1956 Mercury Montclair Hardtop

In 1956, Mercury’s premier offering was the full-sized Montclair series, with its two-door hardtop coupe reigning as the epitome of luxury. Described as “long and low” in factory literature, the Montclair boasted a formidable 312-inch “Y-block” V8 engine equipped with a four-barrel carburetor, generating 258 horsepower and paired with a three-speed automatic transmission. Its prowess on both city streets and highways was evident, with contemporary tests revealing sub-10-second acceleration times to 60 mph and a top speed exceeding 100 mph.

Adorned with lavish chrome accents, the Montclair featured distinctive “Lightning Bolt”-shaped spears running along its flanks, often complemented by contrasting paint schemes above and below, creating a truly stunning visual impact. Inside, a new three-tiered instrument panel and a deep-dish steering wheel highlighted Ford’s commitment to occupant safety, with wrap-around glass windshields and backlights adding to the car’s allure.

Production figures indicate that Mercury rolled out over 50,000 Montclairs in 1956, marking it as the company’s best-selling model of the year. While the base price stood at $2,765, optional extras such as automatic transmission, power steering, an AM signal-seeking radio, and tinted glass could easily inflate the final cost. Among the more unique variants was the rarely-seen Sun Valley edition, featuring a striking dark green-tinted Plexiglas panel covering the front half of the roof.

Photo Source: RM Sotheby’s