There are many reasons why people buy old iron and the smart money isn’t on investment strategies.
The most basic reason can be summed up in the word nostalgia because old car remind owners of their youth.
This 1956 Mercury Montclair convertible is a textbook example of this philosophy.
Bob explained the personal history that aimed him at this Mercury Montcalm convertible: “When I was 20 I had a black one just like this but when I was 21 my wife told me I had to buy a wagon”.
Most car guys mourn the old ride that got away but very few are lucky enough to find another one just like it because the odds are the same as a UFO abduction—slim and ultimately unproveable.
This story had a more realistic ending because Bob used a combination of luck and perseverance in his search to find his ‘56 Mercury as he explained: “I was lucky. My kid actually found it in an ad back in 1994.This is a 312 engine car with power steering, power brakes and power seats too and I had to have it so I couldn’t dicker him down”.
The history of the car was well-documented:“It was owned by a guy who owned a body shop back east and he did it for his wife but she died of cancer. It had something like 400 miles after it was done”.
These cars are incredibly rare in 2014 but Bob knows he’s part of a unique fraternity, “I’m gradually finding out where they all are but some don’t even want to show them”. That’s understandable because Bob was inundated with questions about his ‘56 Merc convertible during his time at a car show.
Bob’s car is a study in 50s era custom touches because it displays all the add-ons that make these cars so period correct as he explained, “It’s got the add-on continental kit”, but there are other features that define this car as his ride. He pointed out: “It’s got a beautiful stainless steel exhaust system so now it’s got a beautiful rumble because they gotta have a little sound. I added exhaust tips too”.
The real story behind any ride is what it’s like on the road and Bob didn’t hesitate to explain his Merc’s road manners, “It’s good to drive now because it’s got radials on it now”.
He doesn’t travel solo because he has a co-pilot on every run who rides shot gun, “My dog travels with me so him and me go everywhere in the car”.
There are some real world issues with any car that’s stock and nearly 50 years old and this old Mercury is no exception as Bob explained: “This one will overheat everywhere you go if you’re stuck in traffic. When we drove these cars years ago we were never stuck in traffic so we never overheated”.
Thomas Wolfe wrote a book titled ‘You Can’t Go Home Again’ but he never bought a ’56 Mercury convertible to replace one from his past. Had he done that, Wolfe would have known he was wrong.
You can go home again if you drive a classic.
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