autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

1963 Mercury Monterey Is a Rare Survivor With a Cool Feature, Also Pretty in Pink

When we talk about classic cars made in the 1960s, we usually think about muscle cars. Because that's when the high-performance car market exploded in the U.S. But automakers were still busy making full-size vehicles and it didn't take long until Detroit-made land yachts started using beefed-up engines.
1963 Mercury Monterey 16 photos
1963 Mercury Monterey1963 Mercury Monterey1963 Mercury Monterey1963 Mercury Monterey1963 Mercury Monterey1963 Mercury Monterey1963 Mercury Monterey1963 Mercury Monterey1963 Mercury Monterey1963 Mercury Monterey1963 Mercury Monterey1963 Mercury Monterey1963 Mercury Monterey1963 Mercury Monterey1963 Mercury Monterey
Yup, I'm talking about legends like the Chevrolet Impala, Pontiac Catalina, and Ford Galaxie, nameplates that spawned special-order vehicles that went on to win drag races and NASCAR events. But these cars also eclipsed other cool full-size rigs from the era. The Mercury Monterey is one of them.

Originally introduced in 1952 as the brand's flagship full-size, the Monterey was relegated to mid-range status in 1955. In 1961, the nameplate was once again demoted, becoming the company's entry-level full-size. But even so, it was a notably more upscale version of the Ford Galaxie, one that was sold, for a couple of years, with an optional 406-cubic-inch (6.7-liter) V8 good for a whopping 405 horsepower.

The 1963 Monterey you see here is not one of those cars, but it has quite a few cool features to brag about. For starters, it's finished in Frost Pink and Castilian Gold Poly, a rare two-tone combination that you won't see on many Montereys from the era. What's more, this two-door hardtop still sports its original paint.

Yes, it has quite a few chips and scratches and shows a bit of surface rust too, but it's in fantastic condition for a car that left the assembly line almost 60 years ago. Making things even better, it's equipped with one of the coolest features ever offered on American automobiles in the 1960s.

I'm talking about the retractable rear window, which can be lowered into the body to enhance air circulation into the cabin. Sure, it might seem like a crude alternative to air conditioning in 2022, but it was quite the gadget in 1963.

The system wasn't entirely new, though. Mercury first introduced it in 1957 on the Turnpike Cruiser, while Lincoln adopted it for the Continental from 1958 to 1960. The feature returned for the 1963 model year as "Breezeway," still using the reverse-slant rear window design. Yeah, I'm one of those weirdos that like them.

Rounding off this 1963 Monterey is a 390-cubic-inch (6.4-liter) V8 engine of the FE variety. While not as powerful as the mighty 406, this mill was good for 300 horsepower when it left the factory, which is good enough for a full-size.

With almost 93,000 miles (149,669 km) on the odometer, which isn't a lot for a 1960s classic, the 390 runs, and drives as it should. That's because it was recently pulled out for a refresh.

If you're into 1960s land yachts that aren't Impalas or Bonnevilles, this fabulous survivor is being auctioned off by eBay seller "everythings4sale5" as we speak. And with the no-reserve bidding at only $4,850 with four days to go, this long-forgotten Mercury could be a bargain. Would you take it home?

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories