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Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Cars in Yards: 1952 Mercury Monterey

 

Did we even have a 1952 in America? Surely, we did. And whoever just said, “Don’t call me Shirley” will get a Honeymooner’s style punch right in the kisser. 1952 was not a memorable year for car guys. The thirties were done. The streamlined design of the forties had turned to square. The enthusiastic car buyer would have to wait until 1953 for historical firsts, such as the iconic Chevrolet Corvette or the stealthy Thunderbird in 1955. So, what was 1952 like? To our forefathers, Mercury was a good way to spend more money for a Ford. But, Ford claimed this was not necessarily the case. Mercury produced beautiful cars and kept up with the space theme… like the B-52’s song said, “It’s a Cosmic Thing”.*

The 1952 question arose when we discovered this Mercury at a vintage speed shop in Kansas. Despite the Korean War, moneywise, the USA was doing rather well. Three-out-of-five families owned a vehicle. Things were definitely looking up. Maybe this Mercury Monterey was to be expected. This example must have led a charmed life, seeing how it has survived. Junkyard Life sadly surmises that most of the surrounding vehicles off the assembly line that day either turned into Pepsi cans or returned to the earth.


Hubcaps are a big deal to many enthusiast. They went from being highly desired, even often stolen, to not being desired at all. Now, we are back at being desired. Actually-Junkyard Life does have a resident hub cap nerd. Notice the Mercury on these caps doesn’t refer to the planet. It shows Mercury of Roman Mythology. In Roman belief, he was much like the God of Commerce. In Greek, he was the fast footed messenger of the Gods. With a car like this, no wonder he could deliver flowers so fast!**
Hubcaps are a big deal to many enthusiasts. They went from being highly desired, even often stolen, to not being desired at all. Now, hubcaps are back to being desired. Notice the Mercury on these caps doesn’t refer to the planet. It shows Mercury of Roman Mythology. In Roman belief, he was much like the God of Commerce. In Greek, he was the fast footed messenger of the Gods. With a car like this, no wonder he could deliver flowers so fast!**


Another Junkyard Life Space Race Lesson

Mercury Rising! This may have more trivial value than we thought! 1952 was the first year for the Monterey model. The whole world was caught up in the Great Space Race. Everywhere you looked, from furniture that looked like it was about to fly away, to cars that were named after planets and related space garb. Mercury. Think about what the name implied. It put in mind a different planet that was in our comic books and on NASA’s exploration to do list. Or would be in 1958 when they officially called themselves NASA.

This handsome Mercury was born a four-door sedan. Finished in a classy Lakewood Green, this was as nice of a family car that you could buy in 1952. Solid colors were standard and two-tone paint could be had at extra cost. Notice the dash controls are on levers on the top. This was to give an air craft like flavor to make for a great show off day with your new Mercury. Plus, having no control, it insured passengers to not cook their warm natured driver. Drivers don’t just give up temperature control willy nilly in this car. However, It could go all wrong for the passenger begging for cold air when hot air is all that emerged from the dash panels. “Hot air is better than no air at all.” Once reasoned a roasting passenger’s grandmother in June.

Also noted…a trailer hitch. Could this family car have towed a camper? Perhaps a boat? The 255 cubic inch power plant may have had a job to do! See? The history is always worth telling. In our JYL eyes, this Mercury was in great shape. Sporting the incredible hood ornament and all matching original hub caps. There was no one around to tell the story of this Monterey, but when there is…we bet it will be full of love and history. The important thing is…it is still here!


Ron Kidd
— Junkyard Life


Primitive, but means business bumper hitch is a clue that this car has done something other than school and the market. 




Rocket speed lines or poetry in motion?



The hood ornament is a testimony to class. It was also rather common to have an ornamental announcement to the presence of your chariot!

The hood ornament is a testimony to class. An ornamental announcement to the presence of your chariot!




The 1952 taillights were all business with a little distinction tossed in. Taillights were often regarded as a signature of the car itself. Fans of this era can relate.




Welch Bros. dealer emblem. Was this a Kansas car dealership?



Editor’s Notes:
* After warnings from the Law Department, Ron has been reduced to only one pop culture reference per story. Our apologies to the B-52s. 

** Even more apologies to the FTD Florist people. He loves hub caps and means well. Ron really does know about florist delivery — that is why he is alive today.



Do you have a car story? Send us details!  Send emails to Jody Potter at junkyardbull@gmail.com & Ron Kidd at Kidd403@bellsouth.net




1 comment:

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