Every Beat of My Heart – Pips
Wheels – Stringalongs
Save the Last Dance for Me – Drifters
Stand by Me:
10. Michael – Highwaymen
9. Will You Love Me Tomorrow – Shirelles
8 Blue Moon – Marcels
7, The Lion Sleeps Tonight – Tokens
6. Take Good Care of My Baby – Bobby Vee
5. Pony Time – Chubby Checker
4. Wonderland By Night – Bert Kaempfert
3. Runaway – Del Shannon
2. Big Bad John – Jimmy Dean
1. Tossin’ and Turnin’ – Bobby Lewis
I am an old retired Army Sergeant. I returned from Europe in January of 1961 and was stationed at St Bonaventure University in Olean NY. The first thing I did was to order a new 1961 Mercury Monterey Convertible. I took delivery of it in February during a snowstorm. I drove it to the garage at my home with the top down and heater going full blast as the temperture was hovering around zero.
I had a lot of fun with that car. When I was ordered to Korea I had to sell it. Upon my return to the States, I tried to find my Merc and buy it back if I could but no luck. After some more overseas assisgnments I retired from the Army. I decided that another 61 Merc Monterey Convertible have to do. To my dismay, I found them to be quite scarce.
I acquired one that was in about a number 3 condition but it ran with 413,000 miles on it. It has power steering, brakes, windows, and automatic transmission with a 390 cu. in. engine. It took three and half years to restore its to original condition and many, many dollars. Parts were very hard to find although there was many common parts between Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury so that fact saved many hours.
I think I now have one of the finest Mercurys anywhere.
I get lots of positive comments from everyone on its gracious beauty.
Hi Harry, Great story! I actually see quite a few ads placed by people looking for a specific car or a particular make and model from their past. I once helped a fellow find a 1957 Ford convertible that once belonged to his grandfather. It’s not an easy job but if you have contacts in the hobby across the country, sometimes you get lucky. Some clubs keep a registry of all cars of their particular interest; for example “The Edsel Registry” does this and can give you the history of many cars and where they are today, even if they’re wrecked. The Cougar Club of America is an invaluable source of information too. I’m not aware of a similar database for 1961 Mercury, but you might drop a line to Jerry Robbin at the International Mercury Owners Association Facebook page. He or another member might be able to help you find the original.
Kind Regards, Bill
The full-sized Mercury for 1961 has never been, it seems, almost anyone’s opinion of a classic car. Why? I have somehow always held it in high esteem, though, since childhood. Perhaps after seeing it first used as a getaway car in an episode of the Fugitive TV series (There Goes the Ball Game). Somehow after, I’ve found this forgotten Merc to have made a niche in my heart. I work at a Shell station, and a friend of mine, who previously owned a ’63 Montclair, had a pair of ’61 Merc hubcaps, and gave them to me. I intend to polish them, and then mount them on my bedroom wall. Then, who knows indeed, this may lead me to if a long duration, a worthy one, of saving up to a few thousand, so that I could at least acquire one of the two Meteors offered that year; most Monterey convertibles and Colony Parks are predictably spoken for, and go for galactic prices in fine shape. Meteors are rarer, and even more the unsung hero caliper, but probably more on the market, and affordable. Most ’61 Mercs possess six taillights, but the base Meteors instead have Pontiac style oval units. Was there a Pontiac influence when this car was styled ? Take that aggressive crescent concave grille; it’s a distinction all its’ own, and again, I see a touch of Pontiac. Perhaps when the movie “Christine” was made, this would have been a more appropriate car. Perhaps this Merc was never a solid hit with most because of its’ all-too familiar kinship with the Galaxie of the same year, which beyond that, is probably what did Mercury in; the overkill kinship to Ford the division could somehow never escape. Nevertheless, and despite warnings from friends about investing in any car this old, those hubcaps may have jumpstarted something in me, and I may be behind the wheel of a beloved 1961 Meteor, and I hope it’s a four-door hardtop. Undervalued, overlooked, but creative automotive example, the 1961 Mercury, out of Dearborn.
I had caught a classic rerun of the original Price Is Right (Bill Cullem) on the Game Show Network (cable), and there was a fully equipped all-new Monterey convertible for 1961 as the second prize; a beautiful car, and with every option you could want, and get. Let’s see what the future will bring to me.
Hi David, Well you’re right, the 1961 Mercury Monterey and the two Meteors, along with 1962 full-size Mercs were the cars that got no respect. Today they command considerably less interest than 1960 and earlier cars. In fact the 1961 Mercurys set the tone for all subsequent incarnations. Today, a similarly equipped Ford will almost always fetch a higher dollar. I’ve never been able to grasp why almost overnight Mercury acquired an image as an “old man car” and as Bunky Knudson of Dodge once said: “I can sell a young man’s car to an older guy, but I can’t sell an old man car to a young man”. And near as I can tell that’s the post 1961 Mercury story. But that only makes them easier to afford for you and me! Right?!
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