Rare 2-Door Hardtop: 1958 Mercury Commuter

OK station wagon fans, here’s a tres cool find in the form of a 1958 Mercury Commuter two-door hardtop wagon. Not just a two-door but a hardtop to boot! Now I knew Mercury, like many auto manufacturers, produced two-door station wagons in the fifties but I never locked up on the fact that they were B-pillarless. That being the case let’s look, in-depth, at this barn find. It’s located in Marion, Kansas and is available here on eBay for a BIN price of $12,500. There is a make an offer option too. Thanks to Larry D for this rare find!

Mercury offered three different trim levels for their station wagon fleet in 1958. The Colony Park occupied the top slot, followed by the Voyager with the Commuter, such as our subject car, bringing up the markers. All were hardtop body styles (no B-pillar) and two-door variants were offered in both the Voyager and Commuter trim levels. Rarity? Well, the total Commuter volume (two-door and four-door styles) was about 8,600 copies. The Voyager two-door model only managed to eke out a paltry 566 units so the total Commuter two-door output is probably similar but I couldn’t verify a total. The low production numbers are really not a surprise as two doors and a station wagon seem a bit incongruous.

Regarding this Mercury, the seller suggests, “This would be considered a barn find“. Well, a barn find without a barn based on the high grass surrounding this car’s perimeter – seems more like a field find. It is claimed to have very little rust with just the floor pan reflecting a perforation problem. The body and trim look pretty fair but there may be something wrong with the passenger door based on the way that it doesn’t fit properly. There’s no reference to the underside, other than the previous floor comment, but a frame that has been exposed to grass and dirt for a lengthy period of time deserves to be eyeballed.

There are two images of the interior but neither reveals a comprehensive image of the front seat area. The cargo section is rough at best with what appears to be a collapsed headliner and missing upholstery panels. And of course, there’s plenty of “whatever” strewn about which doesn’t help much with the promotion effort. There are no images of either seat.

Under the reverse-opening hood is a 312 gross HP, “MEL” 383 CI V8 engine that looks like it hasn’t turned a lick in many moons. There is no description of the engine’s condition or potential for future operation. At least it looks complete. Backing up the moribund V8 is a Merc-O-Matic automatic transmission.

The possibilities here seem endless though the price may be a bit rich. Assuming that there isn’t a significant integrity problem, there could be a stock, restomod, custom, or hotrod future for this Mercury Commuter wagon. Which direction would you select?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Need I go through this everytime??? Yes,,,yes I do. Perhaps SOMEONE will heed my advice on this foolishness. The car itself is a great find. Wagons, especially unusually styled ones like this, are gaining steam, but I doubt you’ll find anyone willing to spend 5 figures on this car. Nice ones barely garner that, what gives here? I mean, it’s just time after time of outrageous prices, and are people really buying this stuff for 5 figures? Has the shenanigans of the west coast finally reached the heartland? I guess we crossed that line during the Lambrecht auction, huh. Bottom line, they’re nuts. I’d offer a grand, tops, if they deliver.

    Like 35
    • $ where your mouth is

      I dont know who you are, and even more so, who you think you are,, but you ‘speak’ as though your the authority, the condescension whilst simultaneously assuming is shameful.
      You are not everyone, some think toyota is American and is worthy of slapping our flag on it, and some, ME, see toyota for what it is: a hyped up ‘evasive species’ and an insult to our flag.
      In that vain, is you, making opiniated statements as though fact and all us stupid people need to learn from; a virgo ?
      Just the front bumper on this beautiful wagon is worth $1000, and i haul cars across this great country of ours and it takes more than $1000 in fuel.
      This car is from a time when America built quality, craftsmanship in every piece.
      Worth way more than $1000.
      How about you stop the ‘foolishness’ by keeping your foolish opinions to yourself 😀

      Like 16
      • Big_Fun Member

        “Gold is where you find it, gross is where you hold it!” That was said to me by a used car sales manager a looong time ago…
        Just like the classic car dealers, seller is starting high, so he can make you think about buying for say, 8K. IF he started at 8K, then you think, ‘I’ll offer him 5K”.
        As Kenny Rogers said, “You got to know when to -” …well, you get the gist.

