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Gunchsta HalfDork
8/20/20 10:50 a.m.

Let me introduce you to my latest acquisition: 


1965 Mercury Monterey Breezeway. 390, 2 barrel, c4? automatic, power steering, manual drum brakes. 

Supposedly I purchased it from the original owner, though I think he was probably the 2nd owner and bought the car around 68 or 69 according to the son. Either way, this car had been in one family for quite a long time. There was an oil change sticker from 2009 that was about 500 miles prior to the current mileage, so the car has been driven 500 miles in the last 11 years prior to my purchase. It sounds like the car was stored in an indoor parking garage at an apartment and had to be moved once a year every spring so management could clean the garage. Otherwise I believe it's been off the road since 2014. They finally got tired of dealing with starting and moving the car once a year and decided to part ways with it. I was happy to take it off their hands and told them it would be loved and cared for. Very nice people, the father even came down to meet me once we struck a deal (the son was selling the car).  

My wife came to look at it with me and we both fell in love on the test drive - it's SO big (It's 18 feet long!) and silly, but it drives terrifically. As a matter of fact we bought it a week before our 3 year wedding anniversary and decided it drove so well we would take it on a little road trip (keen readers will remember we took my 1983 GMC Sierra on a Midwest adventure for our honeymoon, so we love road tripping old stuff). The only thing I did before our little road trip was change the oil and fill it with gas. I wasn't too keen on putting a couple hundred miles on 10 year old oil, although apparently I wasn't concerned about any of the other fluids as I didn't change them. I did a quick inspection when I changed the oil and nothing appeared to be leaking, the brake hoses all looked to be in fair shape, tires were decent (no idea the date code but they aren't all dry rotted so *shrug*), so this barge is deemed sea worthy! 

tune in next time as we set sail! 

Mr_Asa Dork
8/20/20 10:58 a.m.

500 miles in 11 years?  I would 100% change those tires, even if you can't find the date code.

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) Dork
8/20/20 11:02 a.m.

^^ Especially if you can't find the date code. From a certain age (early 2000's? and before) the date codes had a slightly different format.  Blowouts/problems on old tires can be serious. I had a (late 90s? Early 2000s? Tire shop couldn't tell) tread delaminate on my '83 Civic, and thats just while the car was sitting. Would have wreaked havoc on my quarter panel, and possibly caused worse to happen to the car if it happened while moving. Don't berk around with tires, they're all that hold your car to the ground.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
8/20/20 11:03 a.m.

Breezeway means the back window goes down, right?  That rules.

Gunchsta HalfDork
8/20/20 11:07 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:

Breezeway means the back window goes down, right?  That rules.

Correct. This one is currently non-functional but I'll investigate that at some point. Low on the priority list at the moment. 

Gunchsta HalfDork
8/20/20 11:10 a.m.

RE: Tires - they will get changed eventually, I haven't even looked for a date code, they could be newer than the oil. 

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
8/20/20 11:23 a.m.

nice car.

Gunchsta HalfDork
8/20/20 11:40 a.m.

Road trip time! 

I loaded the trunk with as many fluids and tools as I thought I could use. Luckily all we ended up using was some oil. Ok, maybe more than some. 

We had a day and a half off work and set out for our destination - a hotel 80 miles away in Wisconsin. We opted for the more rural route avoiding the major highways because Americana. The drive to Menomonie was great. The car is comfortable, cruises super nice and quiet, and drives straight as an arrow. The trip ended up taking probably 1-1/2 times as long as it needed to but we were in no hurry. Lots of good windshield time getting comfortable with the new-to-us Mercury. 

When we were looking for our Hotel we ran across the spot we took pictures to announce our engagement 4 years ago, so we stopped again and that was pretty cool. They had built the area up some but we could still pick out where we stopped. I parked the Merc and snapped a picture to prove we'd made it I guess. 

That evening we had reservations at Lucette brewing for some beer and pizza, both of which were really good. Worth a stop, they had a brown ale named Winter Flannel I really liked. After leaving the brewery we cruised Menomonie for a bit and ended up taking the big Merc on some really great Wisconsin letter roads winding through farmland. Just beautiful terrain. I love the way this picture turned out. 

As the sun went down we headed back to the hotel, and I impressed a local with my backing in skills... he said something to the line of "you must have a backup camera in that thing". The car is big but the sight lines are pretty good. 

Here's the view from our hotel room. We had some beer in bed, watched some Roadkill on TV, it was a great anniversary! 

The car made it back home no sweat, rough MPG estimate was 13 which is... probably about where it should be. A successful trip! Ended up putting roughly 200 trouble free miles on the car. It used about 2 quarts of oil which was rather alarming, although some further diagnosis has proved that the intake gasket is leaking oil like crazy, which is a very common problem on FE engines. 

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) Dork
8/20/20 11:45 a.m.

Awesome trip! Car looks like it belongs on those roads.

Gunchsta HalfDork
8/20/20 11:45 a.m.

Bonus pictures from our adventures on the way home. 

This was called Devil's Punch Bowl - it was some cool natural like pit/waterfall thing. Fun to walk around and look at the different ways the plants were growing on the side of the rocks near the waterfall. 

