Category : Classic Cars
Year : 1953
Engine Size : 350 V8
Mileage (miles / km) : 3410
Colour : Black & Burgundy
Interior : Red
US$ 69,900
Mercury Monterey
Frame Off Built Monterey ZZ4/350 V8 700R4 4 Speed Automatic PS A/C

350 cubic inch GM Performance Parts ZZ4 crate engine / 355 horsepower
Power rack-and-pinion steering
Jet Black & Ford Red Candy Metallic paint
Sony audio

700R4 4-speed automatic transmission
Power front disc and rear drum brakes
Modified interior

Heavily upgraded suspension
Modified all-steel body
Modern air conditioning


350 cubic inch GM Performance Parts ZZ4 crate engine / 355 horsepower
700R4 4-speed automatic transmission
Modified interior / Modern air conditioning
Modified all-steel body / Jet Black & Ford Red Candy Metallic paint
Power rack-and-pinion steering
Power front disc and rear drum brakes
Heavily upgraded suspension
Sony audio

What do you get when you combine the aesthetic traits of a show-worthy street rod with the drivability of a modern hot rod? This incredible Mercury kustom! With the universal appeal of high dollar eye candy, and the road going prowess of a fully sorted cruiser, this slick Monterey is a unique, well built classic that provides its owner the best of both worlds. And what’s better: you can have your show stopper and drive it too for a fraction of the money and time it takes to complete a ground-up build. If you’re an anxious buyer who’s tired of the ‘garage furniture’ culture that seems to pervade the classic car hobby, this stunning Merc is one of the coolest road-ready customs your money can buy!


Purchased in 2008 as a fully restored driver, this slick hardtop has been carefully finessed into a one-of-a-kind piece of art. Of course, every work of art needs a solid canvas, and under the car’s many modifications you’ll find solid steel that, based on appearance, has never been botched or wrinkled in any significant way. That smooth surfacing makes for a super clean profile that’s been laboriously block-sanded and covered in a stunning combination of Ford Red Candy Metallic and Jet Black 2-stage. And ultimately, the car debuted as an excellent looking classic that walks a fine line between traditional street rod swing and outrageous SoCal flair.

A kustom in the truest sense of the term, this Merc gets cues from a variety sources both literal and figurative. At the front of the car, a lightly massaged grille frames frenched headlights, a factory-spec bumper, and a ’50 Ford hood that’s been nosed and louvered. Behind that hood, factory-tint glass founds mirrored wipers and straight stainless frames beneath small vent visors and a modified, NOS windshield visor. Beneath that glass, ’55 Pontiac profile trim perfectly complements factory rocker guards and factory fender skirts. At the edges of that trim, Buick-style portholes and correct Monterey badging add a little form while traditional door handles and classy mirrors instill a little function. And at the back of the car, dualed ’95 Cadillac taillights frame a decked trunk and an Impala-branded fuel filler above a snazzy ’55 Pontiac bumper.


Many Dearborn kustoms get by on traditional flathead power. And I do mean “get by” in the most literal sense of the phrase. While extremely cool, and chock full of character, flatheads aren’t particularly known for earth-shaking performance when strapped to heavy ‘50s metal. Sourced directly from GM Performance Parts, this Merc’s sprier personality comes courtesy of a 350 cubic inch ZZ4 crate engine that twists stout 10 to 1 compression into 355 horsepower and 405 lb./ft. of torque. The mean motor’s energy mixture is supplied by a coated Holley carburetor, which is sandwiched between an Edelbrock Performer intake and polished, transverse air cleaner. That mixture travels in to aluminum L98 cylinder heads, which hang polished valve covers and polished breathers over stamped rocker arms and hypereutectic pistons. That valvetrain combusts thanks to a forged, internally-balanced crank, powdered connecting rods and a billet cam. Fire for that combustion comes courtesy of a modern HEI distributor and Autolite Professional Series plug wires. That fire is kept in check by a beefy radiator, which is mated to chrome flex hoses and a polished expansion tank. Traditional V-belts spin a rebuilt alternator opposite a modern AC compressor while spent gases are cycled through iron GM manifolds. And first-rate details include: an Optima battery, a small pressure gauge, a Wilwood proportioning valve and a Holley fuel regulator.


Every good street rod has a solid foundation. Flip this polished classic upside down and you’ll find a roster of mechanical improvements that mix vintage looks with modern mobility. Behind the small block, a tough 700R4 4-speed features an adjustable lock-up converter. That gearbox drives a sturdy, highway friendly axle, which rides on traditional leaf springs and small lowering blocks. Opposite that axle, an independent front-half features power rack-and-pinion steering. Power front disc and rear drum brakes are a welcome addition and big performance upgrade. There’s a true-dual exhaust system that mixes throaty Magnaflow mufflers with polished stainless tips. And everything rides on old school steelies, which spin 215/75R15 Dean Alpha 365 whitewalls around what appear to be ‘50s Dodge hubcaps.


Like its solid mechanicals and striking body, this Monterey’s interior is an eclectic mix of bests. A ’59 Chevy dash hangs modern air conditioning, clear Dolphin telemetry and a crisp Sony CD player between a Guide traffic light viewer and 12-volt power outlets. In front of that dash, ’66 Thunderbird seats feature power adjustment for the car’s driver. Between those seats, a custom oil pan console tops premium carpet, which is protected by piped and color-keyed floor mats. That dash, seat and carpet trifecta is cased in a tight headliner and classy factory door panels. In front of the driver, a modern tilt steering column bridges the gap between a ’59 Impala wheel and digital gear selector. And behind the passengers, a fully finished trunk hides a small spare tire.


A trophy awarded to the car at a local cruise-in

This striking Merc is a nicely finished classic that was built to be driven AND seen. It uses top-notch components from some of the best names in the business to create a unique kustom that mixes killer personality with awesome curb appeal. If you’re looking for a road ready hot rod that’s guaranteed to draw a crowd wherever you go, your search is officially over!

RK Motors RK Motors Charlotte | North Carolina | 704-596-5211