        Like 1
      • Howard A Member

        Sigh, I don’t know why I even bother with FB people like you. Look, KID, I’m 66 years old, ( by your callous demeanor, there’s no way you are older than me) folks like me practically BUILT this hobby, just to see punks like you escalate the hell out it, pretty much eliminating us from said hobby. If you think just the bumper is worth a grand, YOU are part of the problem, not me. Your “Toyota” comments are totally out of context, and I don’t mean to gloat, but yes, me, and people like me, DO know what we’re talking about, as much as that may irritate someone like you who clearly knows it all. And another thing, I drove trucks all my life, and if you think $1,000 in fuel is nothing, not to mention the inflated cost of the shipping, that’s ANOTHER smoking gun as to why everything is so expensive. You pass that fuel charge onto the poor schmuck waiting for their pride and joy, and you are bilking them for all it’s worth. You bet I’m pixxed and baloney like this, and comments like yours, are what’s wrong with this country today,,,among other things.

        Like 7
      • $ where your mouth is

        Wow, Howard, you out did yourself !
        First, and the easiest to correct in your actual callous spewing is the fuel cost. The cost of fuel is not something the shipper covers for the client as a facor or gift, if the fuel isnt paid, the haul cant happen. Fuel costs are higher than they were in your hay day, so ya, call ANY shipper and the cost of hauling an single car is around $1500.
        The bumper, whens the last time you went to have a bumper straightened and rechromed ??
        I do often. So, IF you van find a place, IF they dont have a long waiting list, IF you want copper, IF YOUR bumper is a solid core.. $800.
        Factor time and transport..
        As for the ‘whats wrong with tnis country’ people like me are not capitalist, im a fair and considerate being, calling out a know it all, arrogant aggressore like you; that im now thinking owns a toyota and doesnt realize whats killing our country is people buying imports, shopping at walmart and lieing to themselve by then slapping a US flag on it..
        $ where your mouth is 😉
        As for the punk and other unnecessary callousness, just furthers my original assessments of the character you are.
        Yes, this wagon is worth much more than a $1000 with free shipping, your comments are foolish, ‘heres your sign’

        Like 2
      • Jim ODonnell Staff

        I would like you, and Howard too, to ratchet it down. You’re drifting into politics and personal attacks and I won’t tolerate either.

        Please stick to the topic at hand, which is the car. Spirited debate is always welcome but this discourse is going beyond that and I’d prefer to not start deleting comments.

        Thx,

        JO

        Like 18
    • Jay McCarthy

      It’s unique styling and options say $5000-6000 tops $12500 is fantasy IMHO

      Like 7
  2. KC John

    Unfortunately I have to agree with Howard A. Maybe I’m just crazy but with a 12500 asking there’s no future here. It’s a neat car. It’d be cool to see something done with it. I’d restomod and enjoy. But if I have to go 5 figures to get this field find home I’m a solid pass. For that kind of money the options for something you can enjoy right now are boundless. Turning into a rich man’s hobby and I don’t that’s such a good thing. That’s it. Pre coffee morning rant complete. Sorry to those I annoyed.

    Like 42
    • Dave

      Apology accepted. If the price is too high the market will let him know.

      Like 9
    • Charlie

      You really agree that it’s only worth $1k delivered?

      Like 2
      • Dave Peterson

        Maybe the delivery is negotiable, but the the price Howard has opined is much closer to reality than the seller. To advocate HA just keep it to himself smacks of the intolerance you show for his long heard opinions on this site. But, I will always advocate for you to speak your mind, as well.

        Like 2
  3. Rex Kahrs Member

    Somehow the front bumper of this car looks like the rear bumper of a ’64 Thunderbird.

    Like 4
  4. Rich

    I had to do a doubletake on that price. Howard A is 100% right. You can find a decent driver for that kind of money. Plus, with us guys starting to age out or just get smarter about our purchases his demographic to buy this rusting hulk is dwindling.

    Like 21
  5. Dave

    Apology accepted. If the price is too high the market will let him know, after all there IS a make an offer option.

    Like 6
  6. Ken Carney

    Whatever this guy is smokin’, I want some! Oh sure, it’s a rare
    model, but the rarity here doesn’t justify the sellers price. Howard is right– wave a grand under his nose, bring your own
    trailer, and t just might be yours. Were it mine, I’d slide in a 5.0
    from a police interceptor, a 4-speed automatic with OD, a 9 inch
    rear axle, and restore the rest. At least the car could be returned to the road in stead of the crusher.

