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One Owner Classic: 1953 Mercury Monterey Convertible

Finding a one owner classic car is always great, but to find a one owner car that is 66-years-old is even better. That’s precisely what this 1953 Mercury Monterey Convertible is. The original owner purchased the vehicle new and drove it until the 1990s when they decided to park it in a barn. It is now seeing the light of day for the first time since then and is being sold on their behalf by a family member. The Mercury is located in Farmingdale, New York, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has currently reached $7,500, and with the reserve now having been met, this old classic is destined to find a home with its second owner.

When it was new, this Monterey was not a cheap car. With a retail price of $2,590, it represented the range-topping vehicle from Mercury. However, in its original Tahiti Sand with the black soft-top, it would have been a car that grabbed plenty of attention. Those days have long since passed, but there is no reason why the car couldn’t be returned to its former glory. The paint is pretty tired and flaky, and a fair amount of the chrome and trim will also require restoration. The owner mentions rust in the rockers and passenger side quarter panel, while I can see some also starting in the other quarter panel as well. The owner doesn’t mention the state of the floors or frame, so hopefully, they will be okay. One item that is in pretty decent order is the soft-top. The rear window looks quite cloudy, but the material looks to be both tight, and free of tears. It also looks like all of the original factory tinted glass is in good condition.

The interior of the Monterey is home of yet another pleasant surprise. The upholstery and dash appear to be in remarkable condition. The armrests look like they need restoration, but the seats and door trims look like they will all sparkle with a decent clean. A nice touch is the fact that the car does feature power windows. One of my personal favorite features in the ’53 Monterey is the heater controls. Set back behind the wheel the way that they are gives them the look of aircraft controls, and just looks cool. What we don’t get any information on is the mechanical state of the car. This one would be fitted with the 255ci flat-head V8, and the 3-speed Merc-O-Matic transmission. Hopefully, these are either in good condition or won’t take too much to kick them back into life.

Buying this Mercury Monterey Convertible might present the new owner with a pretty unique opportunity. With just an ounce of luck, there might be a chance to sit down with the original owner and to get some insight into the history of the car. It could be a chance to find out what attracted them to the car in the first place, and what have been some of their favorite memories of the car over the past 66-years. Those sorts of opportunities don’t come along every day, so I really hope that the new owner has the chance to do that.


  1. Avatar photo Bob McK

    Now this is a barn find worth bringing home. Someone is going to have one fine car and very rare too.

    Like 19
  2. Avatar photo Bob C.

    Last year for the 125 HP flatty.

    Like 8
  3. Avatar photo Will Fox

    IMHO, this is just as much of a find as the turquoise `55 Bel Air yesterday, only MUCH MUCH rarer!!!!!! Talk about solid! If that RR quarter is the worst rust in the body, restoring this would be a PLEASURE for any bodyman!! Interior looks like it would have no more than 30K miles! Last year for the Flathead, so this baby will sing again real well! What a catch for whoever buys it!!

    Like 12
  4. Avatar photo Mike

    This was my high school car. Shaved hood and trunk, dual exhausts with aftermarket mufflers for the throaty sound, metallic blue paint, blue and white interior. Sure wish I’d kept it (along with my xk120, Karmin Gia, ‘55 Buick century, 57’ Olds, 89 Grand Wagoner, ‘75 FJ 40, ‘57 Mercury wagon). All of these would now be worth serious coin. I did however hang on to my ‘73 Jaguar XKE convertible I bought in ‘74, at least I had the sense to do that.

    This car restored will make a wonderful show/driver vehicle.

    Like 4
  5. Avatar photo TimM

    Absolutely a great car!!! This is tru 50’s styling and with the top down it doesn’t get any better than this!!

    Like 8
  6. Avatar photo Mountainwoodie

    Judging by the rust in the rockers, the Maine plates and the humongous snow tire in the trunk, it’s all pointing to a car that was driven in the snow.
    So…….I would guess this will take more than a little rocker welding. The owner must be awful confidant of the cars appeal as the ad is not very informative.
    As I was brought home from the horsepital in a ’54 Merc hardtop, this has a strange appeal to me, although I would really like a Sun Valley.
    Interesting that bidders are driving it up on the basis of very little information. Speaks to the appeal of the design.

