Mercury Monterey

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For the Monterey minivan, produced from 2004-2007, see Ford Freestar.

Mercury Monterey
1971 Monterey sedan
ManufacturerFord Motor Company
AssemblySt. Louis, Missouri
SuccessorMercury Marquis
Body style(s)4-door sedan
2-door coupe
ManualsService Manual

The Mercury Monterey is a full-size near-luxury car introduced by the Mercury division of the Ford Motor Company in 1950. It would later share the same body style with the slightly more upscale Marquis, and the Park Lane and Montclair until the latter two were extinguished after the 1968 model year. The Marquis-Monterey body was, in turn, shared with that of the Ford LTD, Ford Galaxie, and Ford Custom. During its production the car served as the high-end, mid-range, and entry-level fullsize Mercury at various times throughout its run. It was the only Mercury to be in continuous production throughout the 1960s.[1] The Monterey was discontinued after 1974.

In 2004, Mercury resurrected the Monterey nameplate for a minivan, essentially a re-badged Ford Freestar with added features and modified cosmetic details.

First generation

First generation
1956 Monterey
Engine(s)255 in³ Flathead V8
256 in³ Y-block V8

The Monterey was introduced in 1950 as a high-end two-door hardtop in the same vein as the Ford Crestliner. The Mercury line got a styling refresh for 1952, and added a convertible and four-door sedan to the Monterey lineup. A station wagon bowed for 1953. 1954 saw the introduction of the new 186 hp (139 kW) overhead valve Y-block V8.

For 1955 the car lost it's 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.[2]

1956 brought another new engine, the 235 hp (175 kW) 312.[2]

Second generation

Second generation
1958 Monterey
Engine(s)312 in³ Y-block V8
383 in³ MEL V8

The fullsize Mercury was redesigned for 1957 and grew considerably larger as well, riding on an exclusive 122 in wheelbase. A new frame design allowed a lower floor which made the car look lower and longer. The station wagons were divested from the Monterey series, with the Commuter, Voyager, and Colony Park lines. The 312 Y-block gained 20 horsepower to go with the added weight, and the 290 hp (220 kW) 368 cu in (6 L) Lincoln Y-block V8 became an option.[2]

1958 brought quad headlamps, as well as an all-new engine: the 383 cu in (6.3 L) MEL V8. With the new engine came the Multi-Drive three-speed automatic transmission.[3]

With the discontinuation of the low-price Medalist and a trend towards fuel economy, the 1959 Monterey returned to the 312, with 210 hp (160 kW).[3]

Third generation

Third generation
1963 Monterey Breezeway
Engine(s)292 cu in Y-block V8
352 in³ FE V8
390 in³ FE V8
406 in³ FE V8
Wheelbase120 in (3,050 mm)
RelatedMercury Meteor
Ford Galaxie

Mercury's full-size offerings were completely revamped for 1961. The Montclair and Park Lane were discontinued and the Meteor was added at the bottom of the range, making Monterey once again the top of Mercury's lineup. The 292 cu in (4.8 L) Y-block was standard, with 352 cu in (5.8 L) and 390 cu in (6.4 L) versions of the FE V8 available.[4]

The Meteor nameplate was moved to a new intermediate line for 1962, so the Monterey 6 with a 135 hp (101 kW) 223 cu in (3.7 L) Mileage Maker straight-six was added to fill the gap, but only for this year.[4]

1963 brought the "Breezeway" a powered vertical rear window, as well as a 406 cu in (6.7 L) FE engine. The 352 was dropped. At mid-year, the fastback Marauder was introduced.[1]

Monterey became the entry-level full-size Mercury again for 1964, with the return of the Montclair and Park Lane. The 406 was replaced by the 427 cu in (7 L) version, producing 410 hp (310 kW) standard with an option for 425 hp (317 kW).[1]

Fourth generation

Fourth generation
1965 Monterey convertible
Engine(s)390 in³ FE V8
410 in³ FE V8
427 in³ FE V8
428 in³ FE V8
Transmission(s)3-speed Cruise-O-Matic
3-speed C6 automatic
Wheelbase123 in (3,120 mm)

The full-size Mercurys were redesigned for 1965 with a new torque-box frame and a more slab-sided look. The Breezeway window was now only available on pillared sedans, with all hardtops being fastbacks.

The Mercury-exclusive 410 cu in (6.7 L) and the 428 cu in (7 L) FE engines were added for 1966.

1967 brought a refresh, and the vertical Breezeway roofline disappeared although they could still be had with a drop-down rear window. The 410 was dropped for 1968.[1]

Fifth generation

Fifth generation
1971 Monterey sedan
Engine(s)390 in³ FE V8
400 in³ Cleveland V8
Transmission(s)3-speed C6 automatic
Wheelbase124 in (3,150 mm)

For 1969, the Monterey's wheelbase grew to 124 inches. The redesigned Mercurys were intended to emulate the Lincoln Continental.

The 400 cu in (6.6 L) Cleveland V8 was added for 1971, the last year for the 390.

Sixth generation

Sixth generation
Mercury Monterey sedan
Engine(s)400 in³ Cleveland V8
Transmission(s)3-speed C6 automatic
Wheelbase124 in (3,150 mm)

The 1973 redesign brought boxier styling and the federally-mandated 5 mph bumpers. The Monterey was discontinued after 1974, as the Grand Marquis had been introduced as the new top-line Mercury, shifting the lesser Marquis models down to take the Monterey's place.

The Monterey in Canada

The Monterey was sold in Canada as the Mercury Meteor, a nameplate belonging to a U.S.-market car produced from 1961-1963. In Canada, the Meteor was sold under three trim lines; the LeMoyne, Montcalm, and Rideau, respectively. Canadian Meteors were sold after the U.S. Monterey was retired, beginning in 1964 and ultimately ending in 1976. From 1974-1976, Canadian Meteors were re-badged Marquis models following the discontinuation of the U.S. model Monterey in 1974.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Full-Size Mercury Cars of the 1960s". How Mercury Cars Work. Retrieved on 2008-12-3. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Consumer Guide. "1955, 1956, 1957 Mercury Cars". How Mercury Cars Work. Retrieved on 2008-12-09. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Consumer Guide. "1958, 1959 Mercurys". How Mercury Cars Work. Retrieved on 2008-12-09. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Consumer Guide. "The 1960s: More Mercury Models, Fewer Buyers". How Mercury Cars Work. Retrieved on 2008-12-09. 

External links