By Bobby Webb
1956 Mercury Montclair, a full sized automobile, was available as a two door hardtop, convertible and phaeton four door ha rdtop sedans. It had a length of 206.3 inches, a wheelbase of 119 inches and it weighed anywhere from 3,490 pounds to 3,725 pounds. It could be purchased brand new for between $2,600 and $2,900 depending on what options the buyer was interested in.
A Premium Automobile
Introduced by the Mercury Division of the Ford Motor Company in 1955, the Mercury Montclair was advertised as part of Mercury’s premium automobile line. Ford historians aren’t fully sure where the moniker, Montclair, came from but the general consensus is it is taken from an upper class community of Montclair, New Jersey. The 1956 Montclair was manufactured with some of Mercury’s best features which included dual chrome outside rear view mirrors, a dual exhaust, fender skirts and extra chrome trim. It also had various two tone paint combinations. This was probably the best noted feature of the Montclair because the use of contrasting color panels, which ran under the side windows, set the Mercury Montclair apart from their other vehicle lines.
Sleek and Powerful
The 1956 Mercury Montclair included all of Mercury’s evolutionary engineering. The ’56 Mercury Montclair included factory air, which was a new option in Mercury vehicles as of 1955. The ’56 Montclair also offered an “on-demand” low-gear kickdown for an extra cost with Mercury’s three speed “Merc-O-Matic” automatic transmission. The “Merc-O-Matic” was actually Ford’s first automatic transmission, which was introduced in 1950. In general the transmissions were given the name Ford-O-Matic but when a Mercury vehicles was marketed, it was given the moniker Merc-O-Matic.
The 1956 Mercury Montclair was no slouch when it came to power. It had a large V-8 engine with plenty of horsepower: There were two options available for the 1956 Mercury Montclair:
- 225hp 312 c.i. V-8
- 335hp 312 c.i. V-8 with a 4 barrel carburetor
In terms of what type of Mercury Montclair was produced in 1956, here is the actual production breakdown:
- Convertible: 7,762
- Hardtop Sport Coupe: 50,562,
- Phaeton Hardtop Sedan: 23,493
The hardtop sport coupes were produced the most while the convertibles were fairly limited in production in 1956.
Since the Montclair was a premium Mercury vehicle, the interior would have sported upholstery that was comprised of leather and vinyl.
A Real Collector Car
Overall, the 1956 Mercury Montclair was a car with burly good looks with a bit of flash. It had a V-8 engine that was modern for the time and powerful. It has been a somewhat under appreciated model, so it can be hard to find the ’56 Mercury Montclair as they are fairly scarce. This has made it a real collector car with a rapidly rising collector value. You have to be careful though, if you are looking to find one of these and restore it, as the parts can be as difficult to find as the cars themselves.
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