1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser Survivor Comes Out of the Barn, Showcases Unique Features

Mercury produced a massive amount of cool cars in the 1950s and 1960s, including the Montclair, Monterey, Marquis, and Cougar. But it's the Turnpike Cruiser that stands out for me. Not only because it's a beautiful automobile, but it was also packed with innovative and unique features when it debuted in 1957.
1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser 8 photos
Photo: Nobody's Show/YouTube
1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser
Named to commemorate the creation of the Interstate Highway System, the Turnpike Cruiser arrived in dealerships as the brand's flagship model, slotted above the Montclair. But it wasn't just a fancied-up version of the latter.

The Turnpike showcased a unique exterior with detailing worthy of the Lincoln brand. It had lots of chrome, anodized gold trim on the rear doors and fenders, and a big "M" emblem right above the front bumper. An additional Mercury badge sat right behind the rear window.

On top of that, the Turnpike Cruiser came with a handful of innovative and unique features. As you'll see on the unrestored survivor below, the roof vents are the first that stand out. Mounted at the outer edges of the upper windshield, these vents are fully functional, sending air into the cabin.

But these were actually added to cover a body seam that appeared due to the compound-curve design of the windshield, yet another unique feature. Each vent also housed a radio antenna. And speaking of which, the main antenna on the passenger-side front fenders is slanted toward the rear, not crooked.

But it doesn't stop here, the Turnpike Cruiser came with a retractable rear window, a flat-top steering wheel, and a trip computer. And like most cars from the era, it was available in a variety of two-tone finishes. This one looks quite classy in what appears to be Desert Tan over white.

Granted, it's not the cleanest Turnpike Cruiser out there as far as the exterior goes and the cabin needs a good cleaning, but keep in mind that this four-door sedan is a barn-kept survivor.

The car just came out of storage after many years and it's an all-original classic, down to the numbers-matching, 368-cubic-inch V8 engine (good for 290 horsepower when new). It's one of 16,681 cars built in 1957, but it's safe to say that fewer than 10,000 have survived by 2022.

The Turnpike Cruiser was a two-year wonder, as production ended after 1958 when Mercury built only 6,407 cars. While the 1957 version was limited to the Lincoln Y-block engine, Mercury offered the bigger Ford MEL mill in 1958. There was a 383-cubic-inch (6.3-liter) Marauder with 330 horsepower and a couple of 430-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) options with 360 and 400 horsepower, respectively.

You won't hear the Y-block V8 in this Turnpike Cruiser roar just yet (it needs a bit of work to run again), but it's a cool walkaround of one of the greatest Mercurys out there. Hit the play button below to check it out.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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