Droptop Project: 1956 Mercury Montclair

The Montclair doesn’t seem to get an excessive amount of ink these days in automotive forums, and that’s kind of a shame as it was a pretty cool and somewhat premium offering from Ford’s Mercury division lineup beginning in the mid-fifties.  The car was only in its second year of production when this 1956 Convertible model here on eBay rolled off the assembly line, and while it’s going to take some effort to get there, it would make an eye-catching droptop if you’ve got the skills to provide the TLC it deserves.  This one’s located down in Boca Raton, Florida, with a buy-it-now price set at $19,900.  Or if you’re finding nearly twenty grand a bit optimistic, there’s also the option to submit an offer more to your liking for consideration.

We’d like to thank Barn Finds reader T.J. once again for another great tip here!  Mercury produced about 80,000 of these cars for the ’56 model, but of that number less than 10% were convertibles, so the open-air examples aren’t really all that common.  The seller says this one’s all original and unmolested, although he is fully aware that it’s in need of a complete restoration.  Outside, the body is said to be straight, with the only exterior rust mentioned being some half-dollar-sized areas in the rear quarter areas.  Interestingly, in most photos, the trim piece on the front bumper is missing on the passenger side, but we do get a couple of pictures showing it intact, so I’m not sure if this part is included or if you’ll have to source a replacement.

Things inside are looking like they could use a good refreshing all the way around, with 3/4 of the front seat wearing a cover and the other 25% in need of one.  But some positive news is that different used front seat frames are included in the sale, so hopefully, they will be at minimum a structural improvement over what’s in there now.  More from the good news department is that most of the interior does seem to be overall complete, so at least you’ve got materials to work with, as I’m speculating that some of these parts may be difficult to come by if they came up missing.

These cars came equipped with a 312 cubic inch V8, but there’s no word on whether or not this one still has the factory powerplant or not, but the owner says the motor’s turning freely and does seem to have compression.  If the transmission is an original component. it’d be the “Merc-O-Matic” automatic variety, but in any event, the tranny is stuck in the park position so the driveshaft has been removed in order for the car to roll.  It seems a reasonable assumption that a thorough going through of the drivetrain will be in order for the next owner, but with some time and love this Montclair could turn into a really nice ride.  Is this a project you or somebody you know would have any interest in taking on?


  1. Rustytech Member

    Looks like a nice project at about half the asking price.

    Like 4
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Too much money for too much to fix. My uncle had a wagon version that really had some good power, all of which he loved using. Must run in the family as my dad was the same way. Now me…..?

    Like 4
  3. Car Doc 98

    Too much for a project of the magnitude…
    I would bid at auction, if the starting price was around $5000…
    Just needs a complete rebuild, restore…
    Email me if you auction…

    Like 2
  4. JohnfromSC

    This car is a perfect example of the current market. Fully restored 1 and 2+ vehicles are holding value while #3’s and 4’s are declining. Why? Restoration costs continue climbing. Rustytech is on the mark. If it were an early Prsche that you could afford to put $75K into, that’s one thing. But most cars don’t fit that economic model.

    I don’t foresee a change in market dynamics that will narrow the value difference between best examples and barn finds.

    Like 4
  5. Yblocker

    Like I keep saying, with retirement on the horizon, I no longer have the time or funds on tap, I’ll have to settle with the one toy in my garage. Otherwise I’d probably make an offer.

    Like 5
  6. Bob C.

    These were very sharp looking cars. First year for the 312. It would go on serving as Mercury’s base v8 until 1960.

    Like 4
    • Yblocker

      But not till after it reached its performance peak in 57.

      Like 2
  7. Don S

    The silver painted bumpers are a nice touch…….NOT

    Like 1
    • TouringFordor

      If I had seen the bill for plating the bumpers, I would paint them, too. Although they do have much shinier “chrome” paint nowadays

      Like 2
  8. John Phillips

    That front bumper outweighs the entire doghouse on a new Camry.

    Like 4
  9. ACZ

    Nice start but needs too much for the price.

    Like 0

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