Tuesday, March 8, 2011
San Francisco Street Sighting - 1962 Mercury Monterey
Occasionally in the city I'll run across something entirely odd, or a mainstream vehicle that just doesn't have a strong following. The Mercury Monterey is not an obscure make or model, but for the life of me I can't remember the last time I'd seen one from 1962 until this clean white example turned up in the Inner Richmond in San Francisco.
Wikipedia is very sparse about this year, literally one sentence. HowStuffWorks goes into more detail, but the '62 Montereys are described as "forgettable". Since this is not the hotter S-55 model, it has either a wimpy straight six or a 292 V8 making 170 horsepower. A barge like this with under 200 hp would accelerate leisurely at best and handle pretty badly. I've seen someone autocross a stock '63 Monterey, and it was more like captaining than driving.
I like that the body's clean and features the original wheels and center caps. The early-issue 1963 license plates suggest this car was registered late in the year or traded in soon after it was first sold. Having seen pictures of these with thin whitewall tires, I think they'd class this car up significantly. For me though, the primary concern is rust. There are bubbles around the edges of the trunk lid and the bumpers definitely need to be rechromed. Gotta catch that stuff before this cool '62 becomes another forgotten casualty of time.