentions that.

Besides having the 2-barrel version of the 390 V-8, the transmission is a manual, and the clutch is new. Other new parts include brakes, fuel lines, bearings, gas tank, shocks, dual exhaust with glass packs, four custom rims and six original tires plus a lot of other stuff. We’re told that the seller has nearly $13,000 invested in the car, so “his loss is your gain” at the asking price. While the Breezeway Mercury’s are cool cars, Hagerty hasn’t put a premium on them. Under $10,000 for one in good condition and no more than twice that for showcase examples. At the price of acquisition, this could be a genuinely nice entry-level collector car for someone new to the hobby and one not often seen at events like Cars & Coffee.


  1. MattR Member

    The timestamps on the photos are certainly a red flag, but at that price I would show up to take a look. It would be a great value if it lines up with the photos and a 390 with a 3 on the tree would be a hell of a lot of fun.

    The retractable rear window is cool. With the way people smoked back then, I could see how that would be useful.

    Like 11
    • bry593

      Nicest one I’ve ever seen.

      This car pulls off an optical illusion fairly well, as this is not a mid-size car. It has a wheelbase longer than my 1970 Caprice and is only 1.5″ shorter, same width. Basically, the same footprint as a modern extendo-cab truck.

      Like 5
    • local_sheriff

      That’s exactly why I like it guys – there’s a lot of contradiction going on here. It has a retractable backlight yet it’s a post. Size-wise it looks like a similar year Fairlane on pics, but it’s a massive barge IRL. Everyone expects a slushbox in such a ‘posh’ brand as Merc, yet it has a 3spd.
      The 60s must have been an extremely fun decade to be a car buyer – apparently one could buy cars suited for everyone’s individual taste and wallet back then

      Like 14
      • John P Olesek

        In the 60’s you could custom order a car from the factory. I had some friends that ordered a 1967 Olds Delta 88 wiith buckets seats.

    • jerry brentnell

      yea but you don’t want that window down with small kids in the car! we had a woman in town who bought one of these new, out with one of girlfriends 3 young kids in the backseat , that window down not paying attention , one of the kids out on the trunk lid held by the ankle by one of the other kids! she was so upset she dealt the car for a another mercury 4 door hardtop the same year!

      Like 8
      • Jcs

        Jerry, that is funny!!

        Like 4
    • PatrickM

      I agree completely. Can anyone say date night?…or cruise-in? Class and comfort at a reasonable price. This would be the one.
      One could actually fool a couple of overly proud teenagers with their hot Honda Civics. But, the world is cray, these days. I would love to go back to a simpler time. If I had the money and place to keep this(climate controlled, indoor), I would be all over it.

  2. alphasud Member

    A friend of mine had a Mercury with the Breezeway rear window. He loved that feature because it gave you the feeling of driving a convertible. Whenever I see one it always reminds me of him. He was another car enthusiast I worked with. He used to drive his Fiat Multipla to work on nice days. We would all pile in the “minivan” and go to lunch. Good times for sure!

    Like 8
  3. Fred

    sweet color and car. thanks Barn finds!

    Like 4
  4. Jcs

    A sharp, clean, and interestingly equipped example of one of the most 4 door looking two doors that I have ever seen.

    Like 10
    • Fred W

      I was sure it was a four door until reading your post and looking again!

      Like 7
  5. Skorzeny

    I really like this Mercury, but I would ditch the 2bbl for a 4, and I need a floor shifter. Good color on this one!

  6. Bob C.

    I like the look of the razor grille compared to the 63. And a 2 door sedan? Less wind noise.

  7. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    My guess is that the photo time stamps are wrong. The second owner did a lot of work underneath and the photos show the work appears to be recent. A rare two door with original paint and interior makes this car seem like a great deal for the price.

    Like 5
  8. Engident

    A ’64 Mercury with a manual? Was not at all expecting to see that 3rd pedal.

    Like 9
  9. don harris

    my parents had this car but automatic. great car, but it was grey with black trim

    Like 2
  10. Little_Cars

    There is a 2dr for sale locally, I’ve inquired, but this one takes the cake with a manual gearbox and gorgeous color (although I doubt that’s how it rolled out of the factory…there is a hue difference between the front fenders and doors). The seller of the local Breezeway states very succinctly that the rear window DOES NOT OPERATE and that it is stuck in the DOWN position! LOL

    Like 4
  11. man ' war

    Well, I am looking at a 65 Mercury Montclair with auto trani over here. This one has the same retractable rear window, but it’s a four door. But with the Ranchero rear tail lights it already has, one could take off the rear trunk that goes all the way to meet the rear bumper, and lo and behold a MontChero 4 door! Sort of?

    • TouringFordor

      I was at a salvage yard years ago that used Grand Marquis without a trunk lid to pull parts and take them to the office.

      Like 1
      • man ' war

        That’s what I’m talking about! Check out a 65 Mercury Montclair. It already has Ranchero lights! The car doesn’t have to be chopped up for some backyard conversion. Just remove the trunk, and you have a bed. Although, I doubt it would be flat like a truck bed. lol.

  12. Cav427

    My Dad had a ’64 2 door 390 2bbl with a four speed, dual exausts with cutouts. He traded it for a Mustang 289 K Code 4 speed. He must have really liked that Mercury, he talked about it on several occasions. Before his passing he told me about a time when he was driving with my Mom on the way to the airport for their honeymoon and and a seagull flew in the driver side window and ended up exiting the rear window while on the expressway! The bird must have been really confused, no accident, just surprise for my Mom and Dad, and a seagull.

    Like 4
  13. Cadmanls Member

    This is a really nice looking car, yep it’s big and won’t fit in in a lot of those newer parking spaces but the car is a stick and a big block. What’s not to like?