    Like 7
    • Norman Wrensch

      That no doubt already has a 9 inch axle, the 9 inch came out in 57

      Like 5
  7. HC

    I’ve been looking at 58 Mercury commuters for a couple of years and have seen a few for this price in much better and at least starting, running and stopping condition. Nicer ones of course go for abit more. I would either rebuild or update the drivetrain and brakes first. Love the fact it’s a 2dr. With all the dust it looks like it was in a barn and dragged out for pics. Great find

    Like 6
  8. Greg Williams

    Agree with the others, the wagon would stay right where it’s at, at that 12,500.00 price tag

    Like 6
  9. Bob Nelson

    You guys are missing the reality of today’s market. America’s car collector scene is flush with very wealthy people with more money than sense. Someone will buy this car for around 10K and ship it to a custom shop in California or Nevada, spend 250K to 500K making it into a Ridler class custom and then have a car that’s worth maybe a 100K. But it will be unique and cool.

    Like 5
  10. David Zornig

    There were 1,912 two door Commuter wagons built in `58, out of 14,740 total Commuters including four door 6 and 9 passenger.
    Hagerty puts a #4 car at $16,400, which the above is clearly not.
    Even if that’s inflated as most people claim Hagerty is, the seller is still in the theoretical ballpark with his BIN price, for a rare if not desirable low production number car.
    I would say maybe $5K-$6K since it would need a minimum $30K+ for a worthy restoration to bring it to #1, which might later fetch $40K for just break even.
    But as we all know, the rare but not collectables are just a labor of love anyway.
    Also the no-title status is worth knocking the other thousands off for the likely hassle depending on what state the buyer lives in..
    Engine swap should not really be a consideration for something so rare.
    All just my opinion of course.

    Like 10
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      David:

      Thanks for the two-door Commuter count, I couldn’t find one. As a clarification, my 8,600 Commuter total is for six passenger models only.

      Is Hagerty your production source?

      Thx,

      JO

  11. Mad Mac

    Want.

    Like 3
  12. moosie moosie

    It appears that it has been sitting on the ground outside for a long while by the looks of the weeds it’s surrounded by. I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that the frame & the floor pans have significant rust . In my mind that makes this one too far gone for anything but fond memories of what it could have been. Too bad, done up retro-mod it could’a been a knock out.

    Like 3
  13. Steve

    It has to be rare now only 1,912 2 door Commuters were made and it was the only 2 hard top wagon available in 58

  14. Fred W

    Somewhere in the country there is someone trying to restore one of these who would pay a grand for the window frames alone if he needs them. That being said, I think it’s 3K tops for the car.

    Like 3
  15. Steve Clinton

    The front end looks like somebody stole the grille and put it on the Edsel.

  16. Robert

    In 1968, i bought a 1959 Mercury Wagon, a woodie, for $100, i just wanted the motor, took the rest to the junk yard

  17. Bil Hall

    If the underside is not totally gone this could be a neat restoration project. It probably won’t be cheap but could be neat and rare. You just don’t see these everyday. Any 58 Merc is rare now.

    Like 2
  18. onree Member

    Here’s a great chance for the ‘2-doors, no more’ snobs to exercise their checkbooks.
    As a car-crazy kid in the ’50s and ’60s I saw the pillarless wagons come and I saw them go.

    Two door pillarless wagons were unique to Mercury.

    AMC was first out of the gate with a pillarless hardtop wagon, the 4-door 1956 Rambler Cross Country, which lasted through 1960, joined by the longer wheelbase Ambassador from 1958.

    Buick and Olds added 4-door pillarless wagons for 1957 and 1958 model years.

    Mercury built pillarless Commuter, Voyager, and Colony Park wagons from ’57 to ’60, with 2-door Commuters in ’57 to ’59 (sales down to 1,051 units) but not in 1960.

    Chrysler had its Town and Country hardtop wagons 1960-1964 and also the Senior Dodge Polara and Custom 880.

    No pillarless wagons after 1964 except for occasional non-factory coachbuilt Cadillac wagons.

    Did I miss anything?

  19. Terry

    It wasn’t but a mere couple of years ago, that a car in this shape you wouldn’t be able to get someone to even take for FREE, let alone sell the thing! Now, people are asking big money for them. I don’t really know the true value of this thing, but I doubt they’ll get anyone shelling out anything over $1,000 bucks for it. If they get more, they better run smiling to the bank!

