We have touched on the uniquely Canadian Ford model known as the Meteor many times over the years.
The Meteor brand was produced in Canada for Canadian Mercury-Lincoln dealers to provide a slightly upscale Ford answer to GM’s Pontiac.
‘The Meteor name ran continuously as a Canuck brand from 1949 until 1962 when Meteor was also used for two model years under the Mercury Meteor brand name in the American car market.’
Canadian buyers were once again able to purchase a Meteor in 1964 when Ford dropped the name in the American market and the Meteor name lasted until 1976 in Canada after it was re-introduced north of the 49th parallel.
Meteors of any year have faded into history over the years so we at MSCC seized an opportunity to connect with the owner of a 1954 Meteor Niagara parked right beside a 1953 Meteor. Owner Al Hardonk has owned the car for six years and is understandably proud of his ‘54 Meteor because his car is an excellent example of these Canadian-built cars.
Al is only the third owner of the Meteor and he purchased the car from the nephew of the original owner. The nephew bought the car when it only had 5000 miles on its odometer and racked up another 13,000 miles on the car before he sold it to Al.
Al has put another 17,000 miles on the car and that will add up to grand total of only 35,000 miles on the Meteor in 62 years. This car has led a pampered life and retains all of its rust-free good looks, even after six decades. Al describes it as “100% original except for the wheels” and the car backs up his assessment. The car has been garaged its whole life and was protected from the ravages of harsh Canadian winters over all of those years.
The Meteor does have a few cosmetic touches added right at the factory such as its Continental kit, fender skirts and window screen. It also still has original inspection marks from the factory so the Meteor looks like it just left the dealership.
The Meteor has one additional option that really helps at highway speed: overdrive on its three-on-the-tree manual transmission. Al said the overdrive option was expensive in ’54 because it cost 540 dollars to add this feature to the Meteor and that cost was a sizable chunk of its overall sticker price.
It was a good investment for the original owner because the Meteor is able to hold its own on the road and is comfortable at 68 mph (roughly 110 km /h). That is a solid pace in modern traffic and works well with Al’s philosophy when he told MSCC “it has to be driven-it’s a car” .
The ’54 Meteor is an excellent car and has been a flawless performer for Al over the years.
‘He has only one complaint about his stylish Canadian Ford: it takes too long to go to the grocery store in it because he has to allow time to answer a lot of questions about the car every time he parks it.’
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