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View Poll Results: What should I do with this car?
Full restoration... anything else would be sacrilege! 23 56.10%
Lowering job, skirts, wide whites and caps are all you need! 12 29.27%
Mild custom- shaved, nosed, decked... Classy. 6 14.63%
Voters: 41. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-03-2011, 11:01 PM   #1
pinstriper40
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Default New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

Well, she's not in my garage yet, but she soon will be. I think she'll end up being the closest thing to a restoration that I've attempted. I'm torn between a simple lowering job with skirts, custom 'caps and a factory paint scheme and option B: mild custom with different trim, a de-scooped hood, '54 merc taillights, shaved door handles, spotlites, and frenched headlights, still with aforementioned lowering job, skirts, caps and factory paint scheme. What do you think?

It's also got the accessory steering wheel (which admittedly needs work) and front bumper fog lights!
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:40 AM   #2
52merc
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

looks like a major rebuild
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:32 AM   #3
GreenMonster48
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

That looks to be in great shape from where I'm sitting. I think you'd be bucking the current trend by keeping it stock, so a full resto is my vote.
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:37 AM   #4
Barry-ct
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

I also agree, keep it stock! Too many good cars get hacked. If it was a rustbucket, I'd say hotrod, but a good solid car deserves a restoration to stock. Especially a Merc!

Barry

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Old 04-04-2011, 06:41 AM   #5
ken ct
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

Looks like a 52 to me by the taillites. ?? keep it stock. ken ct OMO
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:51 AM   #6
KGS
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

I'd keep this one stock if it were mine. It's a rare bird these days.
Ken, It's a '53 seeing as how the trim spear runs from the front to the back. The
52 didn't have this spear. BTW, when are you heading South permanently? Ken
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:55 AM   #7
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

From dealing with New England cars that one looks too good to cut up. My vote is to do it up stock and lower it a bit. Add skirts and caps to suite. Just my opinion.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:22 AM   #8
Henry/Kokomo
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

Keeping it stock with modifications that you could easily "un-do" would probably make the most financial sense. If it were mine, I'd do a restoration with any kind of bolt on mods that appealed to me . That way, you'd be able to put it back to stock form when it was time to sell it.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:26 AM   #9
Barry B./ Ma.
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

Quote:
Originally Posted by ken ct View Post
Looks like a 52 to me by the taillites. ?? keep it stock. ken ct OMO
Hi Ken, she's a 53 , I had one. The 52 has a round medalion on the trunk and the side trim was different. I think the biggest problem may be finding a one piece rear window. Barry B.
P.S. Tailights were the same for 52/53
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:56 AM   #10
JM 35 Sedan
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

My vote....keep it stock/original as possible. Make only those changes that could easily be put back to stock by you or the next owner.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:50 AM   #11
Craig CT
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

Hi pinstriper40; If you're building for resale I agree with stock and bolt ons. As for a car, or anything else I build for myself, I build it the way I want it, Craig.
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:00 AM   #12
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

My favorite 50's car. A custom at the start. I would go with the mild mods myself. I would never put skirts on it. My best friend as a youth was one year older and his first car was a 54. I loved riding around with him. Good luck on your build, keep us posted.
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:11 AM   #13
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

I would keep it stock and lower the car.....I would put a swede two tone paint job on it and make it presentable and a driver.....then go to fosters freeze and have some fun!!
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:14 AM   #14
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

No skirts and don't go too low. Maybe some aftermarket wheels like Crager SS's or some charcoal centered mags. A modified flathead with some goodies is cool. Two tone paint, maybe the top could be white or black to contrast the bottom. Keep it as a driver. Very Cool old Merc.
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:46 AM   #15
ken ct
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

Quote:
Originally Posted by KGS View Post
I'd keep this one stock if it were mine. It's a rare bird these days.
Ken, It's a '53 seeing as how the trim spear runs from the front to the back. The
52 didn't have this spear. BTW, when are you heading South permanently? Ken
Its up in the air now.The realator up here wants me to list my place up here at a rediculus price and dont think we can do it. ken ct. Not too up on later mercs. lol
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:19 AM   #16
pinstriper40
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

Well guys now I'm really undecided. Is the resale value that much more if it's restored? I'm not planning on selling the car, but I don't want to cut the value by frenching the headlights and getting rid of the door handles, trunk handle, etc..

I was thinking maybe some 15" skylark wires and wide whites might look nice...

Also, I was wondering if '53 Ford hardtops would have the same glass? It looks like they're the same but I haven't done the math yet..
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:40 AM   #17
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

Bump- anyone know if ford and mercury window frames and windows are the same for '53? Thanks- -P40-
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:32 AM   #18
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

Well I'm a "keep it stock' guy, with maybe a few bolt-ons for personal preference. Those cars came 'customized' off the line and are real beauties. Just MHO though. I'd guess the real value would be in keeping it stock. How many 'custom jobs' have we seen that either went too far, or too wrong? (not sayin' you'd do such a thing! Just sayin')

re: windows & frames same as Fords? Not sure on that one, perhaps a shop that cuts glass using patterns (vice your old glass) could answer the glass part of it. If I recollect there is a NAGS (National Auto Glass Standard) # that they might be able to check & see if both are same.

