Solid Colorado Car: 1956 Mercury Montclair

m1

I really like the aggressive styling of this top of the line Mercury for 1956. It’s very distinctive side trim and subtle two-tone (look under the side windows) along with the plain steel wheels are calling to me. This one is located in Casco, Michigan and is being sold here on eBay with an opening bid of $1,000 and a reserve.

m2

One of the things that’s nice to see about this particular car is the small amount of rust. Based on the license plates it was last on the road in Colorado, although I can’t read the plates closely enough to tell how long ago that was. I can see spots on the doors and rear fenders, but they appear to be pretty minor, and I doubt that panel replacement would be in order.

collage

Looking at the rear, we can see that the chrome is nice and straight, and the trunk floor is solid, even in the spare tire well. What I assume is the missing piece of trim from the front of the hood is also in the trunk, so the future owner of this car won’t have to search for trim components. The body style looks somewhat related to the Ford Crown Victoria, and there was a version of the Montclair that had a Plexiglas roof (not this one); do any Barn Finds readers know if there is a connection?

m6

I really like the full sweep dash on this car as well. While a lot would have to be replaced for it to look like new, and I think there’s some straightforward floor patching to be completed, it’s great to have all the trim there and what looks to be original upholstery to copy. I think it’s a little too dilapidated for me to want to drive it with the interior as-is, but some cleaning would go a long way.

m7

It’s pretty obvious that there’s been some recent work here with a shiny new carburetor, spark plug wires and battery. I’m pretty sure this is the original 312 cubic inch V8 just from comparing online pictures, and I hope the original air cleaner is around. I’m intrigued by the exhaust manifolds that are routed up rather than down; maybe for spark plug access? The car is said to run and drive but reverse is non functional, and it needs exhaust and brake work. Personally, I’d make the car safe, figure out what I wanted to do with the interior and then drive it for a while. I think I’d end up fixing the rust and repainting it eventually, though, simply because it could look so cool. What would you do?

 

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Comments

  1. Jason

    Love these 56 Mercs! I owned one quite a few years back, and although I would love another one, I’m submerged in too many projects these days. This Merc you have found is one of the better I’ve seen as a starting project. It would in fact have the 312, and the plexiglass roof insert was a 1955 Mercury “SunValley” option only-not offered in 56. I really wish I could buy this one, but then I’d have to put off the 50 Ford shoebox I’m building!

  2. Tom Bode

    The y-blocks if using a single exhaust had a crossover on the front of the engine.
    This one looks like a dual exhaust with the driver side manifold up to clear the steering box. Often a single was converted to dual using a ram horn manifold from a truck on the right side with a blocking plate on the left side manifold. The ram horns can be bought from Speedway Motors.

  3. Vince Habel

    Removed

  4. 64 bonneville

    The Mercury with the plexiglas roof insert was called a “SunValley”. Those and the Ford with the same roof insert lasted from about 1954 thru 1956. declining sales were attributed to the heat generated by the roof, even though there was a zip in reflective liner that came with it. Large increases in sales of convertibles also helped in its demise. The bidding was ended by the seller due to an error in the listing. Maybe it will come up again, or check the Michigan Craigslists, as often times they will have a dual listing.

  5. Mike R

    Looks cool, and deserves a nice two-tone paint job to complement the metal roof. Lots of parts for the Y block motors at least.

    Looking at the steering wheel wear, that baby has seen some miles…

  6. SoCal Car Guy

    Same platform, inner body structure, roof and doors as a same year Ford Fairlane. Differences were in the quarter panels and bolt-on sheet metal. Mercs, at any model level, had upgraded trim compared to the equivalent Ford. 292 and 312 four-barrel Y-blocks had dual exhausts; those appear to be correct for a 1956

  7. henry

    1956 Mercs. did not offer the Sun Valley plexiglas option. Only the 1954 and 1955 models had this.

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