Duke M 1954 Mercury Monterey 2dr Hardtop Coupe


On the third weekend in June for the past 41 years, one of the largest classic car and rod show in the nation, BACK TO THE 50's is held on the Minnesota State Fair grounds. Two years ago, I drove my stock 1954 Mercury Monterey hardtop coupe down to this three day event. Twelve thousand cars from 1900 to 1964 line every nook and cranny of the vast grounds, while huge crowds of classic car enthusiast gawk, question, share stories, buy parts and everything else under the sun that is available for restoration of vehicles.

Although the 54 Mercury has only 72,000 original miles, as many hobby collectors tend to do, I spent countless hours repainting the engine to factory correct colors, redoing the undercarriage, trunk and numerous other types of detailing and mechanical work to make the vehicle as fresh and correct as the day it came off the assembly line. Since stock, low mileage 54 Mercury Coupes are rare at any car gathering, the car displayed well and was popular with the public.

On Saturday, the second day of the event, an elderly gentleman, with his daughter holding him steady as he walked, came upon my vehicle. They both stated that they had come to the 50's show just to find a 54 Mercury and had been walking for hours before finding mine. What made it so important for him, was that a 54 Mercury was the first new car he ever owned, and the one that he drove on his honeymoon. What was most astounding, was the fact that my car was the same color inside and out as the one he owned. He got in and sat behind the wheel as his daughter took pictures. When he got out, he shook my hand and thanked me for bring the car to display. He stated, "My wife passed away two weeks ago, and I just had to find the car we started out our life together 59 years ago!" When he and his daughter left, my tears provided the answers to why I had dedicated so much time and effort in preserving a piece of the past...

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