The Mercury Monterey is a series of full-size cars that were manufactured and marketed by the Mercury division of Ford from 1952 to 1974. Deriving its name from Monterey Bay, the Mercury Monterey served as the replacement for the Mercury Eight, the debut model line of the Mercury division.

During its production, the Monterey would be offered in multiple body styles, ranging from coupes, convertibles, sedans, hardtops, and station wagons.

Over its 22 years of production, the Monterey served as the flagship, mid-range, and entry-level offering of the full-size Mercury product range.

The only Mercury nameplate to be in continuous production throughout the 1960s, the Monterey was slotted above the Medalist, Custom, and Meteor; later, it was slotted below the Turnpike Cruiser, Montclair, Park Lane, and Marquis.

Following the 1974 model year, Mercury discontinued the Monterey, consolidating its full-size range down to the Marquis and Colony Park station wagon. For 2004, the Monterey nameplate was revived, becoming the counterpart of the Ford Freestar minivan; it was produced through the 2007 model year.

Early history

The Monterey (model 72C) was introduced in 1950 as a high-end two-door coupe as part of the Mercury Eight series in the same vein as the Ford Crestliner, the Lincoln Lido coupe and the Lincoln Cosmopolitan Capri coupe in order to compete with the hardtop coupes General Motors and Chrysler had introduced the previous model year.

Montereys had either a canvas covered convertible for $2,146 ($23,084 in 2020 dollars [2]) or vinyl for $2,157 ($23,202 in 2020 dollars [2]). Standard features included leather faced seats, simulated leather headliner, wool carpets, chrome-plated interior garnish moldings, two-toned dashboard, special black steering wheel, fender skirts, dual outside rearview mirrors, full wheelcovers & gold winged hood ornament.

For $10 more all leather seats were an option. Two special colors were offered, Turquoise Blue with dark blue top and Cortaro Red metallic with black top. Black with yellow top was also available. Few Montereys were sold.


Mercury got a styling and engineering redesign for 1952, such as 18% more window area.

Monterey became a separate series and Mercury's top model line, a convertible and four-door sedan were included in the new series lineup.

The heater and vent controls were changed to levers and placed on a plane set perpendicular to the dash behind the steering wheel, inspired by flight controls in large aircraft.

A station wagon bowed for 1953, the same year a Siren Red Monterey Convertible became Ford's forty-millionth car produced.[8] 1954 saw the introduction of the new 161 hp (120 kW) overhead valve Ford Y-block V8, as well as the bubble-top Monterey Sun Valley, which had a Plexiglas front half roof which was similar to that of the Ford Crestline Skyliner.

The 1954 Montereys also received other alterations, such as new, lower taillights. The Mercury XM-800 concept car, first displayed at the Chicago Auto Show early in 1954, debuted as the Mercury Monterey XM-800.

For 1955 the car lost its status as Mercury's top model, replaced by the Montclair. The same year, it gained the 292 cu in (4.8 L) Y-block from the Thunderbird, producing 188 hp (140 kW) with the standard transmission or 198 with the Merc-O-Matic.

It used independent ball-joint front suspension. Brake size was increased.

It was available in two lower-priced trim packages called the Custom and with Medalist as the most basic model. The Medalist lasted only one year as Mercury moved further upscale in 1957.

1956 brought another new engine, the 235 hp (175 kW) 312 cu. in.

This year, along with the rest of Ford, Mercury cars started to sport the Lifeguard safety equipment.[16] The deep-dish steering wheel and safety door locks were standard.

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