    Like 4
  14. Darwin Mickleborough

    My friend had one got a ticket one day for riding on the outside of a vehicle
    Honest officer our legs were still inside the car.

  15. robert lewis

    a equally equipped Galaxy would garner 2x the price

  16. Pete Phillips

    It might not even have power steering. A lot of these oddly equipped, standard shift cars from the 1960s and late 1950s lack power steering and brakes. I’ve owned three like that: 1966 Caprice; 1963 LeSabre; 1958 Special. Photos don’t show the engine compartment.

  17. Steve Clinton

    Were those round-hole body color steel wheels with dog-dish hubcaps standard equipment? I don’t ever recall seeing them on a Mercury before. (or any other car, for that matter)

    Like 1
    • Little_Cars

      They appear to be modern steelies with a nice, deep offset and painted body color. Very well thought out. I believe the hubcaps themselves are period correct. Larger overall with a modern tire.

      Like 3
  18. 63Comet

    I peruse the Minneapolis Craigslist site regularly, quite regularly, and I do have a thing for many a Mercury, so I can tell you it’s been for sale for some time. You could’ve purchased this at least a year ago, maybe longer than that. So, either it’s priced a bit high for the condition/market or there’s some other reason it won’t sell.

    Like 1
  19. BigDoc Richard Van Dyke Sr

    Beautiful color. I really like this car. Too bad I can’t buy it now.

  20. KC John Member

    Ticks a lot of boxes for me. Sort of an oddball car on a bunch of levels. What a great way to enjoy the hobby at an affordable price.

    Like 3
  21. Charles Sawka

    Us old guys remember these and station wagons from the pre a/c days. Sitting in traffic with the fumes coming right in the back window ! Ah the smell of incomplete combustion !.

    Like 6
  22. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    Back in 73 a friend had a neighbor who had one. The thing was we lived I Redding,California and the car was in L.A. That’s quite a long drive, but we made the trip with me riding in the back of the pickup. When we got there he couldn’t find the keys so I had to run a wire from positive side of battery to positive side of coil the jump across the solenoid to start the car, the we made the drive back to Redding. The neighbor gave the car to my friend who in turn gave me his 63 Galaxie 500 XL with 352 automatic. It was a early model, not a fast back. I made a trip to Tacoma, Washington and the timing chain jumped. Replaced that and drove back to Redding where I traded it for a 65 Lincoln Continental. Those were the days.
    God bless America

    Like 5
  23. Joe

    When growing up my parents had ’58 Lincoln that had that window

  24. Paul

    @local_sheriff Thanks for sharing this car and good observation regarding the 1960s. Yes, you really could get pretty much anything out of the parts bins on most US cars then. An Impala with a six cylinder, a big Mercury, Buick, Chrysler, Dodge or Pontiac with a manual transmission, a Studebaker wagon with R2 supercharger and 4-speed, on down the line. That started to go away by the mid-late ’70s, much to the detriment of the scene for those of us who knew what we wanted and could specify it. This Breezeway Merc is cool with that three-speed and I’d love to have it. No room, though. :)

    Like 4
    • local_sheriff

      Thanks for your kind remarks Paul. I’m way too young to have experienced the swinging 60s(heck my parents weren’t even in their teens!) but I’ve always had a thing for oddball-optioned late 50s/early 60s road boats.

      I think there are still many great fullsize treasures around for acceptable $ if one cares to snoop around and is willing to consider alternative models

      Like 1
  25. Larry

    My fathers first new car was just like this one, except for the 3 speed. Loved that car.

  26. Bill Wilson

    My Dad wanted one of these so bad! I remember going to all kinds of used car lots looking for one with him, but they all must have started rotting at the factory. We wound up with a 63 Pontiac Laurentian 4 door.

    Like 1
    • b

      You mean to say he was looking for a Yankee Merc and ended up with a Canuck Poncho. How did that happen?

      Like 1
      • man ' war

        Ah, that’s why I never heard of it (Pontiac Laurentian); it was not sold in America sounds like, but rather Canada!

  27. man ' war

    Just when I thought that I knew every American car, there shows up the Pontiac (what?) Pontiac Laurentian. I don’t even know how to pronounce it. It looks like other cars of that era. I’m bedazzled I never heard that name. The body changed over the years from the 50s all the way to the 70s. I kind of like the picture of the red 76 Pontiac Laurentian that I saw as I browsed some of the models.

    • local_sheriff

      You don’t know it because…it’s not American but Canadian! The ’63 Laurentian he refers to is a Canada-built hybrid between Chev and Poncho – it has the appearance of same year US Pontiacs but underneath the body it’s all Chevy – engines, transmissions, frame ,suspension. Sort of an early, national variant of badge-engineering. The intention was to offer Canadian buyers a home-brewn, more posh GM alternative than Chev without having to import from the US which would add import fees.

      Consequently you could buy yourself a ’63 Poncho with everything from an I-6 to the 409 W-engine! There were several models and also brands unique for the Canadian market, like Parisienne, Beaumont, Canso, Monarch, Meteor +++

      • man ' war

        local Sheriff, I have seen the Meteor on My Classic Car show on tv featuring two of them up in Canada. I’ve heard of the Parisienne. Monarch sounds familiar. Even the 75 Mercury Bobcat was first introduced in Canada before it was offered to US consumers in 1976.

  28. Jcs

    This listing has legs!

  29. Cav427

    I posted earlier, this would be an awesome car to own. It would be awesome to be in a dealership and selecting options, 2 door or 4 door, which engine, the 410 4bbl or 390 tri power, 4 speed or 3 speed, which rear axle, etc. In the 60’s the angular bodies and trim gave many of these cars panache which will never be seen again. I can never see a future barnfinds were people are oggling a Toyota Corolla or reminiscing about their parents owned one.

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