Car Collector's Corner: 1962 Mercury Monterey 4 Door Hardtop

J Sutherland
by J Sutherland
car collector s corner 1962 mercury monterey 4 door hardtop

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.

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3 of 16 comments
  • Jim Sutherland Jim Sutherland on Apr 28, 2012

    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.

    • Geeber Geeber on Apr 29, 2012

      I think that this car, or one very much like it, was for sale at one of the Carlisle events about 2-3 years ago.

  • JaySeis JaySeis on Apr 28, 2012

    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.

  • Kat Laneaux Wonder if they will be able to be hacked into (the license plates) and then you get pulled over for invalid license plates or better yet, someone steal your car and transpose numbers to show that they are the owners. Just a food for thought.
  • Tassos Government cheese for millionaires, while idiot Joe biden adds trillions to the debt.What a country (IT ONCE WAS!)
  • Tassos screw the fat cat incompetents. Let them rot. No deal.
  • MaintenanceCosts I think if there's one thing we can be sure of given Toyota's recent decisions it's that the strongest version of the next Camry will be a hybrid. Sadly, the buttery V6 is toast.A Camry with the Highlander/Sienna PSD powertrain would be basically competitive in the sedan market, with the slow death of V6 and big-turbo options. But for whatever reason it seems like that powertrain is capacity challenged. Not sure why, as there's nothing exotic in it.A Camry with the Hybrid Max powertrain would be bonkers, easily the fastest thing in segment. It would likewise be easy to build; again, there's nothing exotic in the Hybrid Max powertrain. (And Hybrid Max products don't seem to be all that constrained, so far.)
  • Analoggrotto The readers of TTAC deserve better than a bunch of Kia shills posing as journalists.