RossD MegaDork
8/20/20 11:50 a.m.

Nice car and trip! 

Gunchsta HalfDork
8/20/20 12:00 p.m.

Not sure the group consensus on the next part of this journey, but we're going on it anyway. 

Once the road trip was a success it was time to personalize the car a bit. I've always been in to hot rods, customs and low riders from the 60's and 70's. I'm hoping to achieve the aesthetic of a California cruise night in... say 1969. Call it a 'mild custom'. A bit of lowering, some wheels, exhaust, and maybe some vintage dress-up items for the engine bay. I would love to put some crazy metal flake panel paint on the roof, but that might be a little too much for me.

Step one: service position

Note massive oil leak apparent on driveway. Ignore that for now. 

Steps 2-55: no pictures taken. Front springs removed, coils cut, wheels washed and degreased. 

Step 56: tape off wheels in yard. Exhaustion begins; I'm not as young as the kid I'm pretending to be. 

Step 57 & 58: move wheels to garage because it's now too dark to paint in the yard. 

Step 59: Rattle can black. 

Step whatever at this point: marvel because the paint covered GOOD and has a great gloss to it. This stuff rules. 

10:37 pm: put freshly painted wheels on freshly cut springs car, short test drive to a streetlight to admire. 

Yup, that's the look I was going for. 

8/20/20 12:41 p.m.

In reply to Gunchsta :

I ws holding my breath for the reveal and yet I do approve! Do the cut springs make themselves known or hardly?

Gunchsta HalfDork
8/20/20 12:49 p.m.
NOHOME said:

In reply to Gunchsta :

I ws holding my breath for the reveal and yet I do approve! Do the cut springs make themselves known or hardly?

Hardly. I think the springs were somewhere near 24" tall so removing the one coil hardly changed the ride at all. It still glides down the road like cold butter on a hot frying pan. I'm glad you approve, your work is amazing! 

Gunchsta HalfDork
8/20/20 12:52 p.m.


After. Much more to my liking. $15 eBay chrome lug nuts and some black spray paint. Getting closer to that So-Cal mild custom vibe.

Gunchsta HalfDork
8/20/20 1:07 p.m.

Last Saturday I decided to address the bungee cord battery hold down. Safety 3rd and all of that. 

Well, long story short this is what I ended up with. 

Made for $0 from scrap in the garage. The zig-zag on top is accidental because yours truly can't measure well. 

The funny thing is that I built version 1.0 of this hold down for the original battery box, which I hadn't bothered to look at really. Well came time to tighten everything down and it was still pretty mushy. Turns out the original battery tray was super rusty and garbage. Fortunately, the rust hadn't carried over to anything important, so I unbolted the tray and chucked it in the trash. Luckily I saved the battery tray I removed from the Shart and was able to adapt that to fit. Which of course had different points for the hold down so that had to be modified. No matter, was a nice Saturday to be out in the garage playing with metal. 

I could have walked to Oreilly and bought a generic hold down for probably 10 bucks. But I didn't so now I have this bespoke zig-zag unit. 

californiamilleghia Dork
8/20/20 1:21 p.m.

where are the chrome curb feelers ?

Cool car and SoCal approved :)

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/20/20 4:27 p.m.

Pearl white roof with lace panels or go home!

preach GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/20/20 4:41 p.m.
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) said:

Pearl white roof with lace panels or go home!


The cuban in me wants to put ghost lace flames on my Opel when it's done.

Uncle David (Forum Supporter)
Uncle David (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand New Reader
8/20/20 6:31 p.m.

Looks like you got a nice one.  Please share some interior and underhood pics. 

How old are the tires?  I bet it's time for tires.  If you think it drives great now, just wait till it gets new tires.  I'd go with blackwalls, black wheels, and small hubcaps, but you do you. 

Please check all the rubber lines.  Brake hoses, fuel hoses, and vacuum hoses, in that order.  Replace 'em all.  Radiator and heater hoses too. 

Next up is a dual reservoir master cylinder, if not already there. That's an excuse to flush the brake fluid - another good idea for a car that's been sitting. 

After that, I'd do shocks and check all the bushings.  Check all the tune-up parts and replace as required.  Then cruise the hell out of it. 

I think '65 pre-dates the C4 trans, but I'm a GM guy.  It might be an FMX or a C6. 


Mr_Asa Dork
8/20/20 6:36 p.m.

C4 was before the C6 I think, and definitely before the FMX.

759NRNG (Forum Partidario)
759NRNG (Forum Partidario) UltraDork
8/20/20 6:56 p.m.
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) said:

Pearl white roof with lace panels or go home!

This.....OHY!!! this is SO wrong it's WAY RIGHT.......carry on!!!!! 

OjaiM5 Reader
8/20/20 7:09 p.m.

She's a beaute! 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
8/20/20 8:23 p.m.

Cool car, I always liked those Breezeway windows.  I'd save up for some chrome reverse wheels, or era-appropriate mags, or at least some trim rings and spider caps...the black wheels without wheel covers just make it look like you lost your wheel covers.

slowbird SuperDork
8/20/20 8:23 p.m.

Man that Breezeway roofline sure is funky, but I like it. I'd probably put Torq-Thrusts on it because I'm basic.

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