With Memorial Day weekend upon us and summer just around the corner, it’s time for family road trips. A fire-breathing muscle machine or a nimble sports car may be the enthusiast choice for that dream cross-country drive, but such a choice lacks the space and comfort you’ll need for kids and gear, which makes a full-sized wagon the practical choice—just as it did back in the day.
Before minivans (and now SUVs) ruled the school pickup lanes, wagons were the family vehicle of choice. Seemingly every suburban home had a wood-paneled wagon in the drive, and every American car brand had at least one in their lineup to satisfy the demand. As the mid-1980s unfolded, full-sized wagons turned into uncool dinosaurs. Of course, time and attrition have a way of making what was once the dreaded family car fun and cool again. So what better way to make the collector car hobby a family experience and your summer trips even more memorable than to relive your family trip in what was likely your family’s car of choice?
Mercury is no longer with us, but it used to be the step-up brand from Ford, with a little bit nicer trim and additional features. The Colony Park name was used through six generations of full-sized car-based wagons from Mercury beginning in 1957 and soldiering well into the minivan era through 1991. Third-generation models of 1964 were built on a shared platform with the Ford Country Squire, losing its unique body shell after 1960 (although there was some cross sharing with Edsel in 1958). It would continue to use a shared Ford platform through the rest of its production.
This week’s eBay find looks to be a fine example. Extensive photos (including a link to a Dropbox gallery with detailed undercarriage shots included in the description) show an allegedly very original and rust-free California car. The seller mentions new paint and upholstery, which deliver some serious eye candy and, given the sheer scale of the car, couldn’t have been cheap. The only non-original cosmetic feature appears to be period aftermarket alloy wheels, but they impart a nice Southern California surfer vibe to the wagon. Although those center caps might not be deemed appropriate in every family setting.
Prices are difficult to judge on these cars. The Buy-It-Now price is listed at $23,000, and while our Hagerty Valuation Tools don’t include the Colony Park Wagon, we can approximate values by looking at related cars. Based on the Mercury Monterey, the $23K price is equivalent to the #2 (Excellent) condition value of a 1964 Mercury Monterey Convertible, and is quite a leap from a 1964 Mercury Monterey Sedan, valued at $12,500 in #1 (Concours) condition. The average #1-condition value for a similar 1964 Ford Country Squire wagon with the equivalent 390-cubic-inch engine is $18,200.
We’d estimate that this asking price is top money for a Colony Park, but the model’s relative rarity and higher trim level—not to mention the potential priceless family memories to be had—make it worth a look.