Today’s car is a 1956 Mercury Montclair 2-door Hardtop Coupe and it is owner by Art Cragnolli. I saw this car at the San Marino Motor Classic in Pasadena, CA. It is finished in a two-tone color combination of Pinewood Green and Classic White with a matching vinyl and cloth Interior. It is powered by a 225 hp, 312 cu in, 5.1 Liter, V8, with Holley 4-barrel. Transferring that power through a 3-speed Merc-O-Matic automatic transmission and delivering that power to the rear wheels through a 3:15:1 rear end. Helping slow this baby down are hydraulic drum brakes, The fully independent front suspension is coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers and an torsion stabilizer. The rear suspension is semi-elliptical parallel longitudinal leaf springs with telescopic “sea-leg” mounted shock absorbers.
Some other interesting 1956 Mercury facts are dual exhausts were standard on all Montclairs and Montereys. Almost 90 percent of were sold with automatic transmission, 78 percent had whitewall tires, 88 percent had backup lights, and virtually all (96 percent) had heaters. Only about 1 percent were equipped with air conditioning.
The Montclair was considered the top of the line and the original MSRP was $2,765.00. Today one could sell in the high retail category for around $43,000.00. There were 327,943 Mercury’s built in 1956 with 91,434 being Montclair’s and of those 50,562 were 2-door Hardtop Coupes The published top speed was 110 mph with a 0-60 mph time of 10.0 seconds. Mercurys won five NASCAR Grand National races in 1956.
This is a great mid 50’s American car that represents the lasting influence on the American “Hot Rod culture”. While not as popular as the Chevrolets and Fords of this era this Mercury will draw a crowd and any car event with its unique styling and good looks. Thanks for riding along. Frank