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1954 Mercury Monterey news, pictures, specifications, and information

Chassis Num: 54LA30590M
 
Sold for $35,750 at 2007 RM Auctions.
The Mercury marque was introduced by Ford in 1939 and aimed at the upscale market. The Monterey models were introduced in 1950 and were the most expensive and luxurious vehicle in Mercury's lineup. A few years later, in 1953, Mercury moved the six-passenger wagon into the Monterey lineup. There was a third seat which made it able to accommodate up to eight-passengers.

1954 was a big year for Mercury, with the introduction of the V8 flathead engine which served as a replacement for the overhead-valve 'Y-Block' V8. Ford had originally introduced the flathead in 1932 with Mercury's benefiting from years of design, use, testing, and experimentation. It was larger with over 160 horsepower and 238 foot-pounds of torque. Another important feature on the Mercury cars for 1954 was a ball joint suspension in the front, allowing for sharper handling and a better ride.

This 1954 Mercury Monterey Woodie Wagon has spent its entire life in California. In its present owner's care, the car has been used as a daily driver. It has been fitted with a sound system that cost $2,500 when new. It has a custom made longboard that measures over 11 feet. The board was built by noted surfboard builder Hank Byzak in matching colors to the car.

This car was featured in the 'So Cal Woodies 2007' and was brought to the Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction presented by RM Auctions, where it had an estimated value of $40,000 - $50,000. It was offered without reserve and sold for a high bid of $35,750 including buyer's premium.

By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2008
HardTop Coupe
Chassis Num: 167M
 
Sold for $19,250 at 2008 RM Auctions.
For 1954, the Monterey's were given new wraparound taillights, and a freshened grill with larger 'bullet' bumper guards. Mercury and Lincoln shared many of the same design elements, but the Mercury's wheelbase was five-inches shorter and had a shorter overhang. The body shell of the Mercury's was directly from Ford, with the three-inch longer wheelbase reflected in the hood and front fenders.

1954 also brought the new 'Y' block overhead valve engine that would be with the company for many years to come.

This 1954 Mercury Monterey Hardtop Coupe has been restored over the years as needed. It is finished in pale yellow with a black roof and two-tone red and black leather interior. Its V8 engine is coupled to a Merc-O-Matic automatic transmission. The car is equipped with wide whitewalls, full wheel covers, dual exhaust, radio, and heater.

In 2008 this car was brought to RM Auctions 'Vintage Motor Cars of Meadow Brook' where it was estimated to sell for $75,000-$100,000. Though bidding did not reach those estimates, it was high enough to satisfy the vehicles reserve and the lot was sold. A high bid of $48,500, including buyer's premium, was enough to secure new ownership.

By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2009
HardTop Coupe
 
From 1950 thru 1954, many automobile manufacturers and enthusiasts raced in the La Carrera Panamericana race - the Mexican Road Race. This brutal, grueling race was a race over many miles of open roads that challenged both driver and vehicle. In 1988, a scaled down version of the race was revived.

This car was built to race in the Turismo Mayor class for the pre-1955 American sedans with original bodywork and OHV V-8 engines, beginning with the 1989 race. The engine, which was originally a 351, was fitted with a 302 and given several modifications.

The car was raced during several years with the owner, Dr. Peter Frank, finally emerging victorious in the 1992 event. The car is currently on display at the National Automotive and Truck Museum of the United States located in Auburn, Indiana.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2009
In 1954, Mercury introduced a new and advanced Y-block overhead-valve V8 engine, replacing the venerable flathead V8. It had a more standard four-barrel carburetor and a robust 161 horsepower.

This Hardtop Coupe wears an older, high quality restoration. The exterior paint shows minor indications of wear and patina since its restoration. It is painted in pale yellow with a black roof and a two-tone red and black leather interior. There is a Merc-O-Matic automatic transmissions and other notable features such as rear fender skirts, a radio, heater, wide whitewall tires, full wheel covers and a dual exhaust system.

In 2009, this Mercury Monterey was brought to RM Auctions 'Vintage Motor Cars of Meadow Brook' where it was estimated to sell for $20,000-$30,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the lot had been sold for the sum of $12,100, including buyer's premium.

