1955 Mercury Monterey 351 V8
An aged old lady that still gits!
Needed new carburetor, alternator, radiator, ignition, water pump, steering column, shocks, and brakes.
This has been a great old car so far. I use it as a daily driver and it is actually pretty reliable. Seeing that it is over 50 years old, it has some issues, like loose steering connecting rods, brakes that take loner to stop it, and the handling is very pillowy and non-responsive.
The car is unwieldy on the freeway and tends to be extremely loud inside, which again - I accept since it is due to the angular design of the body and grille, which whistle loudly.
Otherwise, a fun, comfortable, gigantic car that is a true original survivor.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 11th January, 2007
Original poster here. Almost 5 years later I still own the car. In that time, not a whole lot has gone wrong with the car. The biggest issue was recently. The freeze plugs under the engine were badly rusted and one was leaking. I spent probably a good 2-3 hours replacing them. The car is extremely easy to work on, and doing even complicated things requires few special tools or skill. A lot of the original suspension parts like the bushings and some of the pivot joints have some serious wear, and the steering has a lot of play - which isn't unusual given its age. The fuel gauge stopped working a year ago, but that isn't a big deal. I'll get around to fixing it someday.
The car also likes to eat voltage regulators too. It uses the old-fashioned firewall mounted boxes, and about every year or 2, it blows another one. They're cheap, so I just replace them. The all-drum brakes are also really inadequate. It feels like trying to stop a freight train, and it's important to pay attention to how far you need in order to stop. That, and the car is so heavy it absolutely lunges into the corners. That said - these were never meant to be great handling cars anyway. Just big boats to haul people.
I recently took the car on a road trip in 100+ degree weather. The engine ran at a cool 170 degrees the whole time. On the freeway, the car does great and sort of has that old-school "floaty" ride. Just a sort of lumbering loll as you go down the freeway.
What's great is that this is far from being a cherry car. There are rust spots, dents, and imperfections. It doesn't have a garage. It's also a 4 door - which in the car collector world means it's instantly worth hardly anything. Nevertheless, people love it and are always giving me the thumbs-up sign. I've had it for 10 years now, so I hardly even think of it in that way anymore.
I wish they made cars like this today with all the modern safety gear. Getting in a wreck in this car would be like eggs being dropped off the top of a building in a shoe box: The interior is all metal. So I am always very careful when I drive it.
Anyway, it's been a great car so far, and I've thought of selling it a few times, but don't have the heart, because she's my good ole' girl.
These are awesome cars that can run forever if taken care of. Like most 1950s cars, they have some minor design flaws that will sometimes creep up on you, like the voltage regulators. However, those engines and transmissions will run like bears.