1956 Mercury Montclair / Specs, History and More

The automobile featured in this article is a very good looking 1956 Mercury Montclair. The full-size top of the line Mercury Montclair was the newest model after the 1955 redesign.

1956 mercury monterey specs

1956 Mercury Montclair

1956 Mercury Montclair Features

Of major significance with Mercury was that the automaker changed from a six volt electrical system in 1955 to a twelve volt system in 1956.

In addition to this, there were some great new features that Mercury offered with their Montclair model. The Montclair featured the very best Mercury had to offer. This included extra chrome trim and two-tone paint combinations as seen on our featured model. Standard features included a deep-dish steering wheel which added protection from the steering column in case of an accident...safety door locks, a breakaway rear-view mirror, padded dashboard, another safety feature and optional seat belts. The dash was modified with three-tier instrumentation. Dual exhausts were standard on all Montclair and Monterey models. Almost 90 percent of all Mercurys for 1956 were sold with automatic transmissions. Standard equipment was a three speed manual.

mercury monterey styling

Montclair's  distinctive use of chrome in styling.

All 1956 Mercurys had a large "M" medallion on the hood front with the word "Mercury" spelled out in block letters on the center horizontal grille bar.

For the 1957 model year Mercury would receive a significant new body styling.

Four Mercurys for 1956

There were four Mercury models produced in 1956. These were the Mercury Medalist, Custom, Monterey, and Montclair. The Mercury Medalist was the lower priced bottom of the line and the Mercury Montaclair was higher priced the top of the line. For 1956 the Medalist replaced the Custom as the bottom level Mercury.

So what were some of the differences. For one, the Medalist had less side chrome than the Montaclair. When you moved up from Medalist to Custom you'll find upgraded interiors with the Custom. Going up from Monterey to Montclair you'll find more chrome trim including chrome rocker panels. Both the Monterey and Montclair had their model name with chrome script on the front fenders. Of significance was that the entire Mercury line in 1956 offered a four door hardtop.

56 mercury monterey styling

56 Montclair  rear styling

1956 Mercury Montclair Specifications

The 1956 Montclair had a 312 cubic inch V-8 engine with 210 horsepower. There were two optional V-8's, both being 312 cubic inch. One produced 225 horsepower and the other 260.

As mentioned above, although a three speed manual was standard, some 90 percent of all 1956 Mercury models were automatics with the Merc-O-Matic.

All passenger cars had the same wheelbase of 118.0 inches.

Mercury production for 1956 was 327,943 units, just a bit less than 1955's 328,808. It appeared that the public approved of the brand's unique styling. The styling was different from both Ford and Lincoln and represented a distinct difference from the two.

In 1956 Mercury produced 50,562 Montclair models.

To give you an idea of new car pricing for 1956, the Mercury Montclair Convertible price was $2,900. The highest proced vehicle was actually the Monterey Wagon at about $2,985. The lower priced Mercury Medalist has a $2,250 price tag for it's two-door.

The Mercury brand came on the scene in 1938 compliments of Edsel Ford, son of Henry Ford. The line would eventually cease production during the first week of January 2011. The stated plan for the new Mercury line was to establish an entry level luxury car.

See the Auto Museum Online articles on the links below...

The 1953 Mercury Monterey

The 1949 Mercury Sedan

The 1955 Buick Special

Reference material for this article includes...The Cars of Lincoln-Mercury by authors George H. Dammann and James K. Wagner....55 Years of Mercury: The Complete History of the Big "M" by John Gunnell.

1956 Mercury Montclair Collector Cars

As we have said before, generally all 1950 American automobiles and trucks are popular collector models. Valuations, of course, are dependent on if there has been a restoration and to what degree and date, originality, and precise model. When it comes to collector automobiles, nothing beats a finely restored original.

1956 mercury montclair photos

1956 Mercury Montclair dashboard

With that being said, all mid 1950's Mercury models carry strong collector interest. They also have a wide range of valuations. With the Mercury Montclair, a range could be from $9,000 or $10,000 to $50,000 plus for a finely restored model.

Mercury designers showed with the Montclair model what just the right amount of chrome along with distinctive styling curves could do. The 56 Montclair is a good looking model.