    Like 1
  20. Claudio

    Newly repowered by a cummins diesel and a 5 speed stick would make this jalopy STAND out !

  21. HC

    I’m loving this 2dr Mercury Commuter wagn, but at this price point you’d be underwater as soon as you paid $12,500. Cause she’s gonna need just everything. I’d rebuild that MEL it has or install a rebuilt 60s 390. And yes players for bumpers are 3 months waiting list, but both these look decent. That’s the least of your problems. Drive train and brakes alone will set you back $10-15 grand easily. Not to mention suspension, gas tank and fuel lines. And we havent even got to the fun stuff yet, like body paint and interior. Gosh you’d need a large shop to work on her too. Still a great find just overpriced in its rough condition.

  22. Brad460 Member

    I too share some of the concerns regarding market prices as time goes on, but it doesnt serve much of a purpose to get mad or challenge each other on this site. After all most of us on here are some type of automotive enthusiast so it really doesnt help to make it personal or be upset with each other.

    I didnt know such a vehicle was made. My dad had a 58 mercury park lane 4 door hard top back in the day so just seeing one of these even exists anymore is pretty amazing.

    Im not much of an engine swap kind of guy on a vehicle that is obscure and seldom seen so I’d stick with the uniqueness of the MEL powerplant.

    All just my opinion here and folks are free to disagree or not as long as it’s not personal.

    I do believe prices have become too high but I have no control of the number and makeup of potential buyers. I am pleased, however that this old car has generated a good level of discussion. That amount of discussion is healthy and shows that enough people still care enough about this hobby to keep it going, thus allowing younger generations to see what it was like back in the day

  23. Grid michal Member

    Over the years that I’ve been in the boating industry I’ve seen wads of discretionary income thrown at projects. As soon as inflation/recession are mentioned, the throwing stops, prices drop like a stone as reality returns, ie, your $12,500 Merc really is a $1500 car.. Mind you, if I wanted it I’d figure a way to to get it without “Mama” knowing I spent the kids’ education. I bought a 25′ Bertram express cruiser for a grand, had it trucked to my house where I began its modification from a shell to something I could enjoy going down the ICW in the winter and back home in the spring in time for work. With a new 454 in it, it had about $10,000 worth of parts. Launched, it ran 22 (gps) mph. What I’d failed to notice was the boat was one of 4 built for the US Coast & Geodetic Survey, was used in Alaska and north safely in ice floes, and was an 8500# boat, not the advertised 3000# boat like my friend Mike Foster’s , which was a 50+ mph Bertram with twin Yamahas. I could have put two more 454s in that boat and it wouldn’t have gone any faster. But my discretionary income ran out and somebody got ten grand worth of parts for two grand, and they hauled the boat away. Time and again you see stalled projects as the discretionary income evaporated. Watch the economy and if you really want the project wait until the media announces the beginning of a recession, and tell the Merc owner you’ll give him $1000 IF he’ll deliver it. The reason Mike’s boat, which looked identical to mine, was so nice? At that time he was governor of Louisiana, and didn’t have to spell discretionary. Super nice guy, though.

  24. Nomader 55

    ONREE, yes you missed the obvious. 1955 chevy Nomad; pontiac safari, started the modern hardtop wagon trend. There may have been a 4 dr. ht or roadster in the 30’s, but no wagons. Not trying to be a S—- A–. but I think I’m a bit older since, I’ve been collecting old cars since before they were old.(1961)

