FEBRUARY 2017: THE CANADIAN FORD COUSIN: A 1960 MERCURY TRUCK

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A Mercury pickup truck may seem like an unlikely concept but these vehicles actually existed for many years in Canada.

 

‘They were sold by Lincoln Mercury dealers and were a counterpart to the Ford truck in the Canadian market.’

 

Ford trucks were also sold in Canada during the Mercury pickup era.

 

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In fact, there were more Ford than Mercury trucks sold during the Merc’s production run and maybe the lower production numbers have made the Mercurys a big ticket item in the vintage ride hobby.

 

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A 1960 Mercury truck caught our eye at a show and we were able to track down owner Clarke Haase. He bought the truck about three years ago when its original owner auctioned off his vintage vehicle collection.

 

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The original owner sold it to a guy who worked the Merc hard and “beat it up pretty good”, according to Clarke. Most trucks from a bygone era were subjected to serious abuse because they were built for one purpose: hard work.

 

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The original owner tracked down the Mercury and re-purchased it from the second owner. The truck’s bed was destroyed by years of heavy hauling that included large loads of coal.

 

The original owner’s son was a licensed body man and was able to restore the truck back to its original condition with a massive amount of work on the Mercury.

 

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The truck’s original owner had a few health issues and decided to sell his collection, including the 1960 Mercury. Clarke had always liked the truck and attempted to buy it before the auction, but the price was too high for him.

 

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Clarke decided to attend the auction and bid on the truck. He was able to shave his purchase price by a considerable margin and become the new owner of the ’60 Mercury truck.

 

Clarke is a mechanic and he found a few issues on the truck that required immediate attention. The major safety issue was the brakes because they needed a complete overhaul to make the Merc driveable on the road.

 

The transmission had a major leak and the slave cylinder on the hydraulic clutch also needed a repair.

 

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The truck has a period-correct 292 Y-block V-8 that “runs like a top” in Clarke’s words. The engine is hooked up to a 4-speed “stump-puller” manual transmission with a first gear that is good for “low speeds in a parade”, according to Clarke.

 

Clarke has considered a better gear ratio for his truck because it has to work pretty hard at highway speeds. He has already added power steering into the mix to make the truck easier to drive and Clarke is very happy with the results.

 

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The Mercury gets plenty of attention whenever Clarke takes it out on the road. One guy was so taken with the truck he pushed Clarke hard on a selling price so he phoned the would-be buyer the next day and gave him a very high purchase price.

 

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‘He never heard from the guy again and that was more than fine with Clarke. His 1960Mercury Canuck-truck is not for sale.’

 

Jim Sutherland

 

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