1953 Mercury Monterey
1953 Mercury Monterey 2-Door Hardtop Coupe
- From Phoenix, Arizona
- Owned 30 Years by Previous Owner - Ford Mechanic
- Frame Off Restoration
- 18k Miles Since Restored
- Flathead V8
(Please note: If you happen to be viewing this 1953 Mercury Monterey on a website other than our Garage Kept Motors site, it's possible that you've only seen some of our many photographs of the car due to third-party website limitations. To be sure you access all the more than 125 photographs, as well as a short start-up and walk-around video, please go to our main website: Garage Kept Motors.)
“The name was selected by Edsel Ford, the only son of Henry. Mercury was the winged messenger and the god of commerce according to Roman mythology, symbolizing speed, skill, dependability, and eloquence.” – Classics and Beyond, “History of Mercury Automobiles”
Hagerty gives some '53 Mercury history: “Ford completely redesigned its cars for 1952 (continued on the '53 models), including the Mercury lineup, and the cars now sported a taller, square shape with larger greenhouse. Front and rear glass was now curved, keeping up with the modernization of design, and an entirely new grille and brightwork were employed. The Mercury L-head eight-cylinder engine still displaced 255 cid, but now produced 125 hp. For the first time in its two-year existence, the Monterey became its own model. … Mercury Monterey(s) could now be ordered in more body styles, with a convertible and a sedan joining the popular… coupe. The sedan was priced at $2,115, while the coupe cost $2,225. In all, 24,453 Monterey coupes were sold and 5,261 convertibles.”
Offered here is a 1953 Mercury 2-door hardtop in metallic green over gray, sporting a rare “Continental kit” rear spare-tire carrier. The Phoenix, Arizona car has been well preserved and respectfully upgraded to serve as a reliable road car and a stunning show star. (It was owned for 30 years by a Ford mechanic, and was treated to a frame-off restoration 18, 462 miles ago, which is indicated on the odometer's current reading.)
The design of the car's exterior reflects the exuberance of early-Fifties America. Not over-the-top, as some cars taht would appear later in the decade, but rather a presence and flair that exuded stylish optimism. In this case, the jade-green metallic exterior-paint choice was perfect, and the condition of the paint across the entire body (as well as under-hood area, door jambs, and trunk interior) has been well maintained, showing only very minimal patina. There is no obvious damage to any body panel. Rear fender skirts add to the sleek, horizontal flow of the basic design. Exuberant—but not excessive—stock chrome brightwork, including the lower-front bumper, hood-scoop trim, bodyside trim, and cabin-glass trim, is in excellent condition overall, with some age-related wear (as on the door handles). The Monterey's beautiful sloping rear deck and chrome-surrounded taillights are even more striking with the added spare-tire carrier and rear-bumper extension in body-color, and “Mercury”-embossed chrome bumper. Dual exhaust tips are the final chrome signature. Cabin glass, in particular the curved windshield and rear window, is clear and undamaged; lighting lenses are clear as well. The rear-fender Mercury-script emblems, and the individual-letters “M-e-r-c-u-ry” on the hood are properly in place. Twin spotlights, a popular period modification, have been added, as have chrome, faux-spinner full-wheel covers.
Inside, it's clear the car's restoration was performed to a very high standard. Stylish original trim has been maintained throughout. Door trim, for example, incorporates, from top to bottom, body-color painted metal, gray vertical-pattern cloth, chrome trim, and dark-green carpeting in a delightful combination. Pleated seat upholstery is executed in a pleasing light-gray and dark-green combination. Cabin floors are covered in dark-green carpeting (which continues in the same professional installation in the trunk). The driver's view through the green steering wheel (with delicate horn ring and Mercury-logo center) is another perfect-Fifties design. A half-circle 110-mph speedometer is flanked by aircraft-like pull-levers for heating and ventilation, and the entire dashboard surface matches the exterior paint. (Auxiliary engine-monitoring gauges have been added below the dash as they might well have been back in the day.) The shifter for the automatic transmission is column-mounted. The center-dash features the radio speaker and an analog clock above the original, factory-installed AM radio (an upgraded Panasonic® audio head unit is concealed in the glove box with speakers mounted in the trunk).
Under the hood, the flathead V8 occupies a very clean and tidy engine bay. Upgraded components—including MSD® ignition—are properly mounted. Chrome bits like the air cleaner cover add style. All hoses and wiring are properly routed. Viewed from below, the chassis is complete and undamaged. Dual, full-length, performance exhaust pipes are a focal point.
The car's factory-mounted data and identification plate remains in place.
While the more than 125 high-definition photographs and the short walk-around-and-startup video available on the GarageKeptMotors website showcase this '53 Monterey in detail from every angle, including from below, we expect and encourage in-person inspections at our Grand Rapids, Michigan showroom. Please call to arrange an appointment in advance as our showroom is not open to the public. And feel free to get in touch anytime by phone or email if you have questions.
America was a different place in the Fifties. The War was over, incomes were rising, suburbia was just beginning, and people were decidedly optimistic. They knew things would only get better and cars like this '53 Mercury Monterey expressed all that perfectly. And you know what? They still do.