    Like 1
    • onree Member

      I appreciate your reply, Nomader 55. I don’t think you are being a S—- A–. You just have a different point of view. I got my first car (a ’52 Pontiac Chieftain 2-door hardtop in February 1961. So we are probably about the same age, I would guess. Actually, I didn’t miss the ’55-’57 Nomad and Safari at all. In fact, I considered pre-empting their consideration by stating up front that they were not “hardtops” at all in the sense that the word hardtop was used in the mid-fifties. And here’s why:
      The 1949 Cadillac Coupe DeVille was described in some period literature as a “hardtop convertible.” It had no B pillar, no door frame for the side windows (either the door or back seat windows.) The glass and attached stainless molding retracted completely into the door or, in the case of the back seat window, the body. Just like the windows in a cloth top convertible. While many 2-door coach and sedan back windows only rolled part way down.
      The hardtop convertible offered the open, airy, high-styled feel of a convertible, with the solidity and weather tightness of a closed car. The DeVille took the faux convertible idea as far as to have bright stainless strips across the headliner, in imitation of convertible top bows. The ’49 Buick Riviera and Olds Holiday 98 pillarless hardtop convertibles were trimmed similarly. “Hardtop” was just a shortening of “hardtop convertible,” since by that point all closed cars had a hard top made of steel.
      And that’s where the Nomad/Safari fall short. First, they have a heavy B pillar. Second, the back windows don’t roll down into the body like a convertible. They slide back and forth. Third, sitting in either the front or back seat of a Nomad, the open, airy, convertible feeling of a 2-door hardtop just isn’t there.
      I’m not trying to hatchet the Nomad. They are great and interesting cars. I had one in the late sixties. So Nomad/Safari may have started the “sport wagon” ball rolling. But it was not a hardtop wagon in the sense that that term was used in the mid-fifties.
      And isn’t it interesting. What we now, in the 21st Century, call a hardtop convertible (a retracting steel roof) was called a retractable convertible in the fifties.

  25. Tailgunner Member

    I thought that ‘57 Ford Wagon going for around 7k was a good deal.
    This guy is high but it’s a free country, not sure why I should care?
    I don’t think it bothers me if you don’t like his price either, everyone is entitled to an opinion.
    If we all thought a like, one of us wouldn’t be necessary.
    We don’t have to agree to respect each other for their knowledge, opinions,
    or passion for this industry…. And NO, I don’t want a group hug.

  26. Jerry

    I too have had cars from the sixties most of my life (I am 70 now) until I got priced out about eight years ago. Cars, parts and prices have gone nuts. What was once a neat hobby to enjoy and share has been taken over by the wealthy. But, I am not complaining. While those today are polishing and admiring their cars at shows, those my age have great memories of junk yards loaded with any parts you could imagine. We got to drive those cars, beat them and race them. They were on every corner used car lot in the country. We got to know how they felt to drive, really drive. That’s what I miss, not sitting around looking at them.

    Like 1
  27. Rex Kahrs Member

    Check out the REAR bumper of this ’58 Montclair. It’s the same as the front bumper of the wagon.!

    Like 1
    • HC

      That’s funny also what someone said that it looked like a early 60s rear end of a Thunderbird. I’ve looked up the Mercury Commuter front bumpers and that’s what they were, bizarre looking

      Like 1
    • $ where mouth is

      Welll, this wagon sure has been a wealth of discussion..
      I still stand firm that its worth significantly more than $1000 =) , anyway
      YES the bumper does look like the bumper off a 58 Montclair, because theyre both 58 Mercs, but, if yall look at the front bumper of the Montclair, THAT is the same bumper, naturally.
      Id like to further my favor for this wagon and say: its a Ford (Merc) so good quality, its a hardtop, its a 2 door wagon, its got a ‘performance’ motor, its straight, complete, original.. YA its a worthy specimen. I bet i could get it running and cleaned up without a restoration.
      As for the grass folks are tripping on, thats not weeds, or small trees, its grass that looks tall because the lawn is recently mowed. If anyone here has a healty lawn, that car could have been taken out of ‘barn’ and parked there two weeks ago and the grass can get that tall.
      Seriously, all negative nancies gotta find something else to scrutinize.
      How about focusing on all the amazing trim, or that the seller may be asking so much because he/she has been storing it so long, took to time to pull it out for pics, and post it. Then they will have to field a slue of stupid questions and tire kickers till finally someone buys it and they have to host them and assist with pick up.
      Offer the guy $5800 and youll have a Ford version of a Nomad, but MUCH more rare.
      Ok, now, i surrender 🙌

      Like 2
  28. -Nate

    Pretty obscure car, this .

    The MEL 312 V8 was no slouch ~ I had one with a 4BBL carby and Mallory dual point distributor in my 1957 Ranchero in 1977 or so, it went like a scalded cat .

    I grew up in the rust belt and have too much experience with vehicles stored over grass, I hope the frame is salvageable .

    This would be to cool if restored, no one will ever say “yeah but Joe’s is better” =8-) .

    -Nate

  29. Rex Kahrs Member

    Perhaps duct tape instead of money where….

    • $ where mouth is

      🤐

      Like 2

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