Mercury was hitting on all eight cylinders in the mid-50s thanks to cars like this gorgeous 1956 Mercury Monterey hardtop. Wearing Mercury's trademark yellow over black paint scheme and packing a rumbling Y-block V8, it's a fantastic heavy cruiser for the guy that thinks Fords are just too ordinary. Add in a few upgrades and it becomes a favorite car for cruise nights and long-distance runs where comfort matters.
Mercury's styling was a bit more extroverted than Ford's, and the longer chassis allowed designers to create bodies that were a bit more upscale-looking. The '56 models were slightly revised from 1955, adding those peaked headlights and the wide chrome grille and bumper assembly that make this car easy to recognize even from a distance. The Saffron Yellow over Tuxedo Black combination is dramatic and incredibly appealing, showcasing the Merc's long lines and beautiful side trim. There's plenty of chrome and stainless, don't worry about that, and the sweeping strip of stainless that stretches from the headlights to the door, where there's a neat little intake grille, makes the paint job look especially dramatic. It's an older paint job with some use on it, so it's not perfect, but as it glides by, nobody is going to miss seeing this big coupe. It's just gorgeous. Most of the chrome and stainless trim is original, so it's showing some age and could use some work, but even as it sits, this car makes one heck of a statement.
The matching yellow and black interior was recently restored and looks pretty much as it would have in 1956. Vertical pleats on the seat, fantastic door panels that seem to echo the outside trim, and an arching instrument panel all make the Mercury feel very unique when you're behind the wheel. New black carpets help with the luxurious atmosphere and it's quite possible that the dash is wearing original paint, so you know the color combination is legit. The big steering wheel has a leather wrap that feels substantial and helps muscle the big coupe around corners and the arching instrument panel puts all the gauges right in front of the driver. The original AM radio and clock are not working, which isn't really a surprise, but those things are easy and inexpensive to upgrade to make this a first-rate cruiser. The trunk is finished with black carpet mats, so it has a clean look that seems right in an upmarket Merc.
Ford continually upgraded the Y-block V8 and by 1956, the Mercury version was displacing 312 cubic inches and making 225 horsepower. It feels muscular and torquey on the road and moves the big coupe with relative ease. Recently rebuilt, it still looks pretty original under the hood, which doesn't get in the way of the smooth idle or rumbling exhaust. A weekend spent cleaning things up would pay big dividends if that's what you prefer. Chrome valve covers dress it up a bit and that giant air cleaner is original equipment. It's nicely sorted and runs great, working well with the Merc-O-Matic automatic transmission to make motoring around town effortless. Manual steering lightens up nicely at speed and the suspension has that big car ride that makes cars like this a joy to drive. The dual exhaust system features Flowmaster mufflers, so it's a bit racier than stock but the sound will ensure nobody complains. Flashy chrome wheels somehow look right on the vintage Merc and they carry right-sized wide whitewall radials for some '50s flair.
A great entry-level cruiser that isn't the same thing everybody else owns. Big car comfort, Ford reliability, and a fantastic color combination make this Monterey a smart choice for anyone looking to have fun in an old car. Call today!