Curbside Slantbacks: What’s Up With All These Breezeways?


It always feels like perpetual spring in the Bay Area, so it’s almost always “Convertible Weather”. Within hours it can be miserable, and even 30 Rock reminded us locals to “always carry a light sweater.” What car could be the full equivalent of a “light sweater?” Once upon a time I suspect Bay Area residents found their answer in Mercury Breezeway models.


If there’s ever been a car that the expression “I haven’t seen one of those in forever” didn’t apply to (along with a Falcon or a W123 Mercedes), its the Mercury Breezeways, oddly enough. Maybe because they are so eccentric, with their reverse slant rear windows and patio like trunks. But it’s not like Mercury sold boatloads of them in the mid 1960s.


In the last three weeks I’ve seen three different ones nonchalantly taking in the late winter good weather, none looking too out of place considering their ages, like this plum and pinkish 1964 Park Lane.


Or this Montclair hardtop, just contemplating old age in the shade in San Francisco. There’s no less than three for sale on Craigslist right now, including a garage find 1966 Park Lane that probably has never seen much other than the garage and Hillsdale Mall. Nothing says springtime compromise than a sedan with a rolldown rear window for that carefree, wind at the back of your neck feeling, just in case the fog rolls back in at sunset.


The only way I can calm my suspicions is to ask Bay Area native/Curbside readers like Billy Rockfish if these beguiling beasts were common sights when new. Whatever reason, ’tis the season to crack open your (back) window.