There was a large outdoor car show in our area last Saturday, although I didn’t attend it was a fun day to drive around running errands because old cars were everywhere, including the grocery store parking lot.
It’s a 1964 Mercury, in what looks like the original color of Pink Frost. 64 is pretty much peak Mercury for me, there are just so many great details on these cars.
It’s a Montclair (please excuse the giant finger in the top of the photo). This car was in really nice shape, very straight, good paint and very straight well polished trim. I should know because my 1963 VW does NOT have straight well polished trim..
And it’s a Marauder, even better. That means it’s got an FE big block motor. Probably a 390 cubic inch plant, I’d imagine the odds of it having the optional 427 are very tiny indeed.
Here’s the crucial detail. Most 1963-1964 Mercurys had the reverse canted breezeway rear window (Like this 63 I shot five years ago) but Marauders have a more normal sloped roofline. And look at that raised crease on the break, kind of like a convertible top stretched over a frame. I’d guess this is the same metal stamping that 1964 Ford hardtops used.
This detail is also the one that enabled the Marauder to go NASCAR racing in 1964. One can only imagine the high speed drag and lift characteristics of the breezeway window, the fastback wasn’t called FASTback for nothing. The top Mercury in the 1964 Daytona 500 was Billy Wade in sixth place. Sadly Mercury is best known this year for being what Joe Weatherly was driving when he struck his head on the wall at Riverside and was killed.
Like the rest of the car, the interior is wide and low and spacious. I wonder what our console critic friend Jason thinks of this one? It’s pretty large but I doubt it would crowd his right knee much. Red and white interior goes better with pink frost than you’d think.
Here we are at the back. There’s a few interesting points here.
First of all, Mrs DougD was considerably more pleased with this car than her expression would indicate in the picture. I think there’s some sunny day squint going on with her. Second, look how big our 2013 Focus looks there at the right of the photo. Park a modern car next to this Mercury and it really accentuates how low and wide it is. Third, take in those great details: the fastback roofline, the vestigal fins, the trunk lid, the taillights, and the Birkenstocks.
For me 1964 marks the end of the classic Mercury period, ultimately Mercury did not survive as a marque but there are some great cars to show for it.