The 1955-1956 Mercury Montclair hardtop, convertible, and phaeton are the most collectible offerings -- save the "Plexi-roof" Sun Valley hardtop coupe -- in Mercury's new-for-'55 premium series, which demoted the former top-line Monterey to mid-range status. Bright new square-shouldered styling on an inch-longer wheelbase implied an all-new design, but the '55s and the even bolder, facelifted '56s were actually artful reskins of Merc's successful 1952-1954 platform. Mostly evolutionary engineering changes included factory air as a new '55 option, plus "on-demand" low-gear kickdown for the extra-cost three-speed Merc-O-Matic Drive (which previously started in second).

Montclairs predictably offered Mercury's best trim and most complete standard equipment in these years. The '55s sported a slim chrome-edged panel just under the beltline that keyed to roof color with optional two-toning. The '56 "Big M" story involved larger V-8s with more power, plus new Phaeton hardtop sedans in all series, which expanded down to near Ford price territory with the addition of cheap Medalist models.

Growing collector interest in hardtop sedans is why the Montclair Phaeton is included here, but also note its Sport Sedan companion with the same raking roofline, but slim fixed B-pillars, unique to the '56 Montclair line and fairly rare with only 11,765 built.

Pluses of the 1955-1956 Mercury Montclair Hardtop/Convertible/Phaeton:

  • Burly good looks with just enough period flash
  • Modern, powerful V-8s
  • Long underappreciated, so some models fairly scarce

Minuses of the 1955-1956 Mercury Montclair Hardtop/Convertible/Phaeton:

  • Collector values now rising fast
  • Not many saved over the years, so some parts as hard to find as the cars themselves

Production of the 1955 Mercury Montclair Hardtop/Convertible/Phaeton:

  • Convertible: 10,668
  • Hardtop Coupe: 71,588

Production of the 1956 Mercury Montclair Hardtop/Convertible/Phaeton:

  • Convertible: 7,762
  • Hardtop Sport Coupe: 50,562
  • Phaeton Hardtop Sedan: 23,493

Specifications of the 1955-1956 Mercury Montclair Hardtop/Convertible/Phaeton:
Wheelbase, inches: 119.0
Length, inches: 206.3
Weight, pounds: 3,490-3,725
Price, new: $2,630-$2,900 (U.S.)

Engines for the 1955-1956 Mercury Montclair Hardtop/Convertible/Phaeton:

TypeSize Horsepower Years
ohv V-8 292 198 1955
ohv V-8312225/3351956

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