LAST OF THE FLATHEAD V-8'S, ONE FAMILY OWNED FOR 60 YEARS, SIMPLE & CLEAN MERC
The last of the flathead V8s can be found under the hood of this 1953 Mercury Monterey 2-door hardtop, marking the end of the reign of one of the most influential engines in history. Fortunately, this Merc is also a wonderful car in every way, so the flathead definitely went out with a bang.
With all the focus on vintage hot-rodding, it's easy to forget that your parents and grandparents drove cars like this to work every day. With that in mind, you shouldn't be surprised that this one works as well as it does or that it looks so polished. The Mercury brand was hitting on all eight cylinders in 1953, boasting impressive sales and a rejuvenated image thanks to cars like this. The bright red paint is pretty close to the original Siren Red, and with that contrasting white roof, it has a high-profile look that fits the Monterey's upscale status. Coming out of long-term ownership (something like 60 years!), it's important to note that this car has never had a frame-off restoration, so it has looked this good pretty much its entire life. It's been repainted, but the super straight bodywork comes from clean Texas living not a restorer's tools, and it still fits together with a precision that feels authentic. Heavy chrome bumpers are in very good condition, and it appears that most of the stainless trim is original, so it could be easily buffed and polished to really stand out.
The two-tone red and black interior was probably freshened at the same time the car was painted and shows almost no signs of use since then. The vinyl upholstery is durable and comfortable, stitched into factory-correct patterns that value simplicity over flash. The dashboard, however, is a different story with its futuristic look, floating instrument panel, and aircraft-style control levers for the secondary controls. Handsome door panels with contrasting off-white window moldings are in excellent shape and the headliner remains taut and wrinkle-free. Auxiliary gauges are neatly installed under the dash, the better to monitor the warmed-over flathead up front, but that seems to be the lone modification inside. The factory AM radio is still in the dash, and this car offers spacious accommodations in the back seat. The sanitary trunk is neatly finished and includes a full-sized spare tire.
The 1953 Mercury flathead V8 is the one all the hot-rodders want, and for good reason: it's the biggest and most powerful of the bunch. With 255 cubic inches to work with, it's ripe for upgrades, and this one has been recently rebuilt. The most obvious tweaks are the Edelbrock aluminum heads and headers, but it's also got a mild camshaft inside and a 12-volt electrical system. It's not exactly race-ready, but it moves the tidy Merc effortlessly with that characteristic flathead burble. Part of the joy of a flathead like this is the way it goes about its business with great torque and a fun exhaust note that'll have you blipping the throttle as you go through tunnels. It's painted bright red, as it should be, and still carries neat little details like the mechanical fuel pump up top and Ford script hoses with correct clamps. The dual exhaust is recent and sounds exactly right, and the 3-speed manual transmission is a pleasure to slip through the gears. New 215/70/15 whitewall radials retain a certain vintage look but deliver modern handling that you'll definitely appreciate.
A neat 2-door Merc with flathead power, this Monterey is a no-disappointments car that proves you don't need a roadster to have fun with a flathead. Call today!
- Vinyl Interior
- Exterior Color
- Interior Color
- Front Brakes
- Rear Brakes
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