CC Outtake: 1963 Mercury Monterey – Red is the Color of Love’s Unheeded Call

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This is precisely the kind of unloved old car that calls to me, and precisely the kind of unloved old car I know I have to stay away from.

Do they call to you too? I was dropping young Miss D off at ballet this afternoon and found myself swinging by the other side of town to see if it was still there. It was, this 63 Mercury Monterey squatting forlornly in the garage front yard under gently falling snow.

For a 50 year old Ontario car it doesn’t look that bad. With bright red paint and genuine Cragar S/S five spoke chrome rims (with genuine imitation 3 spoke knock off lugs) it was obviously someone’s pride and joy at some point.

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The backward canted breezeway window is worth mention, as is the amount of horizontal space between the chrome strip at the top of the door and the boxy greenhouse springing out of the flat upper surface. Never noticed that feature until Paul pointed it out in a Lincoln post.

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The front end is a bit of a letdown. As Laurence Jones previously mentioned this is all very generic. Label this “Typical Early 1960’s American Sedan”.  I prefer the grille on the 1964 version of these cars.

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This interior still looks good in my bad shot, but this Mercury has seen better days; it’s showing a little rust, the red paint is just starting to go and the rear suspension is obviously shot. It’s probably a massive project in more ways than one.

Why do these cars call to me? I always wonder how they got here, how a flashy new Merc someone bought in 1963 became a spruced up cruiser in the 1980s, but then how did it wind up in front of an auto repair shop with FOR SALE written on the window in shoe polish?

Mercury 1963 Monterey ad

Cars like this call to me because I think they should be saved, and because I know I COULD do it I feel some sort of guilt that I SHOULD. After all, who else is going to take on a ’63 Mercury project? Nobody apparently, this car has sat for a year with $4200 scrawled on the windshield. But, I have neither the time, the space, nor the spousal goodwill to take on every project car that calls to me. All I need to do to have my own running old car is install the gas tank and steering column in my 63 VW, and it calls to me too from my own garage.

The green Mustang behind the Mercury belongs to a friend. It’s a goner, apparently his teenage son ran it low on oil and it’s not worth fixing. While he was there he overheard the mechanic mention that the Mercury may be off to the scrap yard soon as well.

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If you hear the call of unloved old cars too, now might be a good time to give ol’ Bert an offer.


Related Reading:

CC 1963 Mercury Breezeway: The Cure For The Heatwave