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo TheGasHole

      There used to be a Sun Valley edition that would pop up on the Philly CL from time to time a year or so ago. Rough shape and no title made it a no sale for me but damn those are awesome cars!

      Like 0
  7. What a nice car to bring it back to it original condition and color! Like everything about it.

    Like 1
  8. Avatar photo JP

    Great Merc! My dad had a ’53 2drhdtp.

    Like 2
  9. Avatar photo norm bissonnette

    Up here in Canada , My dad had a ’53 Meteor 2-dr hardtop . It had that Mercury dash along with the Mercury 255” flathead and automatic . I still remember that sound ….

    Like 5
  10. Avatar photo Fred H

    Bidding is only up to $5,200. With reserve not met. Nice car

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo That Guy

      That probably means some jackass put in a super-high bid to see what the reserve was, then cancelled it.

      Yes, this looks like a really worthwhile project. I love to see unusual cars like this. I like the Crosley in the background as well – another cool and unusual car.

      Like 0
  11. Avatar photo bog

    My Dad was a “Ford” guy, with most of them being from the Merc Division. Insofar as I know, he never had a convertible, and this one’s lovely ! He did have a 54′ Ford Fordor, which had a number of the style elements of this car and then had a lovely black over white two door ’57 Merc Montclair (?) that I ended up buying from him at age 16. As my first car was a ’50 “shoebox” with a flathead, I’m seeing some areas from that vehicle repeated here. Too bad I don’t have space to take this on…it would be fantastic looking in restored condition. Certainly a nice Summer Sunday or parade vehicle !

    Like 1
  12. Avatar photo Clay Bryant

    The dash controls make a great place to set your drink on at the drive in. My first car was a 52 with hood scoop opened up, shaved trunk and painted 58 Cadillac Lake Placid blue……….

    Like 1
  13. Avatar photo Wayne

    What car was used in the Lucille Ball movie ‘The Long Long Trailer’?
    That was the 1st thing this reminds me of.

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo IkeyHeyman

      Yes, same car, different color combo.

      Like 2
    • Avatar photo Roosty 6

      The Long Long Trailer movie featured a 53 Mercury much like this one pulling the trailer. For some scenes they substituted a 53 Lincoln that only careful observers will notice.

      Like 0
  14. Avatar photo Neil

    Must have been relisted for some reason as the bidding is only at $5,200 and reserve is not met – unlike the bid value of $7,500 in the article and there are 8 days left to run. Ohhh – the temptation…… But if I give in I know the next sentence I hear from the wife will include the word “divorce”….

    Like 3
  15. Avatar photo IkeyHeyman

    I think the rust is worse than it may appear in the few pictures we’re given. Anybody who buys this without an inspection is a brave soul.

    Like 1
  16. Avatar photo Roosty 6

    Floors could be rusted out under the mats, as well as the body mounts. Thats how my 52 sedan is. New parts are available at EMS automotive.

    Like 2
  17. Avatar photo Roosty 6

    Maybe some body work been done in the past on that right rear quarter? Odd that is the only section with peeling paint. Original paint on these cars did not normally peel. Also looks like some crumbling body filler at the bottom of the panel.

    Like 0
  18. Avatar photo Bob

    This article states that it was driven into the ’90s, then parked. The eBay ad states it was driven into the ’60s then parked. Not good info………

    Like 0
  19. Avatar photo Bob McK

    Wayne, a 55 Pontiac was used in that movie.

    Like 0
  20. Avatar photo CaCarDude

    The ’53 and ’54 Mercury had such a nice body line along with the beautiful dash and my favorite early 50’s ride. Starting HS back in the early 60’s we had a neighbor who owned one like this but a Hardtop in Yellow, I used to dream about owning that car one day but it was never for sale and over time we moved away and that dream ended.
    On this car I wonder what the owner towed with it, maybe an old Airstream, or teardrop Trailer? Check out the rear bumper setup for the trailer ball.
    This car will be a beauty restored to original, I wish the new owner many happy days cruising in this sweet old Mercury!

    Like 0
  21. Avatar photo Stevie G

    This car is making me second guess buying that 1951 Pontiac rag top. It’s a cool car but for the price of this one, plus the fact that it is a 1 owner car and pretty original, I think this one is even cooler! Too bad the Pontiac seller & I already “shook hands”.

    Like 0

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