Wednesday, January 6, 2010

1956 Mercury Montclair Phaeton 4-door hardtop

"Front, profile or back — whichever way you look at this new Mercury, you know that there is a distinctive new car. You see the individuality of this new Mercury in the gleaming bumper-grille; in the sweeping lines of the long, low silhouette; in the accent of the slash-molding of bright metal, in the exciting new Flo-Tone color styling of the Montclair shown above, and in the newly styled taillights. On the front of the hood, you'll note the symbol of Mercury distinction for 1956 – the Big M."

The "Big M", as the advertisement entitled the top-of-the-line Mercury, is ready to depart here at the busy train station of Cabaiguán. Because of the deficiencies in public transportation in Cuba most of the "particular" (read: private owned) cars are used as a taxi. But don't think that you can just hire one for yourself. Like buses, these taxis run on fixed routes with determined stops. And because every passenger pays to the driver, a particular taxi never starts before the last seat is occupied. It's not cheap for the cubans to go by taxi, but if you want to arrive somewhere in time, well, more or less in time, then you have no other choice. If you want to save the money for the taxi ride, your alternative could be the top of a truck.

If you are lucky enough, you get a ride in the elegant Mercury. The new generation was introduced for 1955, and awarded as the "best-looking american sedan" by Motor Trend magazine in the same year. A 4-door hardtop version called Phaeton, pictured here, completed the Mercury-lineup in 1956. This was the top-of-the-line Mercury, and even today it looks stunning with its chrome-laden body and the elegant, low roof.

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