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Steve's Mercury
Monterey Wagon

Memories and fate bring a car home.

A Wagon Full of Memories

Back in 1952, my dad purchased a 1952 Mercury Monterey station wagon that was a two-tone blue. My dad usually drove station wagons because of his roofing business so he could carry his ladders and equipment when making service calls and inspections.

The wagons were also used for family vacations. Even though I was only three to six during the time my dad owned the ‘52, I do have some memories of the car and the vacations. Plus I have some photos and home movies of that car. We went on camping trips a lot in those day and even a trip up to Canada once. The only problem my dad ever had with the car was the reverse gear with the merc-o-matic that kept going out.
In 1955, the Mercury was traded in for a 1955 Ford Ranch wagon. From that time on, I had never seen another Mercury just like it and I have been attending car shows since 1973! That changed in December of 1998. Dianna & I were married in May of 1998. A few months later, I was introduced to my father-in-law. While telling him about our love of old cars and my first car, a 1953 ford station wagon, he said “you should see the car in the garage next door to my place”.

Next time we went down to his place, he took us next door to see the older lady who lived there. She opened the garage door and there was this 1954 Mercury station wagon almost the same as the one that my dad owned so long ago. She said that it belong to her brother who was thinking of selling it but had not placed any ads in the paper yet. I left my card with her, and the next day her brother called me and we made the deal over the phone. we went down, took care of the paper work and the car ‘was ours. The original sea foam green paint was faded and the “wood” trim needed refinishing, but the car was in great shape otherwise. My friend, Wayne, and I went down with a car trailer but the original engine seemed to run just fine, so we started out for home with the car on the road and figured that if we had a problem along the way, we could load her up at that point. As it turned out, I drove the car all the way home. On the way, the speedometer turned over 80,000 miles. As the original engine was tired, I replaced it with a 1995 mustang 302 (5.0 ho) with C-4 automatic; converted to 12 volts and added air conditioning at Hopper’s Hot Rod Garage. Next, it went to Van’s Classic Auto Body & Paint to be repainted in the original sea foam green & white around the windows. The work was completed- just before the tour to Puyallup, Washington and was also driven to the Lake Havasu “Run to the Sun” show.

The speedometer now shows 6,900 miles from the two trips plus one trip to Grants Pass, Oregon for a car show there. By surprise, in the March 2001 issue of Street Rod Builder, page 105, a picture of the car appeared. This station wagon is a great car to cruise in and has lots of room in the back for luggage and the ice chest, lawn chairs and, oh yes, Billy! Like my 1953 Ford wagon, this 1954 Mercury wagon will also be a keeper and will always remind me of the long ago vacations with my dad & mom every time Dianna, Billy & I take vacation trips in this car. I have still not seen another one like it on the road and maybe I never will. But I am sure lucky that I found this wagon as I always like the looks of my dad’s wagon in the family album. Looks like I got my wish after all these years.

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