Attendees at this year’s 2020 Detroit Autorama were in for a double treat when Randy and Joe brought out their matching 1964 Mercury Parklane Convertibles. Originally engineered for the Walt Disney designed Magic Skyway ride debuting during the infamous 1964 New York World Fair. Joe found this special 25th Anniversary Edition sitting on a lot in Arizona while helping brother-in-law Randy look for parts and a good donor car to restore his 1964 Mercury Parklane Convertible.
Classic Auto’s Rick Drewry was thrilled to listen to Joe talk about this fascinating rare find and the restoration process he went through to get it to this years event.
Rick: All right Joe. I can already tell that this car is not stock. I want you to tell me a little bit about how you came about getting it, the condition was in, and what your plan was right from the beginning.
Joe: Okay. We purchased the car in Arizona. We found it out there. Was just a nice rust free car. It was all original paint. Car was all faded from being out in the sun its whole life. Interior was cooked in it, I guess we’ll say. We bought the car and it was actually factory matching color to the other car, so we said it’d be nice to make a sister car to the one we already have. So we brought the car back, and I told her, I said, well if we’re going to do anything with it I want to update it so to make it more driver friendly.
Joe: So we restored the car on the outside so it looks all stock original. But I put modern drive train in, an automatic overdrive trans, four-wheel disc brakes. Did all modern updates on it. So driver friendly.
Rick: What kind of engine we got?
Joe: It actually has a 2003 Mercury Marauder 4.6 32 valve, automatic overdrive transmission. We used all the Ford wiring and the computer to make the motor run.
Rick: Did it have an engine in it when you got it?
Joe: It originally had the original 390 motor in it when we got the car, but it didn’t run. It was tired. When we purchased the car, we actually had to push it up on the trailer, and that big old boat took about a half a dozen people to get it on the trailer. But we managed. Got it home, and then as you can see it’s done now.
Rick: All right, so part of the restoration, when you’re going through the process, did you run into any snafus or anything like that that were problem areas?
Joe: Not really. Everything actually went real smooth. When I had the car all media blasted it was just amazing how good the sheet metal still was on the car. That’s the way you love Arizona cars. As far as interior and stuff like that, that can always be made. But to try to rebuild a whole body of a car, that’s a major task. I did most of the restoration myself. I actually had a friend of mine that painted both of the cars for us, so a longtime friend and he’s a retired Ford employee that did body paint repair for 35 years, and he’s been retired so he actually does it at home now. He did a nice job on both of the cars.
Rick: that’s got to be fun to drive.
Joe: Well I just got it done a couple of days ago. I’ve only driven it from the trailer to this spot right here, so…
Rick: So we might have to get back home and…
Joe: Well we’re here from Michigan, so we have to wait until the wait… We got to wait until-
Joe: Right. We got to wait until the weather gets a little nicer, but yeah, I’m looking forward to driving it because I’m sure it’s going to drive well.
Rick: Very nice car. Well done. You don’t see them too often.
Joe: Nope. You don’t see too many Mercuries. Mercury’s were a lot fewer than Galaxies.
Rick: I love the fact that you actually welded a modern-day Marauder drivetrain on it, which is really cool. Well done, man, well done.
Joe: Thank you.
Rick: Nice talking to you.
Joe: Okay. Thank you very much.
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