Look Ma-No B Pillar! 1960 Mercury Commuter

The idea of a hard-top station wagon was pretty heady stuff back in the ’50s. Hardtop passenger cars had only been introduced at the beginning of the decade but starting in 1957, Mercury carried the open, airy design over to their station wagon line. They weren’t the only manufacturer to do so, Buick offered the sporty concept as well, but it was still an unexpected styling cue for a wagon. Today, we have a 1960 Mercury Commuter station wagon, the final year of this note-worthy design for your review. This Dwight, Nebraska example is available, here on eBay for an opening bid of $2,500. There is a reserve and a BIN price option of $4,000 is available too (which pretty much tells you what the reserve is). A tip of the hat to Larry D for this discovery.

Offered in two trim levels, the faux wood slathered Colony Park and the plebian Commuter, our subject vehicle is the latter. Between 1957 and 1959 a two-door version was offered, but it was dropped for ’60 – two-door station wagons just weren’t cutting it in America’s on-the-move, super suburban blow-out any longer. Mercury built 22K station wagons in ’60 with about 15K bearing the commuter side script.

This one’s a project and the seller thinks that it has been off the road since the ’70s (the license plate was last registered in ’74). He further adds, “All the trim is there. Some of the glass is cracked but all is there. Pictures are included. It’s pretty solid except for a few spots in the floors and the driver’s rear quarter, a patch panel is included for that“. The body is fair until you get to the driver’s side quarter panel and the rear bumper has seen some boom-boom action.

The good news, according to the VIN, is that this Commuter wagon has the optional 280 gross HP, 383 CI V8 engine. The bad news is that it’s stuck – and the carburetor is missing. The odometer reads 28K miles so that’s probably 128K miles – a good deal of use for an auto engine from this era. The Merc-O-Matic automatic transmission doesn’t hold the car back from rolling, however, so it can be winched up onto a flatbed trailer.

The interior is a first for me, it’s the first time that I have seen shag carpet seat covers. I’ve seen shag on the floors and used as a headliner but not applied to the seats – and really, it’s not a seat cover per se, just a piece of rug to probably keep the seat springs from sticking you in the tush. The dash pad has exploded and the rest of the environment shows almost 50 years of dirt and dust. No carpet for this Commuter’s floor, just a rubber mat, oh, and the seller states that the floors, “will need some patchwork“.

Yes, old station wagons are a hot commodity right now, but this one…probably more of a cold commodity. Sure, it’s all here and if it were a two-door body style, there would be strong interest. But as it is, with its “stuck” engine and needed steelwork, I don’t think the hardtop design is going to help with the cause. I could be wrong, I surely have been before, but that’s my take, what’s yours?

Comments

  1. mike

    Needs a lot of love but would be a nice driver.

    Like 6
    • Jonsey

      Agree, especially if that 383 can be brought back to life!

      Like 1
  2. That AMC Guy
  3. David

    Yeah this would be really something restored. No small task, but worth it in more ways than the cost. Looking back, 1960 was an iconic year for American car manufacturers.

    Like 3
  4. Will Fox

    Last year for Mercury utilizing their own body. By `61 They were just glorified Fords. This is a very scarce car, and finding a decent parts donor can prove daunting. That LR quarter panel needs TLC, and it will be next to impossible to locate a replacement. (Hopefully a buyer is handy with a torch and sheetmetal)

    Like 3
  5. Grandpa

    When I was in high school, my best friend’s mother drove one of these. It was a TANK!

  6. Heck Dodson Member

    I’ve been looking for a 60s Mercury Commuter, but this one may be more than I’d want to tackle. Especially, the drivers side qtr. Rebuilding any engines these days thru a machine shop is months in the doing too. Still a great find

    Like 1
  7. Psychofish2

    Thank you Jim for accurately describing this body style.

    ‘Mercury carried the open, airy design over to their station wagon line.’

    There it is. The true beauty of hardtops, open and airy…..

  8. Big C

    I love these Merc’s. But this one? Nah.

  9. Paolo

    4 door hard tops are preferable .

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