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HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1957 Mercury Montclair with Turnpike Cruiser power

Pick of the Day: 1957 Mercury Montclair with Turnpike Cruiser power

The lavishly styled black hardtop has the upgraded V8 designed for interstate travel

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The Pick of the Day is a 1957 Mercury Montclair 2-door hardtop powered by a Turnpike Cruiser V8 engine, which was available for just two model years.

When Dwight D. Eisenhower became president of the United States in 1953, one of his key achievements will forever be remembered as the launch of the Interstate Highway System.  Exactly 65 years ago as of next month, the system was authorized thanks to the Federal Aid Highway Act of June 1956. 

mercury

The collective excitement about the ability to travel cross-country on an interconnected network of freeways made its way through every aspect of American car culture at the time.  Automakers even sold a few car models whose selling points catered specifically to interstate highway travel.  Mercury’s Turnpike Cruiser was one example.

While slotted just below Mercury’s new flagship model that wore the Turnpike Cruiser nameplate, the Montclair shared that car’s drivetrain, namely a 368cid V8 that was capable of producing 290 horsepower and was paired with a 3-speed “Merc-O-Matic” automatic transmission.

mercury, Pick of the Day: 1957 Mercury Montclair with Turnpike Cruiser power, ClassicCars.com Journal

The private seller in Lake Almanor, California, advertising the Mercury on ClassicCars.com discusses some of the unique features on this black Montclair, most notably that it was configured as a California Highway Patrol Interceptor.  The ad doesn’t spell out exactly what that special police equipment included, although one would surmise that the spotlights probably had something to do with it.   

Unlike many collector cars that spend their lives tucked away in garages, this Mercury  has seen some time on the highway and in the spotlight. 

mercury, Pick of the Day: 1957 Mercury Montclair with Turnpike Cruiser power, ClassicCars.com Journal

“Car has attended 10 of the last 12 Hot August Nights events in Reno,” the ad states.  

The seller goes on to outline some of the Mercury’s cosmetic and mechanical upgrades, which include a new radiator with auxiliary fan, a new exhaust system, replacement upholstery and carpets, and new Coker wide-whitewall tires.  The paint, dash and door panels are said to be original, and “Turnpike Cruiser” branding is found on the engine’s valve covers as well as on the steering wheel hub.

mercury

The Interstate Highway System was proclaimed to be completed in 1992 at a total cost of about $114 billion, with its length by that time reaching 48,440 miles or about twice the circumference of the earth. Unfortunately, despite this Mercury’s turnpike miles traveled, its odometer has been broken for over a dozen years, the seller says, so its true mileage is unknown.

The seller is asking $17,500 for this freeway-ready Mercury.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Hagerty
Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie grew up in a family of gearheads and enjoys anything to do with automotive and motorsports. He is a contributing editor to Redline Reviews, a YouTube channel with coverage from major auto shows. He also writes for Arizona Driver Magazine and holds leadership positions with a number of car clubs. Tyson has lived in Arizona for 10 years and his current obsession is Japanese cars from the early 1990s which, though hard to believe, are now becoming classics. Tyson can usually be found exploring offbeat and obscure road trip destinations on his blog "Drive to Five," which started as a way to share travel stories and experiences with his now-550,000-mile Acura.

3 COMMENTS

  1. My dad bought the same exact Merc T/C model right down to the color and engine in the fall of ‘56 when the new 1957 models came out. While gaudy with all kinds of twin faux antennas coming out of the front at each end of the roof, as well two operational antennas on the trunk, the greatest feature was the breezeway rear window that was electronically controlled from under the padded dash. Big deal then which Lincoln continued for a few years on their Continentals. Fender skirts that ran the length of the front of the rear wheels all the way back to the bumper, were the rage in ‘57, and dad, who was the service mgr for Lincoln- Merc in Williston Pk, NY, had access to a pair. A favorite of thieves, they lasted just a few weeks.

  2. I said “exact” same car in my earlier comment, but T/P Cruisers were gaudy with all that “rocket-age” appearance stuff on it. Truly, a unique car overdoing the styling queues of the fifties.

    This car belies the more simplistic Montclair model with none of the additional chrome, anodized gold inserts, and other stuff I described above. The seller’s belief that his car was equipped with the highway patrol package is most likely correct, but the Turnpike Cruiser script on the valve covers does not make for a true 1957 Mercury T/P/C claim. Nevertheless, a nice looking vehicle and unlikely you’ll see another one at local car shows.

  3. Correction: I said “exact” same car in my earlier comment, but T/P Cruisers were gaudy with all that “rocket-age” appearance stuff on it. Truly, a unique car overdoing the styling queues of the fifties.

    This car belies the more simplistic Montclair model with none of the additional chrome, anodized gold inserts, and other stuff I described above. The seller’s belief that his car was equipped with the highway patrol package is most likely correct, but the Turnpike Cruiser script on the valve covers does not make for a true 1957 Mercury T/P/C claim. Nevertheless, a nice looking vehicle and unlikely you’ll see another one at local car shows.

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