When discussing the characteristics of these mid 1950's Mercurys, many would say they resembled a Lincoln to a degree without the Lincoln price tag. Mercury was really positioned to be the model between the working guy's Ford and the wealthy's Lincoln and that wasn't a bad place to be.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)

 

1957 Cadillac Sedan deVille / Specs, Model History

The automobile featured in this article is a great looking, restored, 1957 Cadillac Sedan deVille. The 1957 Series 62 Cadillac represented the fifth generation.

1957 cadillac specs

1957 Cadillac Sedan deVille

The 1950's was the decade of the car fins and Cadillac did not disappoint. Starting in the late 40's and continuing straight through the decade of the 50's, Cadillac tail fins, which were first inspired by the P-38 military airplane, would become larger and larger through the years.

This really began with the first new post war designed Cadillac's for 1948. In 1949 the most significant engineering change involved the introduction of the new overhead valve 331 cubic inch V8 engine.This worked out well for Cadillac and the benefits carried on for over a decade. The new post war design was spearheaded by Frank Hershey, working under Harley Earl, who is credited for the first tail fins on a Cadillac, and the 1955 Thunderbird.

By the 1950's Cadillac was the leader in the luxury car category. Much of this had to do with changes beginning after 1940  when Cadillac stopped producing the LaSalle. From that time on Cadillac concentrated on building only what was referred to as prestige automobiles.

57 cadillac tailfins

Good view of the larger tailfins

Cadillac Changes for 1957

GM's Harley Earl was the head of the design team for the new 1957 Cadillac. A major change for Cadillac in 1957 was the new tubular X-frame without side rails which resulted in lower body lines but with the same usable space.

Front end styling was changed with rubber bumper guard tips and dual, circular parking lamps set into the lower bumper area. The side trim was changed and all models had dual taillights.

Wheelbase measurements were changed with three different lengths being offered in the Eldorado sub series. The Sedan DeVille was longer  than "standard" models and the Eldorado Coupe Seville and Biarritz convertible were even larger than that.

1957 Cadillac Sedan deVille Specifications

The 1957 Cadillac Series 62 models were all given 365 cubic inch V-8's with Rochester Four Barrel Carburetors that delivered 300 horsepower.

All Cadillac for 1957 were built with Hydra-Matic drive transmissions, power breaks and power steering. These were standard equipment on all models.

Front suspension was independent coil spring and rear was longitudinal leaf spring.

Overall length for the 1957 Cadillac Sedan deVille was 215.9 inches. Wheelbase was 129.5 inches. This differed from the Series 62 Coupes and Convertibles which were five inches longer overall but with the same 129.5 inch wheelbase. Width was 80.0 inches and height 61.0 inches.

Cadillac sold a total of 146,841 units for the 1957 model year.

Additional Auto Museum Online articles you may enjoy are on the links below...

The 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

The 1954 Cadillac Coupe deVille

The 1951 Cadillac Series 61 Sedan

Reference material for this article includes Cadillac Database... The Cadillac Story: The Post War Years by Thomas Bonsall...Cadillac: The Tailfin Years by Robert J Headrick Jr.

57 cadillac dashboard

57 Cadillac dash

Cadillac Collector Cars

Most automobiles and trucks from the 1950's continue to be very popular collector vehicles.

In the case of Cadillac, you have a car built by one of the oldest brands in American automobile history. Cadillac was formed in 1902 by three men who had been involved with Henry Ford. The brand is named after the founder of Detroit, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, and was sold to General Motors in 1909.

The 1957 Cadillac deVille was named one of the top-10 Cadillacs of all time by Money Inc. This was also the car that Elvis Presley reportedly purchased as a gift to his

An excellent website for Cadillac enthusiasts...http://www.cadillaccountryclub.com/   Here you will find information ranging from classics to the new Cadillac Escalade. For a list of Cadillac Car Clubs see website...http://www.carclubsworldwide.com/cadillac-car-clubs.php

The new car base price for the 1957 Cadillac Sedan deVille was about $4,900. Today the model would have a wide range of values depending on of course condition, restoration history and originality. As a rule you may be looking at $20,000 to $35,000 and up for restored models. Values also differ significantly based on exact model.

