Here's my story

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Sunline Fan
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Here's my story

Post by Sunline Fan » Tue 4. Aug 2015, 22:25

Hi All,

A bit new to the MEL world, and still trying to learn as much as I can about these cars/engines. But perhaps you'll be interested in my story.

Three years ago, I bought a vintage finned fiberglass boat, in need of restoration. As with most restoration projects, other things got in the way and I just now finished it about two months ago. I quickly realized I needed a vintage car to pull it with, but I didn't know what. My dad has always been into vintage Jaguars, so that's about all I've ever known, and they aren't quite capable towing beasts. I love having a story behind things, and without any American V8s in my past, I wasn't sure where to start.

Then, one day, I was going through some old family pictures and saw it. The '59 Merc. At that instant, I knew that was the car I wanted.

My grandparents bought a '59 Monterey off the dealer lot in August of 1959, because as my mom said, the peach and brown '57 Monterey they had was a lemon. The '59 was a 64A two door hardtop, finished in Charcoal Gray Metallic, and had a 383 and Merc-o-matic under the hood. It also featured power steering, power brakes, heater/defroster, whitewall tires, tinted windshield, windshield washer, backup lights, courtesy lights, wheel covers, and Monterey optional trim. All for a sticker price of $3437.30. The car was assembled at Wayne Assembly and delivered to Mulligan Lincoln Mercury in Dearborn, since my grandfather worked at Ford. They kept the car as far as I can tell through around late 1965, when it was traded/sold on a new model Merc.

In going through some old automotive paperwork from my grandparents (we sorted through and kept anything automotive related when they passed away), I found the original window sticker, dealer bill of sale, registrations, repair receipts, and multiple gas receipts. That seemed to seal my fate, this is the exact car I need. My grandparents weren't huge car people, but were borderline hoarders, so I'm very lucky to have all this paperwork. And so much just on this one car surprisingly. I've since carefully mounted most of those papers in a shadow box that I can hang on my wall.

Last winter, I did look at a Merc around here, or rather the rare Canadian cousin, the Monarch Lucerne. All original with 10,900 original miles on the 383, it was a beauty. I should have bought it, but he wouldn't budge on his price and I knew the minor details that would differ it from a Merc would bother me.

In the mean time, I was with my dad at a junkyard, in search of some '66 Mustang parts, for his latest project. I spotted a '59 Monterey two door hardtop cruiser sitting down by the swamp, with 87k, which has sat there since at least 1977. The car was in sad, sad shape, already picked over quite a bit and rotting into the ground. After many trips to and from, the yard cut off the rear clip for me, as well as pulled the what I've determined is the original 312 Y-block and Merc-o-Matic. Plus a bunch of misc parts, and I plan to go back for more yet. My ultimate plan is to create a couch out of the rear clip, using the car's rear seat as a frame for the seat, and then create coffee/end tables out of the engine and trans. The lights will be operational, and the radio will be mounted inside behind the taillight to be fully functional.

I have all the parts to make it happen, except for the trim clips for the side molding. They're either missing or broken. Just now need the time. Exterior will be Charcoal Gray Metallic, like my grandparents' car, and the seat will be red and black. I think I will use trunk mat plaid to line the inside. I will need some help with correct colors of things as I get into it.

So I'm still searching for my own complete '59 Merc, ideally a two door hardtop, but the basement projects will keep me busy in the mean time.

Since I'm sure you're anxious for pictures:

My favorite pic, of the Merc in from of my grandparents' house as it was being built, which I now have:

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The junkyard Merc:

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Roughly what it'll look like, after MANY more hours of work. I do have the bumper, just haven't mounted it yet.

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Shelby#18
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Re: Here's my story

Post by Shelby#18 » Fri 7. Aug 2015, 16:23

The couch project looks like it will be pretty cool.

Nice to have family that holds on to what most would throw away. I hope your search for the '59 Merc goes well.

About the fiberglass boat, have you been to the fiberglassics forum yet?

Sunline Fan
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Re: Here's my story

Post by Sunline Fan » Mon 10. Aug 2015, 12:59

Shelby#18 wrote:The couch project looks like it will be pretty cool.

Nice to have family that holds on to what most would throw away. I hope your search for the '59 Merc goes well.

About the fiberglass boat, have you been to the fiberglassics forum yet?
My grandma was most definitely a hoarder, except usually of the wrong type of stuff! They wouldn't have kept say an old console TV, but they would keep a collection of various (washed) take-out containers. The biggest problem was their unfinished second story/attic in their small bungalow, with a stairway, allowed for storing all that stuff easily. I am quite lucky to have this paperwork, since they really weren't car people to appreciate it for what it is.

