West Coast Classics are proud to present an absolutely exceptional and great daily driving and beautifully restored and completely rust free example of this very striking southern California 1954 Mercury Monterey 'Sun Valley Glass Top' 2 Door Hardtop Coupe with its 256/162HP V8 engine in beautiful and striking 'Park Lane Green' color paint with a 'Bloomfield Green Metallic' hardtop and a gorgeous condition matching 'Turquoise & Ivory' interior. The car is fully loaded with factory options including the 256 V8 engine, a Merc-O-Matic automatic transmission, electric clock, horn ring, chrome window surround moldings, full length body side stainless trim, rear fender skirts, heater & defroster, AM radio, power front seat, power steering, power brakes, power windows, road lamps, hubcaps and whitewall tires!
CHASSIS NO: 54LA10104M
Rare and highly desirable see-through glass top Fully restored and ready to be exercised Lovely color scheme inside and out Full array of loaded power options including: Heater & Defroster ($74) Mer-O-Matic Automatic transmission plus overdrive ($190) Power front seat Power windows Power Steering ($140) Power Brakes ($48) AM Radio Road lamps Rear Fender Skirts Hubcaps Whitewall tires
256 cid V-8 engine, 161 HP, Merc-O-Matic three-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle suspension with leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic brakes, rear-wheel drive; wheelbase: 118
They were rare when they were new and are downright very thin on the ground these days. The Sun Valley was a two-year experiment for Mercury with its Monterey beginning in 1954 with the idea of a glass-top coupe which never caught fire with Mercury buyers, or indeed Ford buyers, with the Sun Valley;s sibling, the Crestline Skyliner, surviving only one year longer to 1956. Less than 9,800 new Sun Valleys found owners in 1954, and a paltry 1,787 were bought new for 1955 when it was moved from the Monterey to the Montclair series, before the model was quietly discontinued. Reportedly today perhaps only some 10 percent of them remain, the rest long gone, which makes them a unique prize for collectors.
The Sun Valleys most recognizable personality trait was of course its green-tinted plexiglass roof section. Interestingly the Sun Valley came in only Green or Yellow exterior colors with either Yellow or Dark green vinyl upholstery. Plenty of these cars changed exterior their colors over the years, making this all original color combination extremely rare and very desirable to a collector.
The plexiglass panel might have been an acquired taste, but it was hard not to like almost everything else about the Sun Valleys. They certainly carried Mercury's polished, classy personality, with clean, understated lines and just enough chrome to provide some flash, with finishing touches like integrated vertical tail lights, curved rear glass, sleek badging and a prominent yet not overdone one-bar grilled that all seemingly flowed effortlessly together.
Inside, few cars had a more unique instrument panel than the Monterey, with its two-tone paint scheme and the levers mounted on a horizontal panel above the steering column that controlled the lights, heater and air vents. The Sun Valleys were also equipped with snap-on interior shades for drivers and passengers who did not enjoy star gazing, although few of these shades ever survived.
The endearing and enduring flathead V-8 was gone for 54. Power was instead supplied by a new 256-cid, overhead-valve V-8 with a new vacuum-inlet four-barrel carburetor that was rated at 161 hp. A three-speed manual transmission was standard, but the Merc-O-Matic with overdrive was a popular choice. The Sun Valleys rode on independent coil springs in front and leaf springs in the rear with drum brakes doing all the stopping.
Mercury had established itself nearly 20 years prior as an upper-middle-class brand carving a much-needed niche between Ford and Lincoln. Mercury caught on with the American buying public immediately winning customers over from Oldsmobile and Pontiac without taking away from Ford and Lincolns core customer base. In 1954, the Custom and Monterey models were given a bold new look, with longer and lower bodies, wraparound windshields, and squarer, more imposing lines. In 1954, Mercury sold 9,761 Sun Valley Hardtops, which was the second lowest production model for that year. This was also a milestone year for Mercury as they introduced their overhead valve V-8, which had a 256 cubic inch displacement and put out a respectable 161 horsepower with the help of its four-barrel carburetor.
