1955 Mercury Monterey Station Wagon: real wood panels

Mercury Monterey Station Wagon

Painted in original Arbor green with like new interior in original color. Powered by 292/188 HP V8 with Merc-O-Matic transmission.

Ford created its Mercury Monterey Station Wagon line-up in 1939 to fill the medium-priced gap between the Ford DeLuxe and its Lincoln-Zephyr models. The first Mercury was one of the first cars styled in Ford’s new in-house design studio and the first developed from a full-scale clay mock-up.

188hp, 292 cu. in. overhead valve V8 engine, four-barrel carburetor, three-speed Merc-O-Matic automatic transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, semi-elliptic rear leaf springs with live rear axle, power assisted four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 118″

Mercury Monterey Station WagonThe Mercury proved to be a huge success and for 1955 there were more changes that would ensure its future.

It was at this time Ford established Lincoln and Mercury as separate divisions in the Ford Motor Company. Completely redesigned for 1955, two Mercury series of cars began production, but a third was soon added. Within the Custom, Monterey and Montclair series was a complete line-up of models including convertibles and station wagons. As well as numerous engine options, air conditioning was offered as an option for the first time, but due to its bulkiness and complexity few were sold.

Although now separate divisions, Mercury models still incorporated many of the Lincoln styling cues and design features. Gone were the soft rounded edges of the previous models. Instead the bodylines were straight and added creases, hooded headlamps and the hint of a tail fin created a trimmer, more modern, jet-inspired appearance.

A fresher look was also created thanks to the “Dual-Beam” bumper grille combination, new vertical tail lamps and a new wrap-around windscreen, which also provided better vision.

Mercury Monterey Station Wagon

Inside, the 1955 Mercurys featured a new fan-shaped instrument panel and a unique design for the horn ring on the dished steering wheel. New colors and materials also brightened up the interior.

At the same time, prices were reduced in 1955 on many of the most popular options such as a radio, power steering and brakes. The same was true of such options as the Merc-O-Matic automatic transmission and Touch-O-Matic overdrive as well as many other convenience features. Whereas most Mercury models had a new 119-inch wheelbase, the station wagons stayed at 118 inches. In 1955 there were many small improvements made that resulted in a better-than-ever Mercury Monterey Station Wagon. Even the new V8 engine introduced in 1954 was improved upon with porting, a higher lift camshaft and a new “open wedge” cylinder head design. Road testers of the day praised the new Mercury models and noted better stopping ability, more hill climbing power, a better ride and improved front suspension, while still having the good handling characteristics of the Ford models.

At $2,844 Mercury’s most expensive model was the Monterey Station Wagon. It featured simulated wood grain side trim. A small wood grained panel decorated the larger mid-section of the rear fenders. Wood grain panels also overlaid the doors, front fenders and rear tailgate.

Recently having undergone an extensive three-year restoration, this stylish, original California Monterey wagon was painted in a striking turquoise that highlights the period wood grain panels. Brilliant chrome and extensive polished trim also accent the characteristic fifties styling. The interior is all new and features a third row seat to provide accommodation for the entire family. Under the hood the V8 engine has been completely rebuilt and fully detailed.

To add to the driving pleasure this all-steel Monterey station wagon comes equipped with power steering, power brakes, power seats, a rebuilt factory radio, as well as the original manuals, documentation and license plate.

While sales in 1955 of the newly re-designed Mercury Monterey Station Wagon models, increased by approximately 70,000 units to a record 330,000 vehicles, relatively few of this Motor Trend Car of the Year have survived and even fewer are station wagons.