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Mercury Colony Park station wagon 1957
I've always wanted an old car but prices of ones already restored and fixed-up were quite expensive.
Well I drive taxi for a living and saving for one was hard to do without using the money for something else that might come up.
One day while I was working I drove by a house with a old station wagon in the front yard. It was in fairly good shape, but on the rough side, from what I could see at 40 mph driving by. After seeing it a few times from my cab I stopped to see what the price was on the sign and check the condition. I looked it over and started to dream of what it would be like driving it around town. I went home that night and told my wife that I found this station wagon for sale and we decided to go talk to the owner.
After finding out that it did not run and the body, interior and chrome all needed work, I was able to get it for half the price. I went home and called the towing company that the taxi company uses and it was flat bedded to my mechanics garage.
We live in Springfield, MA and they were in Albany, N.Y., so me and my wife took a ride to Albany to drop it off and went back a month later to pick it up. The radiator was sent out to be reconditioned. A few other parts such as starter, carb, filters etc were fixed or replaced. The tires were the old bias-ply type which was replaced with new radials.
The car was bought in the summer '94 and now in the spring of '95 it was ready for the first test drive. We took it for a nice ride to New Hampshire, the ride was nice and getting a lot of looks where ever we went. For the next four years I just drove it to and from work on days the weather was nice.
Now in the fall of '98 it was time to park it for the winter. Instead of having it sit in back of my house I decided to have the body work done. I found a guy that did excellent bodywork, so I drove to his place and he told me what was involved and I agreed to have him get started. During the process he found out that the front fenders and wheel wells needed to be replaced. He located them at a salvage yard out west. They were shipped to him put on my car so the body work could continue and be painted.
The fake wood grain vinyl was located in a JC Whitney catalog, since the old was so bad all I knew was it was a dark color so I ordered the walnut wood grain. The border was painted a color to what it was, as not having the technique to wood grain border as of yet(some day down the road).
Spring of '99 the car was all painted and ready to show off. I drove it like I had been doing till the fall came around. I decided to have the upholstery done. A fellow the body man uses was chosen to do the work. I seen the work he done on other cars and felt he was the man for the job.
Spring of '00 it was time to really to show it off so I took it to a car show to get reactions and opinions. All opinions pointed to one thing have the chrome redone. So right before my vacation that year the chrome was taken off and sent to NU- Chrome. Well summer was bad time of the year to do chroming, the car was tied up for weeks, but was worth it after I seen the results, which helped at car shows and cruise nights it got six awards in '00 and another nine in '01(one of which was from the ASWOA's national convention in Dearborn, Michigan 3rd place in class pre 1965 restored).
Well '02 is here, the motor was repainted back to original colors, I found some door handles and rear tailgate emblem on the internet, which were put on this past spring. Well the restoration has come along way and it still needs a few things which will get replaced when I find them.
One question was asked at the shows "Why a station wagon?". Well I always liked wagons which I had several over the years, such as a '64 Pontiac Catalina Safari, '66 Rambler Ambassador, '67 Rambler Rebel, '67 Ford Country Squire, '58 Ford Ranch Wagon (never did get restored). Well I hope this is the beginning of a long life of enjoyment with this "Station Wagon" !
(Thanks for sending that over Steve, great to hear about other peoples rebuilds!! Rick, Site Author 14th Oct 2002)
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