1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser Information
|President Eisenhower signed into law the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act on June 29th of 1956. This piece of legislation appropriated $25 billion for the construction of 41,000 miles of freeways throughout America. This new highway system inspired Mercury to create a concept car for 1956 called the XM Turnpike Cruiser, which soon led to a similar production car that appeared in the brand's all-new 1957 model line.|
The production Mercury Turnpike Cruiser was powered by a new 368 cubic-inch V8 engine that offered 290 horsepower. It came as a two-door or four-door hardtop. The bodystyle had design cues from the jet age, including the first compound-curve windscreen, streamlined and angular tailfins that were referred to as 'projectiles,' and 'Breezaway Ventilation,' a cabin cooling innovation in which air passed through intakes at the front of the roofline and out of a rear opening left by a retractable rear glass piece, canopied by an extended roof overhang.
Inside, there was a flat-topped elliptical steering wheel, an instrument panel dubbed the 'Monitor Control Panel' featuring an unusual speed-averaging computer clock.
Production of the Mercury Turnpike Cruiser would last for only two years, as consumers began to take greater interest in smaller, more compact vehicles being offered by other marques.
This example was assembled in Mercury's Los Angeles factory during the first year of the models production. It is believed that the car spent most of its life in Southern California. The current owner purchased the car in February 2006 from Jerry Olmsted of Escondido, California. A short time later, a professional rotisserie restoration was begun, including a complete rebuild of the engine and front end, as well as the installation of new brakes, wheel cylinders, rubber lines and weather stripping. All chrome was replated and period-correct interior panels and carpets were fitted.
This car is fitted with options such as air conditioning and the electrically operated seat function originally known as 'Seat-O-Matic.'
In 2010, this Mercury Turnpike Cruiser was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company Auction held in Amelia Island, Florida. The car was expected to sell for $60,000 - $80,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $39,600, inclusive of buyer's premium.