By on April 28, 2012

We ran into Darryl de Souza and his 1962 Mercury Monterey at many car events this past summer. The two constant companions every time were his donkey hood ornament and his prehistoric man skull replica. On more than one occasion, there also was Darryl’s most important companion: His wife.

The skull has been with Darryl since his high school days in the mid-80s. It even made a guest appearance as a third brake light on one of Darryl’s early cars, with red Christmas tree lights in the eye sockets.

Darryl purchased the 1962 Mercury from its original owner. Darryl was in search of a parts donor when he found this survivor from the Kennedy era.

He liked the car enough to purchase it without any plan to cannibalize it for another project. Initially Darryl decided to sell the Monterey to somebody with the idea to save the four-door hardtop and do right by it.

But the more Darryl drove the car, the more he got to like it. It was a smooth and comfortable way to go to car shows. Today’s highways were no problem for this original big block 390  Ford.

We had to ask Darryl about ‘Monterey Jack’, the name that he gave the asinine hood ornament. By “asinine” we mean the dictionary definition relating to donkeys and not foolish behavior. So does Darryl.

The donkey hood ornament is named Monterey Jack because it is a tribute to the original owner whose name is Jack.

Darryl struck us as a guy who respects the car guy culture a lot, so it makes sense that Jack saw fit to sell the Monterey to Darryl. The owner obviously saw that trait in him as well.

The For Sale sign spent more time in the trunk as Darryl and his Monterey hit the road together a lot this summer. The car started to grow on Darryl and his wife so its future seems secure in the de Souza family.

They have begun to assemble future plans for the car and a few possible ideas about Darryl’s personal stamp on the car. The process has already begun with the skull and donkey upgrades.

For more of J Sutherland’s work go to mystarcollectorcar.com


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16 Comments on “Car Collector’s Corner: 1962 Mercury Monterey 4 Door Hardtop...”


  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    The 390 on this Monterey drinks premium gasoline – which wasn’t a problem back when you could fill its 20 gallon tank for less than $6.00. I believe the Merc-O-Matic at this trim level is a three speed, a big plus. I don’t remember the optional horn being on the dash, whatever…

    I had the privilege of learning how to parallel park in the corporate sibling of this Monterery, a Galaxie 500. It glided through traffic like a whale and was the perfect car when taking a date to the local drive-in theater.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Nice car, nice story.

    For the guys squabbling above me. Honestly most of those 60s cars aren’t much more expensive to run than an V8 F150 and how many of those do we see riding around hauling nothing but air?

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      We ain’t squabblin. The truth is, the big Marauder runs on premium fuel.

      The up side is if you choose to open up all four barrels at once, the 390 will exceed 400 foot-pounds of torque before it reaches 2,000 RPM and hold it there until 3,500 RPM.

    • 0 avatar
      rpol35

      Yes, no squabble, the issue is that premium fuel today is not what it was in the ’60’s and it makes it difficult to keep these old cars running correctly.

    • 0 avatar
      ranwhenparked

      The more powerful engines back then were designed specifically to run on high octane, leaded gasoline, which had a higher maximum octane rating than today’s commercially available premium fuel – basically, a lot of those old cars will run like shit on modern premium without octane booster added to the tank.

  • avatar
    toadroller

    Nothing makes a classic car like a Navajo blanket on the bench seats. What a great purple color as well.

  • avatar

    Darryl is a great guy. I’m happy to say that we helped him decide to keep this car because we believed that he is the perfect owner for this car. Last summer he drove it home from a car show during a tornado warning and witnessed the event to the west of him on the highway. I am glad to report that Darryl and his Merc survived the adventure unscathed and safe.

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    My ’58 F8 (dump truck) has a 390 (not orginal engine). My does it growl & howl on regular with 7+ yards in a 5 yard bed. And little in the way of exhaust. Well aged.


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