Last year we spotted an original 1965 Mercury Montclair four-door sedan at a show.
The Merc was a true survivor car and had survived the last 49 years very well, so we knew there was a story.
We kept an eye on the car and circled back to it in an effort to track down its owner.
The car had spent its entire life in the local community and we wanted to know how it managed to keep its good looks after all those decades.
Lady Luck was not on our side because we noticed the car as it left the show while we were on the other side of the show. We never did connect with the owner and hoped we would cross paths with the car owner in the future.
The future was one year later at the same show and we were fortunate enough to find the owner of the Merc survivor. His name was Don Dumkee and he was actually the third registered owner of the car.
Don was a colorful guy and explained the history of the car to us. It was originally purchased by a local school teacher who used it sparingly before she gave it to her daughter.
Her daughter was not a big fan of the Mercury and parked it for about 17 years until she gave the car to her own daughter. The young woman used it for a short period of time before she sold it to a local guy.
The local guy was not interested in the car– beyond a quick sale- and he sold it to Don. Thus Don became the third registered owner of the Mercury about a year and a half ago.
The car only has 69,000 miles and even has its original windshield after all these years.
One of the pleasant surprises for Don was its breezeway rear window because he had forgotten about this feature on the Mercury cars of the era.
Don called the roll-down rear window in his ’65 Mercury the “cheapest, most efficient air conditioning available when you put the back window down about a third of the way because it provides great air movement in the car”.
Don really enjoys the ride comfort in the car and said it “rides wonderfully” down the road at a steady 65 mph. The Mercury has its original 352 engine and can actually run at any pace on the road.
Don chooses a leisurely pace because these days he is not in a hurry and really enjoys his retirement years after a long career in the oil patch.
We always ask the owners why they chose the vehicle and wait for an answer as the foundation for our stories. Don told us he “couldn’t afford anything else“, but we noticed he came equipped with a pretty good sense of humor.
Actually Don owns the car for the right reasons: he respects the history of the car and he wants to preserve its legacy as a true survivor that fought long odds to make it to 2014.
Congratulations Don, you are the right car guy at the right time for this Merc survivor.