As Americas first transparent-top car, one of the unknowns was if having a clear roof would bake the occupants. In period promotional materials, Mercury claimed that interior temperature in the Sun Valley rose only five degrees when subjected to direct sunlight. While automakers produced concept cars with transparent tops in the past, the Mercury Monterey Sun Valley Hardtop was the first to be put into production and offered to the public. Besides making the scenery more viewable and enjoyable, the transparent Plexiglas section is also good for viewing overhead traffic lights and provides the same weather protection as a solid steep top, although the experience of viewing a storm is much more thrilling. This example has a very rare factory zipped sun protector to shade from direct sunlight when required which is both most practical and a very desirable addition that is often not present due to deterioration and aging.
To make the Sun Valley more unique, it was offered with special interior trim combinations and body color schemes that were not offered on other body styles. The low production of fewer than 10,000 units makes this car extremely desirable to collectors, especially among Ford collectors.
The sharp Mercury version of the 'bubbletop' Ford Skyliner & Crown Victoria with its tinted Plexiglass front roof section and deluxe interior boasted a clip in sunshade for hot days which this particular example still boasts having in near pristine condition. Very few examples can say the same. Despite the fewer examples built in 1955, the '54 remains the more popular model and unlike the Crown Victoria the model was not carried on into 1956.
This Sun Valley Hardtop retains its original motor as well as the original Merc-O-Matic automatic transmission which are both in well-working order. This coupe was given a recent restoration and repaint in its original two-tone color combination of Park Lane Green with a Bloomfield Green top that presents wonderfully. In addition to its fresh colors, this Merc rides on a set of wide whitewall Firestone tires with correct chrome Mercury Man wire wheels.
The interior has been refinished in the correct color combination of Turquoise and Ivory. It comes loaded with every power accessory available in 1954, which includes power steering, power brakes, a four-way power seat, and power windows. Along with the unique glass top roof, it comes with a zip-up cover that can be deployed when shade is warranted in the cabin. Other bonuses include an electrically wound Borg clock, AM radio, overdrive, and a 54 Mercury owners manual. The engine compartment and 256 cid V-8 engine have been well-maintained and detailed for a nice presentation. A car that is rarely seen, especially in this condition, this 1954 Mercury Sun Valley Hardtop is a great opportunity to acquire one of the most eye-catching and exciting cars of its era.
The Mercury Monterey Coupe was forever immortalized in 1949 by James Dean in 'Rebel without a Cause' and then the following year was chosen as the official Pace Car for the Indianapolis 500, and with good reason - big, imposing and expensive and a standout amongst 1950's American cars for both exceptional and unique styling and sound engineering and performance, coupled with solid construction and a high quality fit and finish, the Mercury Monterey was a top-of-the-line sub-series in 1952 before becoming a line of its own for 1953-54. Ford's flathead V8 continued until late 1954 with the company's introduction of the all new 292 'Y' block overhead valve V8 with a five-main-bearing crankshaft and a standard 4 barrel carburetor, also to be used in the Ford Thunderbird. The Monterey was available as a convertible, sedan, a pillar-less coupe and station wagon and the refined look of the Mercury Monterey was renown for its classic lines which until 1956 deliberately ignored the fifties fashion for fins, making it a very unique looking car for its era.
This particular example is exceptionally rare and unusual with no signs of any accidents or rust ever and with the floor boards, trunk and all the typical rust-prone areas solid and rust-free. The car has all its original factory instrumentation intact including the original 'AM' radio, all of which are is in quite exceptional and original specification condition throughout. All the chrome has obviously been re-chromed at some stage where required (front bumper and hood ornament) and the car's original V8 engine was reportedly rebuilt under its previous ownership.
The 256 V8 engine is extremely strong and powerful and sounds absolutely magnificent and this particular car also drives absolutely magnificently - must be driven to be believed - does not miss a beat and purrs like a kitten - drives straight as an arrow with no strange road wobbles, shakes or rattles - a truly remarkable daily driver that will give any modern day car a run for it's money! The transmission shifts smoothly through the gears and the car is an absolute pleasure to drive!
This is an extraordinarily rare opportunity to own a great daily driving and beautifully restored where required over the years, and completely rust free fully loaded with all options 1954 Mercury Monterey 'Sun Valley' 2 Door Hardtop Coupe in a very striking color combination with a beautiful matching interior! A true all American classic car for the Mercury enthusiast or simply any classic car enthusiast to enjoy today!