1956 Mercury Montclair Phaeton Hardtop Sedan
• The Phaeton Hardtop Sedan replaced the previous Sport Sedan
• Only offered for the year 1956 since mid-year until November in North America U.S.
• 312 CID Y-block V-8 with a 4-bbl carburetor and breathing through dual exhausts (code ECZ-C)
• Merc-O-Matic three-speed automatic transmission
• 12-volt electrical system
• White over Dark Green in a Flo-Tone exterior with white and black vinyl and cloth interior
• Power steering, split bench front seat, rear seat with fold-down center armrest and rear fender skirts
• Heater and AM radio
After the banner sales year of 1955, the industry had to wonder what would come next. At Mercury, it was time to bring out its four-door hardtop to challenge Buick’s Roadmaster Riviera or DeSoto’s Firedome. Early in the model year, Mercury changed its Sport Sedan to Phaeton. Only offered for 6 short months, mid-year 1956 until November in North America U.S.
Manufactured in Ford’s still new Hazelwood, Missouri (near St. Louis) Assembly Plant on July 22, 1956, this Phaeton is finished in a Flo-Tone paint scheme, using white over dark green. Mercury offered 60 two-tone combinations in 1956, when dual-color cars were very popular. The car’s paint and trim are in overall very good order. The body is straight and solid, including the rear fender skirts; the engine bay is extremely tidy; and the chrome bumpers fit tightly to the body while looking fantastic. A Napa Legend battery appears new and it powers a 12-volt electrical system.
This Big M rolls on wide whitewall tires, size 215/75R15 at every corner. Each tire is mounted on a steel wheel topped by a factory wheel cover. The hooded headlights, vertical “chubby cheek” taillights, and bumper-integrated grille were changed only slightly. All 1956 Mercurys had a large “M” medallion on the front of the hood, and the word “Mercury” was spelled out in block letters on the center horizontal grille bar. On January 2, 1956 Mercury introduced a four-door hardtop called a “Phaeton,” and which was so designated on the sail panels in gold script. A phaeton was originally a large open touring car with a folding roof but Mercury liked the word’s classic “feel” and so employed it to mean a four-door hardtop.
Under the hood is an uprated variant of the 312 CID V-8 engine (code ECZ-C) with a four-barrel carburetor and breathing dual exhausts. Backing this motor is a Merc-O-Matic three-speed automatic transmission. Driver convenience features include power steering and under-dash heater. This was the first model year for the 312 V-8.
Inside, the car has a black-and-white cloth and vinyl interior that’s in overall very good order. The front bench seat is split while the rear bench offers a fold-down center armrest. The carpet is black while the headliner is white, providing good contrast throughout the interior. The deep-dish, three-spoke steering wheel looks fantastic while the padded dash and inner door panels are all in very good order. A trio of ancillary gauges, coolant temp, oil pressure and voltage, are mounted underneath the dash. A column shift and a factory AM radio round out the interior. The wipers function but operate slowly.
The vehicle name was introduced in 1955 and applied to Mercury’s premium automobile line. Ford historians are at a loss as to where the name originated; consensus is that it’s taken from the upper-class community of Montclair, New Jersey.
For 1955 and 1956, Montclairs featured Mercury’s best appointments; extra chrome trim and different two-tone paint combinations to set them apart from other Mercury products. Nineteen fifty-six was the year Ford introduced its Lifeguard safety program and the Mercury Montclair came standard with a deep-dish steering wheel to help protect the driver from the steering column, safety door locks, a breakaway rearview mirror and optional seat belts and padded dashboards. The dash was redesigned with a new three-tier instrument panel. Nineteen fifty-six brought another new engine, the 312 CID V-8.
In 1956, the Montclair received some minor changes, including a new Z-shaped side spear incorporating a false vent behind the front doors, and a large, beefy, chromed “M” logo on the hood.
Competition to this Montclair Phaeton in 1956 included Buick’s Roadmaster Riviera, DeSoto’s Firedome and Oldsmobile’s 98 DeLuxe Holiday Sedan.
If you’re looking for a classic mid-50s car, passing up this Monterey Phaeton would be a mistake. It’s a viable alternative to the GM Tri-Fives and to Exner’s Chryslers. Stop by MotoeXotica Classic Cars today and check out this Big M for yourself!
This car is currently located at our facility in St. Louis, Missouri. Current mileage on the odometer shows 43,027 miles. It is sold as is, where is, on a clean and clear, mileage exempt title.
GET OUT AND DRIVE!!!
Note: Please see full terms and conditions listed below that pertain to the purchase of any said vehicle, thank you.