Rod & Custom Feature Car
1956 Mercury Montclair
Though the sheetmetal's all Mercury, its underpinnings are GM! The majority of the stock chassis remains, though Mike Thompson installed a '77 Nova front clip back in 1988 when the Merc was first built as a custom. This means the front suspension and steering, including the column, is stock Nova. The same Nova donated its rearend to the cause. Air shocks with an on-board compressor enable the rear of the car to be lowered, the work performed by Street Machinery in Euclid, OH.
Seems Mike Thompson had a good '77 Nova kicking around when he built the Merc, as the 350 small-block and matching TH350 trans also came from the Chevy. Both remain stock, with absolutely no modifications listed on Steve's tech sheet, though the motor has some dress-up parts! Hey, it's a custom, there's no need to open the hood!
The bodywork is where this Merc shines, as any self-respecting custom should. Most of the mods were tackled back in 1988 by John Childers, such as the pancaked hood, with frenched headlights that use '54 Merc rings under the peaks, 10-inch extended rear fenders housing quad '56 Packard taillights, and the removal of all trim and handles. The grille had its ends removed, and coupled with the removal of the bumper guards and a rolled pan, clean up the front end perfectly. Both bumpers were filled and smoothed before being re-chromed, while Jerry's House of Kolor in Elyria, OH, laid on the Hok True Blue pearl after bringing the body back to perfect condition. Joe Koenigsmark added the scallops.
Wheels & Tires
It has 14-inch Coker chrome wheels with Shannon cone centers wrapped in wide whitewall radials all round, though the rears are almost totally hidden behind skirts.
That '77 Nova crops up again as it gave up its front seat, while the rear is the stock Merc item. Pearl white rolled and pleated vinyl covers the whole interior, stitched by North Coast Upholstery in Lorrain, OH. A '60 Chevy steering wheel now crowns the Nova column. Airtique supplied the A/C, while a Ron Francis harness keeps everything running as it should, including the Pioneer stereo. Speedway Motors supplied the seatbelts, important with two young sons to consider.