Do you have access to - or do you own a parts book for your Merc? If so the window frame Part # could tell whether or not it's interchangeable with Fords.

If you don't have a book but plan to restore the Merc my advice is - GET ONE. They are an invaluable source of parts info.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:03 PM   #19
tdlmomowers
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

IMHO. If it was mine, No wires and no wide whites. But then it's not mine, so you get to pick how you want it done. Enjoy.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:26 PM   #20
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

52/54 ford n merc h/tops have the same front screens as well as back the 52ford n merc rear was a 3 peice but the 53s fit as in my 52 merc,,,side stainless is different 52 has it in shape of z 53 runs right through ,my 52 is nearly all stock if that helps
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:06 AM   #21
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

I've cut up and customized many a car as a professional custom car builder for the last 30+ years and today I just can't do it to a nice original car that is all there, something tell me they just don't make them anymore and everyone we cut up means one less nice stocker left in the world.
I'm not opposed to do simple changes that doesn't destroy the "bones" of the car. Some goodies on the flatmoter, lowering the stock suspension, wheels/ tire swaps, even paint/ uphostery choice is ok in my book if your taste is something custom (my taste is), just nothing that would prevent it ever going back stock like a chop top or major frame swap ect.
Plenty of previous cut up stuff out there that could never be restored that's suitable for a nice radical custom if that's what you want.
Judging by the pole you are asking your really thinking along these same ideas.
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Old 04-17-2011, 01:59 PM   #22
Barry B./ Ma.
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

I wish I could post the pictures of my 53 Merc. Monterey but don't know how. Mine was stock except for skirts and was a knockout being light blue on the bottom and dark blue on top (still have some touchup paint), had the Merc full wheel covers and factory red wheels with wide whitewalls. Those 53 wheel covers really made it and it had the clear built in road lamps up front. Hope I can find another one some day. I say go for stock, Ford knew what they were doing.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:03 PM   #23
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

Tip of the day,
I bought a new 53 Merc hardtop Drove it 3 miles to a friends body shop to modify the hood and adapt 51 merc skirts.
We found that the nose of a 49 51 ford hood will fit, when trimmed, directly into the revile where the big bird was. Made a super appearance.
Loved that car. Had to sell it when army sent me overseas.
Bill
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:52 AM   #24
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

If you want a custom get a shoebox. They are cheap, plentiful and nothing ever fit right to begin with so you will be cutting and welding either way. This car on the other hand will look and drive beautifully just the way it is. A stock restoration never goes out of style.
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Old 04-18-2011, 03:23 PM   #25
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

Back in the late 50's?? a friend of mine put 54 tail lights in his 53/53 Merc, can't remember what he did to the hood. Painted crimson and black. Had to be the most beautiful car I've ever seen. Had a set of pipes on it that would berak windiws.
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:04 PM   #26
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

Anyone have a dash pod, for a 53, where the heater controls are, have the gauges.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:29 PM   #27
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

Pinstriper 40 In my search for Model A parts, I saw a couple of mercs in Mike Martells wrecking yard down in wishek N.D. acres and acres of neat stuff! Rich
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:23 PM   #28
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

Two tone the paint in stock Merc colors, dress up the flathead, put in stock Merc upholstery(it was a tuck and roll from the factory), lower it, bolt on set of full length lake pipes, no skirts, and wide whites with Dodge Lancer spinner hubcaps. It will look cool and can return to stock by just unbolting the pipes and replacing the hubcaps.
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:14 PM   #29
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

I owned a 53 Merc. Monterey 2 door hardtop back in the 50's and loved the car. I added a continental kit to the back and lowered it 6". It had twin spots and outside mirrors and twin raked antennae on the back fins. Other than that it was pretty stock and a real eye catcher. My greatest sadness is that I was stupid enough of a kid to want a new car for graduation and traded this one for a 57 Plymouth Fury 2 dr ht. Today, I would have my Merc back in a flash if I had the money to restore one. For all of you who own one take great care of your car as they are truely beautiful works of art.
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Old 03-05-2014, 01:49 AM   #30
Alaska Jim
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

I have had several 52-53 fords none of them had a 3 piece rear window.
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Old 03-05-2014, 01:56 AM   #31
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

op's you are right, the hard tops had the 3 piece window, I must be getting old. sorry, ---Jim
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:08 AM   #32
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

Quote:
Originally Posted by ken ct View Post
Looks like a 52 to me by the taillites. ?? keep it stock. ken ct OMO
52'-53' tail lights are the same. To include the bezel that is stamped 52.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:39 AM   #33
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Default Re: New Project! '53 Mercury Monterey 2dr. Hardtop

How's the rebuild coming along, should be almost done by now. Like to see how it came out.
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