History of the 1964 Mercury Montclair
The 1964 model year was a transition year for Mercury, with a broad lineup of overlapping nameplates. The Montclair was a variant of Mercury’s full-size platform, shared with the Monterey and the Park Lane series. Body styles varied across the series, with the Montclair limited to a four-door sedan, two-door coupe, and two-door and four-door fastback hardtops.
Wheel arches were canted forwards to indicate speed, and rear windows on the sedans and coupes were reverse-angled. Special “Breezeway” optioned models offered driver’s side controls for power windows. The fastback hardtops had standard-angled rear windows and were known as “Marauder” models regardless of whether the underlying trim level was Monterey, Montclair or Park Lane.
Like most early 1960s offerings, the Montclair had space-age styling meant to resemble a rocket ship. However, instead of the jet-exhaust style round taillights, the Montclair came with six small taillights – three on each side of the car. Two headlights on each side were also arranged side-by-side.
Engine power came courtesy of Mercury’s well-known 390-cid V-8 offering 250 horsepower, with options to raise the 390 output to 266, 300 and 330 horsepower. Or the buyer could order a 427-cid engine with 410 or 425 horsepower. A three-speed manual column-shifted transmission was standard, with a four-speed manual or Multi-Drive automatic as an option. A limited slip rear axle was also optional.
Collectors will want to seek out the higher-horsepower models, with the most exciting being the 427 engines in the two-door coupe body style. The coupes are the rarest with only 2,329 produced. Next rarest are the Marauder fastbacks with 6,459 two-doors and 8,655 four-doors produced. Mercury Marauders in this era were popular in Stock Car racing, with five NASCAR Grand National series victories in 1964. Vintage racers will want to check provenance carefully.