Cars at a bank drive-up window don’t generally catch my attention, but this one rather screamed at me. What a color. And check out that band of body color just above the rear window; never really noticed that before. Yes, this 1956 Mercury has been the recipient of some love and attention, as well as a few custom touches, like the lakes pipes.
This ’56 Monterey Phaeton Hardtop Sedan was Mercury’s mid-range offering, and sported a 312 CID version of the Y-block, with 225 hp for the version that came with the automatic transmission. A 235 hp version was also available. Jim Cavananaugh’s detailed CC of the “Big M” ’56 Mercury is here.
Damn that is one sharp and swell looking Mercury! Love the shade of Orange.
hi.is this merc. for sale?im looking for a nice older 4-door with a/t,and p/s.
Very pretty car ! .
I don’t much care for the chrome wheels but all in all…
I used to have a ’57 Ford Ranchero with the 312 Y Block and a dual point Mallory Dizzy , 4 BBL carby ~ it scooted right along lemme tell you .
One of the stylists rolled up to the front of the clay model and started playing the top of the grille like a piano. Except for the tail lights one of the better looking cars for ’56.
+ 1 Agreed, the taillights of the 1955-56 Mercury was not its best feature.
I didn’t think I cared for 50s Mercuries (For example, I agreed with Paul’s parody/assessment of this ’57 model I submitted to the cohort: https://www.curbsideclassic.com/blog/what-if-1957-mercury-montclair-can-you-imagine-this-being-for-real/).
But this ’56 model is one sharp looking car, especially with the Dreamsicle paint job.
Wow! The color makes the styling work, helped by the mild custom touches. Fabulous car.
Another reminder of what a panicked rush both Ford and Chrysler were in to bring out a 4 door hardtop, as each of them rushed one out for the very last model year of their respective bodies. I always admired Ford’s uniquely simple solution for making the rear door windows small enough to roll all the way down – just stick a big ol’ chrome hunk at the back of the door to fill the space. They kept playing that tune through 1964 (when they finally integrated the filler into the door metal).
The 56 Merc was always a curious combination of conservative and outlandish. Count me as another fan of the Creamsickle orange.
“…just stick a big ol’ chrome hunk at the back of the door to fill the space.”
You must admit it sure beats today’s black plastic triangles!
I always thought the Mercury Phaeton hardtop was one of the better looking, rushed 4-door hardtops. Unique with Mercury is that a buyer could get the Phaeton in each series – from the top Montclair, to the mid-line Monterey, and extending down to the bottom line Medalist.
Wow, that’s a fine-looking Mercury! And I personally like the smoothies and wide whites look. Nice find.
Yep 100% style
and zero % marketing
makes the best cars.
Cars designed by men, not screwed by accountants or marketing people.
“There, I’ve built it. NOW it’s your job to sell it.”
Devine car, somewhat more restrained with the jewelry, that was to come about in a few years. Has Googie type architecture, with sweeping lines and angles-(mid century Googie designs are like Bob’s Big Boy buildings.) The fuselage is pure art.
Owner showed good restrained taste with the wheels, color, and side pipes. Makes late 50′s car look clownish. Would she have been initially powered by a Ford, or by a Lincoln Y-block? Yea baby, Hot Rod Lincoln!
The Lincoln Y block was Lincoln-only. The Big M got the “big” Ford 312.
Simply a wonderful car here. The Zorro side trim on these Mercurys long seemed a but harsh to me, sort of the same reaction I give the current Honda Odyssey. But, the statute of limitations has run out on this Mercury, and I fully embrace it.
I absolutely love the first gen four door hardtops from all the manufacturers. They did surprisingly nice jobs considering the afterthought genesis of many of them.
After some checking, I found that ’56 Mercury four door hardtop sold better than I’d have thought. About 50,000 copies over the four trim lines.
It’s actually not that surprising that they were sold over all trim lines. Buick introduced its four door hardtop on its two lower trim lines in ’56, and added the two senior cars in ’57. A small win for Mercury when it’s mid price competitor was at the top of its game.
The only Buick “post” sedans offered in 1957 were the 4 dr Estate Wagon, the 4 dr Special Sedan, and the 2 dr Special Sedan. Otherwise, all 1957 Centurys, Supers, Roadmasters and Limiteds were hardtops, except for the convertibles.
Resulting in the most memorable Caballero hardtop wagons, among other things!
I like this a lot,thanks for another car I’ve never seen in the metal
My dad owned one from 1957-60. First of our cars I remember. 2-door Montclair hardtop…two-tone white and green.
One of the “best” features of this model Mercury is not visible in these photos. I’m talking about the speedometer/gauges layout; these instruments are presented in a vee shape with dark lettering on sort of an ivory face. The clock and radio were also dark on ivory but were more rectangular/square. IMHO one of the things that was better about cars of this era was that they had distinctive, and in many cases, out of the ordinary dashboard designs. Every car today seems to have the big round speedo and tach, with the other gauges fitted in wherever. Today’s cars are undoubtedly safer and more efficient but man do they all look alike.
I was really bummed when my dad, after having had new ’54 and ’55 Mercurys, bought a ’56 Olds 88 2 dr sedan. But I got over it. One of the features of the Olds’ dash, not apparent in the attached rendering, were two very discrete, quarter inch by eighth inch green lamps “hidden” amongst the vertical chrome bars flanking the radio. Their purpose? To let you know where the ashtrays were located at night. Trippy!
Thanks for taking me back Kevin. I thought I remembered most of the interesting details of my dad’s 1960 Super 88 Convert’s dash; (the best being the illuminated shadow box on the passenger side that matched the speedometer pod); but I had forgotten the tiny emerald green illuminated ash tray indicators. Yes, they still had them in 1960 at least. Our dash was an evolved version of the one you posted; including the blue “padded” (softer than steel at least) top. At least I’m guessing if the car had ash tray indicators, it also had the padded dash.
Here’s a pic I found online. Boy, does it remind me of two of my three 1955 Mercurys which both had that color interior.
Love the color, not the car so much, but an excellently preserved example.
Wasn’t that shade of orange what GM called “Hugger Orange”?
That is a pretty car and the thing I like about it is that it looks so much like a coupe due to how well the rear doors seem to blend into the body due to the trim. Driving something like that home from work is a good cure for a bad day at work.
Looks more salmon to me, but it’s entirely possible my monitor doesn’t display accurate color as I’ve never calibrated it.
It looks like Mercury called it “Persimmon”, it was not as bright as Chevy’s Hugger Orange from the late 60s. This color reminds me a bit of the orange found on some new Toyotas. Mercury featured the color prominently in brochures and advertising that year.
I like that color combination – but I would like it better on a ’57 Mercury.
I really like how this car comes together. The best part is that at first, you cant tell its a 4-door. The rear fenders/doors sculpting really draws the attention away from the rear door handles, giving the illusion of a 2-door hardtop. Nice ride!
I was hitchhiking in 1961 and two girls in a similar Mercury picked me up. The driver ran it up to an indicated 110 miles an hour. It was a shaky ride and I literally begged her to slow down. I am still here, I don’t know about them.
Great looking ride. I also love that you can’t tell it’s a 4-door from most angles.