The Mercury Montclair was a full-size automobile produced by the Mercury Division of the Ford Motor Company from 1955 to 1957, the M-E-L Division of Ford Motor Company 1958 to 1959 and by the Lincoln Mercury Division of the Ford Motor Company from 1964 to 1968. Its appearance followed the concept show car in 1954 called the Mercury XM-800.
The vehicle name was introduced in 1955 and applied to Mercury’s premium automobile line. Ford historians are at a loss as to where the name originated; the consensus is that it’s taken from the upper class community of Montclair, New Jersey. For 1955 and 1956, Montclairs featured Mercury’s best appointments, extra chrome trim, and different two-tone paint combinations to set them apart from other Mercury products. 1956 was the year that Ford introduced its Lifeguard safety program, and the Mercury Montclair came standard with a deep-dish steering wheel to help protect the driver from the steering column, safety door locks, a breakaway rear view mirror, and optional seat belts and padded dashboards. The dash was redesigned with a new three-tier instrument panel.
In 1961 Mercury dropped the Montclair and Park Lane in favor of Meteor and Monterey; in 1962 these were replaced by the Monterey and Monterey Custom, and the Meteor name transferred to Mercury’s new intermediate line based on the Ford Fairlane.