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YAK Car Pic of the Day

’56 Mercury Montclair, Buffalo, N.Y., Hemming’s Motor News Great Race

I could never understand why they call “the sticking of your spare tire on your rear bumper” a “continental kit,” but they sure were popular back in the 1950s (naturally, Wikipedia gives a few possible explanations). This particular example is hanging off the tail of a 1956 Mercury Montclair convertible, as it passes through downtown Buffalo’s welcoming crowd at this past June’s Hemming’s Motor News Great Race. I’m assuming that Mercury’s marketing people took the year off, as their 1956 sales slogan was “The Big M.” Hard to imagine a bunch of cigar-smoking guys in suits high-fiving each other after that decision. Anyway, the Montclair was Merc’s top series for 1956, followed by the Monterey, Custom, and the lowly Medalist. (We were just a year away from the over-glitzed Turnpike Cruiser which was perhaps the nadir of Mercury styling. That’s another YAK subject for another YAK day.) The ’56 drop-top pictured here had a starting list price of $2,900 and a mere 7,762 were produced.

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— Jim Corbran, You Auto Know…