Malaise Muscle: 1973 Mercury Montego GT

If you like your muscle cars rare with lots of patina, then this yellow 1973 Mercury Montego GT (though the front ends says 1972) might be for you. 5,820 were made for 1972 and 4,464 were made for the second and last year of production, a final stab at a shrinking market. Muscle cars were out while personal luxury was in. The Montego wasn’t going anywhere, just the GT portion. Find this big guy in Corsicana, Texas for $2,750 here on craigslist or here.

If still featuring it’s original engine, the 351 Cleveland came with a two barrel and 159 horsepower matched to a FMX automatic transmission. Doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but a 351 Cobra Jet was available with 246 HP, along with a 302, 400, and 429. The Halibrands and hood vents give the look of speed, but expect a nice rumble and more sedate cruising. If you need more power, there are catalogs full of performance parts to wake up the 351. Lets hope this one isn’t locked up.

The body has definitely seen better days. Rust can be seen poking out from every panel. Amazingly, the roof which probably use to have a vinyl roof, here looks like the least affected spot. The front and rear valences probably were torn up getting this Montego out of whatever field it was taking a long vacation in. The front of the car has the specific to 1972 bumper and valence, but judging by the condition, could have been put on after a wreck. The back two Cooper Pro 60 tires are still holding air and show the outline of where the car had been sinking into mud for some time. Thankfully all the GT specific badges, trim, and hood are still intact. My brother has always said that if the rust has made it to the outside, what you can’t see is probably far worse. This car is body of frame, so better check to make sure the rust hasn’t rotted out any major areas. Ford made millions of similar cars on this platform, so if you were brave enough to bring his car back to its glory days, finding a donor like an LTD II won’t be impossible.

The interior is just as messy as the outside. High back cloth and vinyl bench, column shifter, full gauges with tach, and sporty looking door panels are still intact. The headliner has separated at the seams, the dash pad has seen decades of sun, the armrests look painful to rest your elbow on, and the general consensus is that the smell isn’t going to be little tree fresh. I’m guessing a mixture of rat droppings, wet dog, mildew, and old car. Take a clothes pin if going to check this one out. Is this dirtbag too far gone to save? Rarity doesn’t always equate to being valuable, but when was the last time you saw a Montego GT? Is this one now just a parts car or does it have a few burn outs in it still to make?

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Comments

  1. Moparmann Member

    It always makes me wonder what series of events it took to make this, someone’s onetime pride and joy sink to this condition. Only if you had one, lots of $$$, and look at this as a true “labor of love” would this one be a project to tackle (IMO)!

  2. T Mel

    Speaking up for yellow ’73 Ford mid-sizers everywhere, I’d say someone should save it. My CJ is the 266 HP version, not a ton of power but the top choice that year.

  3. Oingo

    I don’t care for this much but a Mercury cyclone GT with a 429 rotted away in the third floor underground in an apt. building that I lived in the early 90s.

  4. Oingo

    I don’t care for this much but a Mercury cyclone GT with a 429 rotted away in the third floor underground in an apt. building where I lived in the early 90s.

  5. Tom Member

    I have seen one around my neck of this woods (South Suburbs of Chicago) this past summer, restored very nicely, period oversized wheels and tires, metallic green if I remember correctly and looks AWESOME on the road. Very cool car. I like the cars you DON’T see all the time like these. VERY COOL.

  6. Steve R

    Too bad. It’s a parts car unless it lives in a no-title state. Not much going for it other than the hood and some emblems. There were a couple of these in the area, I remember seeing one of them in a pick and pull yard in the mid-80’s. Too bad, they did look nice.

    The wheels are dish/slot mags, not Halibrands.

    Steve R

  7. 68custom

    My friend Tim had a 73 or 73 montego gt that was equipped with the 351 cobra jet and a top loader four speed also had full gauges and black bench seat interior! It was red on the outside he was fond of wild turkey and the poor montego suffered a front end collision. To bad I bet not many were so equipped. This one looks done too!

  8. RH FACTOR

    Is that a turd on the front seat?

    • Dave Mc

      A guy went to look at it, crapped his pants and it fell out.

  9. Troy s

    These can be quite nice, definitely a rare machine amongst a sea of Chevy’s, but this one is gonna take a ton of work, what a waste of machinery.

  10. Jubjub

    What a mess. Always liked these too…even better than the Torinos. Unless it was wrecked and had a different front end installed, it looks like a ‘72.

    Back in the day, I used to see a young woman who split her driving between one of these in red with a white top and interior with the black faced dog dishes or a nice, sour apple green ‘74 Capri. Both in nice shape and both cool.

  11. Mark Evans

    Really like the exterior of this. Then saw the interior with bench set. Swapped the bench out of my 69 dart gt convertible for mustang buckets to look cooler & put a serious dent in my love life. If I new then what I know now!

  12. DG

    I have NEVER seen a 72-73 Montego GT fastback. If the floorboards are solid I’d say keep it. It would be relatively easy to wake up that 351.

  13. Jeff

    I just bought a 1973 Montego GT Q code C-6 and 3.25 9 inch rear from the widow’s son of the original owner. Great running car smooth ride what a cruiser. That car in the pictures is a parts car. Someone would be very upside down if they tried to bring that one back.

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