Q: Hello Greg, I read your car columns and I'm attaching some photos of my car. I am interested in whether you think this vehicle is rare and if it’s worth much.
It’s a Canadian-built 1964 Meteor Custom Convertible with a Mercury body and Ford Galaxie interior. The engine is the 352-inch V8 that originally came with a 2-barrel carburetor but has been replaced with a 4-barrel. It has the Merc-O-Matic 3-speed dual range automatic transmission and it cruises very nicely.
My Meteor has a working clock and original radio, though I added an AM-FM-CD player under the dash. It also has power steering and brakes.
A friend of mine who lived near Niagara Falls, Canada, was the second owner of the car and wanted me to have it. I had moved from Ontario to Michigan and after about one year of him trying to convince me to take the car he drove it to Michigan and told me it was mine and I could pay him whenever. That was in June of 2001. I moved to Danville, PA in 2007 and drove the car here from Michigan.
Thanks much Greg. Jim N., Danville, PA
A: Hi Jim and thanks for your email. I’ve got to admit you have one fine friend there!
Your car is beautiful, and looks exactly like those 1964 Mercury Marauders I came to appreciate thanks to my love of NASCAR racing.
The Canadian models, which have been around since 1949 by Ford of Canada, usually had enhanced grilles and rear fascias, but as you note were 100-percent Ford and Mercury in final mechanical prowess.
As for value, I opine that although your Meteor was built in Canada it has very little affect on the car’s value. Canada and the U.S. car companies have been building cars in cooperation for many, many decades as we are such close neighbors.
Matter of fact, when I was in Detroit recently I stayed in a hotel where you could see right across the lake to Windsor, Canada, where many cars and engines have been built by Ford Motor Company. There is a huge well-lit sign that clearly says Windsor to all who look the Canadian way. Yes, it is that close to our Detroit soil.
Current values find the 1964 Mercury Monterey convertible listing for a low retail of $7,672, medium retail at $18,260 and a high retail of $33,550.
The major difference I found is that the 1964 Mercury built in the USA came with a 390 inch V8 as standard; while in Canada it was a 352-inch V8 with the 390 as an option. Other than that, everything from your Galaxie interior and different grille is Ford/Mercury produced, with the full-size exterior Mercury body.
Notable is that from 1961 to 1963, there was an American Mercury Meteor that in ’61 shared full size 120-inch wheelbase dimensions and ’62 shared mid-size dimensions with a 116.5-inch wheelbase. In ’63, the Meteor was a near compact Comet design on a slightly longer wheelbase of 116.5 inches versus Comet’s 114-inches.
During the time of the American Meteor sales, Canada changed its Meteor name to Monterey in ’62 and ’63 and then returned to the Meteor nomenclature in 1964 when Mercury dropped the line here in the U.S. In 1977, Mercury just used the same car model names for Canadian identification as its American counterparts.
Your fine looking Meteor rides on a full size wheelbase of 120-inches. Notable, too, is that only 4,559 American full-size convertibles were ever built in Monterey and Park Lane trim. I would think your Meteor’s run in Canada was much less, and perhaps even less than 1,000 units. (I’m still trying to lock down some solid production numbers of the Canadian Meteors).
For history buffs out there, the first Mercury rolled off the assembly line in 1939 and the last one was produced in January of 2011.
I always have a soft spot in my heart for the Mercury brand, as my uncle John worked for them at the Metuchen plant in New Jersey in the 1950s.
In ending, Jim N. also sent along this information for the owner of the 1972 Ford LTD convertible looking for parts. Jim has been able to get parts from Macs Auto parts in Lockport, NY. In fact they have a specific catalog for full size Ford and Mercury cars from 1960 to 1972. Web site is www.macsautoparts.com.
Thanks for your letter and good luck with your Canadian Mercury.