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Mercury Monteray, White, for sale in Charlotte, North Carolina, for $11,995.
In the late '60s, cars like this 1968 Mercury Monterey fastback coupe dominated the NASCAR ovals. It may seem strange to us today when we see such a beast and think racecar but the truth is, the slippery shape made these cars, and their Galaxie cousins, extremely potent at high speeds. Street versions are quite rare these days (when was the last time you saw one?), and this amazing survivor seems to be in almost 100% original condition.
Although it's similar to the Galaxie, the Monterey is actually on a longer wheelbase and offers a longer body, and the dramatic fastback shape has lost none of its appeal in the intervening four decades since it was built. Finished in code M Polar White, it shows quite well with a nice patina that could pass for an exceptionally well-maintained original, although it appears to have been repainted at one point in the past. Those might be the biggest quarter panels ever stamped from a single sheet of steel, yet they're laser straight and solid, a tribute to clean living in a warm climate. All the original stainless remains in excellent condition, including the strip that runs along the top of the fender line, and the cool diamond-shaped taillights show the Ford family resemblance.
The blue interior is almost entirely original, with only the carpets being replacements. The two-tone fabric and vinyl upholstery is pure 1960s cool, and surprisingly comfortable, especially with the space afforded by the long wheelbase. The instrument panel is dominated by a giant, round speedometer that was surely inspired by NASCAR racers, with smaller gauges and a clock flanking it on either side. The woodgrain remains in good condition with no peeling and minimal fading, and that is definitely the original AM/FM radio with optional stereo 8-track player mounted underneath the dash. There's easily room for six in this big cruiser, and the massive trunk will carry all their luggage for a week's worth of road trip.
Moving this much sheetmetal takes a serious engine, and Ford's hot 390 cubic inch V8 is more than up to the task. Making big torque with a velvety-smooth idle, it's definitely luxury oriented, but thanks to a great-sounding Flowmaster exhaust system and plenty of performance, the big Merc does an awfully good impersonation of a muscle car. The engine bay appears highly original, with Ford Blue paint still clinging to the block, valve covers, and air cleaner, along with all the factory-applied decals. Consistent, regular maintenance means that it's reliable, and there are no leaks, strange noises, or other red flags under the hood. The chassis is completely original, showing surface rust but nothing structural. The ideal finishing touch is the black steel wheels with trim rings that look very NASCAR wearing fresh Goodyear radials.
Fast, cool, and rare all add up to a great cruise night Mercury that will get people talking and can still deliver on the street. Call today!
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Engine:390 2v v8
Location:Charlotte, North Carolina