By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2009
HardTop Coupe
 
The 1954 Mercury Monterey series included five different body styles, including this two-door hardtop coupe, which was the best-selling Mercury for that model year.

The Monterey was powered by an overhead valve V-8 motor that developed 162 horsepower. A three-speed manual was standard but overdrive and a Merc-O-Matic automatic transmission were optional.
An automobile marque of the Ford Motor Company, Mercury was founded in 1939 with the purpose to market entry-level-luxury vehicles that were slotted in between Ford-branded regular models and Lincoln-branded luxury vehicles. All Mercury models are today based on Ford platforms. The Mercury name is derived from ‘messenger of the gods' of Roman mythology. In the beginning years, Mercury was known for performance.

The 1950 full-size near-luxury car Mercury Monterey represented a choice that the Ford Motor Company had to make. At the time General Motors and the Chrysler Corporation were producing a plethora of ‘hardtop convertibles' and Ford realized that it couldn't convert its year-old bodies into hardtop models at a reasonable cost. Determined not to stand idly by as GM and Chrysler attempted to dominate the car market with its attractive new pillarless coupes.

Ford decided that the only solution was to customize existing two-door bodies into a new line of specialty models. These included the Ford Crestliner, Lincoln Capri and Lido, and the Mercury Monterey.

All of these vehicles were developed from the same formula with grained top coverings that were harmonized with a very limited number of pain colors. Color-coordinated interiors also matched the external theme, while special trim and badging were used both inside and out.

Responsible for the Mercury Monterey's special touches, William Schmidt took over the design work. A choice of either canvas or vinyl roof coverings were offered on the all new custom coupe, along with either fabric-and-leather or all-leather seats. A deluxe steering wheel was showcased, and bright trim edged the windows on the inside.

The base price of a 1950 Mercury Monterey was $2,146. Mercury's flagship sedan from 1950 through 1974, the classic ‘Monterey' was considered to be '4,000 lbs. of Pure Decadence.' Still coveted even today, the sleek lines of those earlier models makes the Monterey a popular collectable classic.

Featuring the same chassis and running gear used on all other Mercurys, the Monterey featured a 118-inch wheelbase that ran between coil-and-wishbone suspension up front and leaf springs under a live axle in the rear. Achieving 110 bhp, the Monterey received its power from an L-head V-8 that displaced 255.4 cubic inches.

In early 1951, Ford decided to replace the Crestliner with the first hardtop, regardless of the cost. For 1952 Mercury and Lincoln came out with all-new bodies that were designed to include hardtops.

The Monterey name continued on, but on a premium series of Mercury's in three body styles. The Monterey later shared the same body style with the slightly more upscale Marquis, the Montclair, and the Park Lane. After the 1968 model year, the Montclair and Park were eliminated from the lineup. The Marquis-Monterey body eventually shared the same body as the Ford Galaxie, the Ford Custom and the Ford LTD.


From 1961 through 1963, the Mercury Monterey was sold in Canada as the Mercury Meteor. Available in three trim lines, the Meteor was sold as the LeMoyne, the Montcalm and Rideau. After the United States Monterey was retired, Canadian Meteors were still marketed from 1964 until 1976. They were re-badged Marquis models following the deletion of the U.S. model Monterey in 1974.

The Monterey nameplate was resurrected in 2004 for a minivan, though it was essentially a re-badged Ford Freestar with more features and newly modified cosmetic features. The Monterey comes with a high level of equipments and several styling cues from Mercury. These minivans were made to fill the gab in Mercury's vehicle lineup following the discontinuation of the Mercury Villager. Offered in only one trim level, for 2006 Mercury Monterey was offered in the fully-loaded Luxury edition.

The Luxury edition was featured in front-wheel drive, and is powered by a 4.2 liter V6 engine that was matched with four-speed automatic transmission and anti-lock braking system. The inside of the Monterey featured amazing standard features such as cloth upholstery, dual-zone air conditioning, first and second row captain's chairs, power sliding doors, tilting steering wheel and much more.

The all new Monterey also came with a great safety warranty. Standard occupant-sensing front passenger airbag, heated power-adjustable side mirrors that featured built-in warning/turn signals, perimeter anti-theft system, and Safety Canopy curtain and side-impact air bags. Optional features were Traction Control and Advancetrac electronic stability control.

By Jessica Donaldson
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