MAY 2024: A 1956 MERCURY MONTEREY 4-DOOR SEDAN IS A BLAST FROM THE PAST

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1956 has always belonged to the famous 1956 Chevy because of its timeless popularity as a member in good standing of the legendary Tri-Five (1955-57) Chevy club.

A 1956 Mercury Monterey may not be as familiar to many car guys, but it had a striking design that gets plenty of attention at 21st century car shows.

Jim Sutherland

This ’56 Mercury Monterey caught MyStarCollectorCar’s attention at a car show because we have seen very few of these 68-year-old cars over the past 15 years. Most of them have succumbed to the passage of time and been forgotten by the hobby, so a survivor 1956 Mercury Monterey was a rock star at the show.

Owners Bruce and Carol Smith were able to fill in the blanks about their stylish Merc even though they only purchased it a few years ago. Bruce and Carol operate a farm that occupies much of their time, but MyStarCollectorCar caught them at the right time of year in terms of farm duties.

They believe their ‘56 Mercury is a survivor car that made it through the past 68 years without heavy modifications or serious restorations along the way. The car has a striking color contrast between its greenish blue exterior and red interior, an unusual combination that was apparently available to Mercury buyers upon request in 1956 if the owners wanted to stand out in a crowd.

One thing is certain in 2024: a ’56 Mercury Monterey with a greenish blue exterior and red interior does indeed stand out in a crowd at 21st century car shows.

As mentioned earlier, Mercury was an upscale marque in the Blue Oval family of fine cars, so they typically had more luxury items than a basic Ford model, including a factory clock in the Merc. However, the Smiths’ 1956 Mercury does not have power steering and, according to Bruce, requires some muscle to maneuver the car in parking situations.

The trade-off was the car performed very well at highway speeds and “handles nice”, in Bruce’s words.

Bruce told MyStarCollectorCar their ‘56 Merc can still maintain the high speeds and is more than able to   keep up with modern traffic. The car is equipped with its factory 292 cubic inch V-8 engine and its factory automatic transmission, along with its original single master cylinder drum brake system that provided a solid case for a dual master cylinder upgrade when a brake line burst on the Merc.

The result was predictable: an immediate loss of brakes in all four corners of the Merc and a sudden road misadventure for Bruce when he had to control the car to a safe stop-with no brakes in the mix.

The entire incident reminded Bruce to pay special attention to the old school engineering used in the Merc, including its brakes.

The survivor vibe behind the Merc extends to its windshield because the glass appears to be the same one put on the car at the factory.

The net result is a car from the Elvis era that provided an old school driving experience whenever Bruce and Carol find the time to take it out for a drive, consequently the Smiths will continue to build their own history with their 1956 Mercury.

Jim Sutherland

BY: Jim Sutherland

Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section. 

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