1974 Mercury Montego MX 400 c.i.d. from North America
Montego; A great car name that was brought back in the new millennium for good reason!
Transmission started slipping in reverse, but that was fixed by topping up trans fluid. (keeping in mind, a complete rebuild of this transmission is to this day only $300 including new converter, if you pull it out yourself. Very easy to do, too)
Never left me stranded.
This was the second car I ever owned, first being a '77 Mercury Cougar 4 door.
I originally bought this car for the engine, as my Cougar's engine had over 300,000 kms on it and had trouble keeping oil pressure. (it had zero pressure when I bought it, but I ran it from 1986 to 1990 and no catastrophes) When I got to really looking past the Montego's ugly color (a dark, brownish-green), I could see that the body was in perfect shape, with no rust or dents anywhere. I decided to swap the big mag wheels and dual exhaust from the Cougar. I also painted the car a deep Chinese red, which was beautiful for this car.
The 400 cubic inch engine with 2 barrel carburetor, though being one of those 'smog era' engines, still had incredible torque, and was easily able to accelerate this heavy car to speed. I could leave some good rubber on the road when I felt like it, too.
The car definitely is roomy, as anyone from the 70's can attest to, even though it is still classed as a 'mid size' sedan. (yep, there were bigger cars!)
The ride was absolutely comfortable, and I really don't know how they engineered such a nice ride, AND good handling into this vehicle. It was very confidence inspiring to drive. The fuel economy, well, didn't much matter a whole lot in the early 90's. It still wasn't all that bad on fuel for the size.
The car gave me no trouble, ever. Even when a small leak in the transmission pan led to a temporary failure in the reverse gear, topping up the fluid kept me from having to repair the transmission, and all gears continued to work.
I only sold this car because I needed the money for a 1978 Ford F150. I sold it to a friend who loved it.
I enjoyed the car so much, that I bought another Montego MX just like it in 2001. It was a 1972 with 351 Cleveland. Just like the previous Montego, this one was mechanically perfect, and a joy to drive. Parts for these cars are still cheap when you find them in junkyards, so if you are restoring one, good luck, and keep them running! Most parts you will need will only be cosmetic parts anyway.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 11th November, 2005