1955 Ford Fairlane Victoria Hardtop / Specs and Photos

The great looking classic automobile featured in this article is the 1955 Ford Fairlane Victoria. The Fairlane replaced the Ford Crestlines as Ford's top of the line model for full size vehicles. The Ford Fairlane was produced in the United States for the 1955 through 1970 model years. At first, the Ford Fairlane was a full size vehicle but later in 1962 became a mid size model.

1955 for fairlane victoria

1955 Ford Two Door Victoria Hardtop

The Fairlane model name was used in Australia through the 20th century. Up until 1964 the Fairlane was built locally there identical to the American version. Australia brought back the Fairlane in 1967 as a very different vehicle and changed several times during the next several decades.

The Ford Victoria was produced in several models. These were a two and four door sedan, a two and four door hardtop (featured car is the two door), two door coupe, two door convertible, and a two and four door station wagon.

The automobile was named after Henry Ford's 56 room, 31,000 square foot Fair Lane estate in Dearborn, Michigan, a Detroit suburb. The year 1955 was also the year Ford restyled the entire Ford line with new bodies due to it's fierce competition with Chevrolet that had been making some significant changes.

old ford fairlaneThe 1950's

The decade of the 1950's was an exciting time in the automotive business. Changes of course were made a few years after the end of World War Two. When we entered the 1950's, modernization was really taking hold. The modernization was both the mid 1950's mechanical and design. During the mid 1950's,radically new American automobiles came to market such as the Chevy Corvette and the Ford Thunderbird. Both the Corvette and Thunderbird were in many ways an answer to the European sports car which had been gaining popularity in North America.

As always, Ford and Chevrolet were locked in heated competition, mergers were going on involving Nash, Packard and others, and styling changed so frequently that buyers were always looking for the newest model with updated engines.

New for 1955

Ford buyers had the option of purchasing their new cars with air conditioning which was named Comfortaire. This was a great new feature for some but the unit was very costly and it's estimated that Ford produced less than 500 cars in 1955 with Comfortaire. There were two engines offered for the new Fairlane, a 223 cubic inch straight six and a 272 cubic inch V8.

Ford's new Crown Victoria was lower and longer than any fixed roof cars that Ford had ever produced. This was touted quite a lot in their advertising. New wider view panoramic windshields were on all Ford cars beginning in 1955.

1955 Ford Victoria Specifications

As mentioned above, there were two engines availablefor the Ford Fairlane in 1955. These were the 223 cubic inch straight six and a 272 cubic inch V8.

Specs include a wheelbase of 115.5 inches, an ove200 units. Perall length of 198.5 inches, a width of 75.9 inches. Shipping weight was 3,190 lbs.

1950's ford fairlane

1955 Ford Fairlane newly designed dashboard

Total production of the 55 Fairlane was 622,200 units. Production for the 55 Fairlane Two Door Victoria was 113,370 units.

Base price for the 1955 Two Door Victoria Hardtop was about $2,100 new.

See additional Auto Museum Online articles found on the links below...

 

The 1955 Chevy Bel Air

The 1957 Ford Fairlane Convertible

References for this article included...American Cars of the 1950's : by the Editors of Consumer Guide...Fords of the Fifties by Michael Parris...Collector Car Price Guide.

1955 Ford Fairlane Collector Cars

As we have said before, automobiles from the 1950's make excellent collector cars. In many ways, the decade of the 50's was a period where real modernization took place, both in design and style and in mechanics. Rear tail fins took hold during this decade and as you know there was a wide variety of fins. They started out modest and as the decade progressed became ever so large as Cadillac clearly showed at the end of the 50's.

first ford fairlane

Rear view shows modest tail fins

The 1955 Ford Fairlane represented the first year of the model and represents milestone status. The production in the United States lasted from 1955 to 1970 although production did continue overseas for much longer in a variety of styles as mentioned above.

There were many different trims for the Ford Fairlane in the U.S.and current price ranges for restored models cover a wide range. As for the Hardtop Victoria featured in the article top prices for museum quality models may be in the $30,000 plus range. The Ford Crown Victoria Plexi Glass Top and Convertible models are the highest valued and may be in the $60,000 range. The Two and Four Door Sedans are at the bottom of the range with top prices in the $18,000 to $23,000 range. All of the current valuations are for pristine condition, highly original models. Values are obviously less for high mileage, non restored models.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)