Cohort Outtake: 1963 Mercury Meteor Custom Wagon – A Genuine Unicorn

Mike Hayes has found what has to be one of the rarest American-brand station wagons of the sixties. The Mercury Meteor, based heavily on the new mid-sized Fairlane, was only built in 1962 and 1963, but the station wagons didn’t appear until ’63. That makes them a one-year wonder to start with. And then there’s the low production numbers. Very, very low…

A grand total of 8,025 Meteor wagons were ever built. The Custom wagon, as the one Mike found, had the highest production, with 3,636. The Country Cruiser was built a total of 1,485 times, and the base wagon 2.904 times.

Needless to say, the Meteor overall was a bit of a flop, unlike the Fairlane. Why? The Comet, which had been quite successful since 1960, was just too close in size, given its 114″ wheelbase. The Meteor sedan managed to stretch the Fairlane’s 115.5″ wheelbase by an inch at the rear to 116.5″, but the wagon had to use the Fairlane body shell in unadulterated form, so its wheelbase was 115.5″. Of course the Comet wagon also used the Falcon wagon’s 109″ wheelbase shell, but in any case, the Meteor just didn’t click. Here’s our CC on it.

Power for the Meteor started with the Falcon 170 six, and then both the 221 and 260 V8s. I’m guessing this one has one of the latter, given its mag wheels, but nothing is a given.

Mike has been finding stellar CCs on his bike and posting them at the Cohort for years now, but this one ranks up there with the best. Take a good look; you probably won’t be seeing another anytime soon.