Car Show Classic: 1956 Monarch Richelieu – Canadian Royalty

1956 Monarch Richelieu

(first posted 3/9/2016)     The Meteors are probably Ford of Canada’s most well known product but there are a couple more Canadian Ford marques including Monarch. The smaller Mercury 114 (and later the Meteor line) gave Mercury an entry level line at Ford prices in addition to the middle of the market Mercury models. This left Ford dealers at a disadvantage as they only carried the low priced line so in 1946 the Monarch line was introduced. This allowed Ford dealers to sell a mid market Mercury style car.

1948 Monarch

Based on the bigger 118″ wheelbase Mercury the early Monarchs used unique trim but looked more Ford like. The entire dashboard was even sourced from the smaller Ford model. A 239cid 97hpMercury flat head V8 completed the package. This particular one is a 1948 survivor.


Emulating the looks a cheaper car likely has never been a wise strategy so by 1956 the Monarch was still using the Mercury chassis and body shell but looked a lot less Ford like in trim and distinctly more Mercury like. Additionally the dashboard changed over to the Mercury rather than Ford one starting in 1949. By 1956 the Monarch was almost identical to a Mercury with mostly only trim to differentiate it.

1956 Monarch Richelieu interior

This Monarch is powered by a 225hp 312cid Y-block Mercury V8. Amazingly this car has never been restored and is in extremely well preserved condition.

1956 Monarch Richelieu (3)

A good thing as I bet a lot of the unique trim would be a major challenge to track down. This V-shaped trim is mounted to the hood. Starting in 1949 Monarch adopted this lion logo.

1956 Monarch Richelieu (9)

The 1956 line up included the Lucerne, Sceptre and Richelieu models. The Richelieu was the top of line model for 1956 so that means lots and lots of chrome trim. Only a hard top model would have ranked higher than our featured car.

1956 Monarch Richelieu (11)

The Monarch lion motif on the truck with a continuation of the V-shape theme.

1956 Monarch Ad

All Monarchs were built by Ford of Canada in their Oakville, Ontario plant.

1956 Monarch Ad (2)

The distinctive front end styling featured chrome bullets unusually centered in the grill. Perhaps it was an attempt to channel a bit of the same year Thunderbird.


1956 Monarch Richelieu (12)

This particular car was sold at Maclin Motors Ltd in Calgary, Alberta. Maclin Motors is still in business and has been for a hundred years although they are now known as Maclin Ford. This car spent most of its sheltered life in the mountain area of Crowsnest Pass in southern Alberta.

1956 Monarch Richelieu rear

It is fantastic that such an interesting and original Canadian car is still in existence. The two tone paint with the white roof is a particularly sharp looking color (or colour since we are talking Canadian cars) scheme.