Yes, I've been on Fiberglassics for quite some time, and my project is somewhat documented there. My boat is a 1958 Cutter:

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Theo
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Re: Here's my story

Post by Theo » Wed 12. Aug 2015, 01:05

Welcome to the MEL Engine Forum. Nice to see one more restoration starting. Wish you all the luck and sustained power for your project.
Best regards
Theo
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Sunline Fan
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Re: Here's my story

Post by Sunline Fan » Mon 17. Aug 2015, 08:02

With some help yesterday, I trimmed just a very small amount of metal off the cut edge of the rear end, just so that it wasn't so jagged from the torch cutting. It's now square and even. Then, I finally hauled it down to my basement. It fit, but it sure is much larger looking than I anticipated, and I knew it would look huge down there. I think I will trim more off the sides, up to the front edge of the trunk to be exact, to eliminate the dead space back there. At first I thought I wanted it to be more impressive by having more trim work on the sides, but I don't think that will matter much.

I'm not sure of the correct body-to-bumper spacing, since this car was a slight bit twisted and saggy. I've tried to find someone near me, even headed out to our famous Woodward Dream Cruise this weekend in search of one, and no luck. I'll just have to take a guess at it.

Here's the whole thing in the basement. I know it's still a long way from completion, but I wanted to fit it in here so I would know if i wanted more metal off or not. I'm very glad I tested it.

Image

Sunline Fan
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Re: Here's my story

Post by Sunline Fan » Thu 15. Oct 2015, 12:29

So, the couch project may be put on hold until next year...

I found a car!

It wasn't exactly what I wanted, but condition is everything, and ultimately that won out. Happened to be browsing Craigslist and came across a '59 Monterey 58A down in Ohio. Went to look at it a few weeks back, and ultimately trailered it home couple weeks later.

It's a 312 Y block four door sedan, with a three on the tree manual trans. Glacier White with blue interior. Car is all original with 39,800 original miles and is running and driving! The three on the tree is what sold me on the car more than anything, because it adds an extra fun factor to it. I've put about 60 miles on it so far, but need to do a few things to it before I drive it much more. It sure is a blast to drive though, I like it more and more every mile that goes by! The excessive turning of the steering wheel took some getting used to, but I'm getting the hang of it now.

What I can tell it needs:
- Brakes bled (has new wheel cylinders but it seems like there's air in the lines)
- Full detail polish job to bring back the shine
- Some minor paint touch up.
- New tires in the next year or so
- New seat covers
- New windshield wiper inserts (the original wipers are in the trunk)
- General tune up
- Engine clean up/detail
- Backup light switch in the steering column needs fixing, lights go off when I release the shift lever.

Even though the 312 isn't an MEL, I'm wondering if anyone would know since they share an air cleaner- the junkyard 312 as well as others I've seen on the internet have the Canton Red valve covers and air cleaner. This 312, as well as other 312/383 I've seen on the internet have light blue valve covers and air cleaner. I can't find anything to tell what the difference is between them, or what the correct engine block color is for that matter. Does anyone know?

The car was a fairly low option car, but as I said, the condition was what made it worth it. I could have held out for the two door 383, but my luck it would be a rust bucket and in need of a full restoration. Surface rust is the worst of this one, except for a small spot of wrinkled metal on the rear from something falling on it, but it's a minor blemish. Bottoms of the doors are in great original shape, frame is good, floors are good, etc. Another selling point was that it has the original trunk mat, spare tire, jack parts, and jack instructions, all in great shape. From what I can tell, it was optioned with factory seat belts, the cheaper backup lights, heater/defroster, blue tinted glass, courtesy light group, and wheel covers. I'll install a factory clock and radio in the dash to replace the plastic filler panels that the chrome is peeling off of. It's amazing, the light sockets and power supply plug for the clock were right behind the dash, taped up and ready to install.

Here are a few pics of the car. I'll eventually get a hitch made so I can tow the boat with it.

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Thanks!
Jon

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Theo
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Re: Here's my story

Post by Theo » Tue 20. Oct 2015, 08:42

Very cool. Thanks.
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Shelby#18
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Re: Here's my story

Post by Shelby#18 » Thu 22. Oct 2015, 14:40

Those photos with the boat behind the Merc look great. I hope mine turns out that good.

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