1956 Mercury Montclair
The vehicle name, Montclair, was introduced in 1955 and applied to Mercury's premium automobile line. Ford historians are at a loss as to where the name originated; the consensus is that it's taken from the upper-class community of Montclair, New Jersey.
The Mercury division of Ford was always offering a more upscale version of the standard offerings, and this car drips mid 1950's style. A nice light two tone, plenty of chrome trimmings and a topped off by a Continental kit on the rear bumper, you would fit right in at any country club, and arrive in total comfort and safely as several safety features were introduced with this car. Read on Trooper Grazer.
With a total blast from the past we grab our poodle skirts and straighten our thin ties and we shake hands with this example on consignment. Bathed in classic white from the belt line to the mid door lightning bolt style swoop spear all in beautiful condition. Upper roof and door sills as well as straight steel below the spear trim we see Saffron Yellow. This is bordered by a rocker trim which rises to nearly meet the upper lightning bolt in the area of a faux vent. A smooth roofline takes a sharp curve downward and is loaded with chrome trim on all the borders. A nifty wrap around windshield shows the beginnings of the bubble front and is filled in with tinted glass. Up front a jet age hood ornament is framed by single headlights that have arched metal on top and give us shades of the Bat Mobile. A large toothy grille has signal lights that are wrapped in a mass of chrome and lower curved fangs on either side. Snazzy exterior mirrors double as spotlights. On the back we see the Continental bumper complete with metal two tone and chrome wrapped spare tire cover. Not to be outdone by this pedestrian flip down license plate gas tank cover, one pulls the unlock lever and tire cover magically moves to the side to reveal it and the trunk release. Now that's cool man, and so are those lantern style taillights.
A swing of the doors and we become one with a black and white world. Door panels show power windows and more of the lightning bolt styling. Slipping inside on the black insert vinyl and white bolster split bench, I put my right arm across the top and entice my squeeze to move over we are going for a cruise…and probably a park somewhere too. The front bench has a power adjustment. A matching rear bench is in back. One of the safety features is seen on the steering wheel that has a deep center to afford a bit more protection in case of a frontal crash. Three tiers of instrument cluster reside within the fan like dash front right behind the wheel. Air conditioning and power steering are boldly announced and the central radio works with a fiddle of the volume knob. A padded dash is another safety feature although compared to a modern-day dash this is truly in its developmental infancy. A large glovebox fronts the passenger side on the dash and has Montclair badging written in your grandmother's handwriting in chrome. A tight black headliner complete with A/C vents within it which are fed through 2 plastic styled tubes on either B pillar…the A/C unit is actually in the trunk!
Underneath the hood we see a 312ci V8 with a gold painted intake and a Holley 4-barrel carburetor under the big blue air cleaner. A 3-speed automatic transmission is on the back of this engine. All clean and rear under here dudes.
Some road splatter and nice patina show underneath. The frame is rust free and sturdy as are the floorpans which look like new. Rockers are nice and sturdy, and a dual glass pack exhaust system snakes its way rearward and exits just below the bumper.
Having a love for these big 1950's cars I took the wheel and fired this car up. It has a wonderful exhaust sound thanks to those glass packs. It shifted beautifully and is an awesome cruiser. The A/C blows cold, and all the multiple fan controls work properly. Vacuum windshield wipers are disappointing, but you probably wouldn't plan to take this car out in the rain anyway. Noted the speedometer needle is missing its top indicator portion.
A beautiful car made for upper class suburbia, all working conveniences, nice power, and a great ride. Gotta love this dual purpose mirrors/spotlights, and the interesting tilt away spare cover to access the gas and trunk. Let's go to the hop!
SL-St Louis, MO Assy Plant
57586-Sequential Unit Number