1962 Mercury Monterey S-55 convertible
1962 Mercury Monterey S-55 convertible

The 1962 Mercury Monterey Custom S-55 was the first of the big bucket-seat Mercurys introduced in reply to the growing early-'60s interest in sportier cars generally -- and to counter Pontiac's hot-selling '62 Grand Prix in particular.

The Mercury Custom S-55 arrived at mid-model year as a hardtop coupe and convertible along with sibling Ford Galaxie 500XLs, and much like them technically.

A 300-horse-power 390 V-8 was standard, but Dearborn's new 406 enlargement -- "Marauder" in Mercury-speak -- was available on a very limited basis with 385 or 405 bhp via free-flow intake and exhaust systems, mechanical lifters, and 10.9:1 compression.

Still, most of these S-55s were built with the base engine and Multi-Drive automatic, and they emphasized sporty luxury with interiors featuring thin-shell bucket seats, shift console, and plenty of bright metal and mylar trim. The S-55 was not a sales success in '62, but it would nonetheless carry on for the next several seasons.

Pluses of the 1962 Mercury Monterey Custom S-55:

  • Strong special-interest value for some collectors
  • Sporty, luxurious interior
  • Smooth, potent performance
  • Still relatively affordable despite rarity and "muscle" image

Minuses of the 1962 Mercury Monterey Custom S-55:

  • Forgettable styling
  • Unique body and trim pieces as scarce as the cars
  • Visual distinctions mainly inside, not outside

Production of the 1962 Mercury Monterey Custom S-55:

  • Hardtop Coupe: 2,772
  • Convertible: 1,315

Specifications of the 1962 Mercury Monterey Custom S-55:
Wheelbase, inches: 120.0
Length, inches: 120.0
Weight, pounds: 3,800-3,900
Price, new: $3,488-$3,738 (U.S.)

Engines for the 1962 Mercury Monterey Custom S-55:

TypeSize Horsepower Years
ohv V-8 390 300 1962
ohv V-8406385/4051962

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