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.

  • Probert There's something wrong with that chart. The 9 month numbers for Tesla, in the chart, are closer to Tesla's Q3 numbers. They delivered 343,830 cars in q3 and YoY it is a 40% increase. They sold 363,830 but deliveries were slowed at the end of the quarter - no cars in inventory. For the past 9 months the total sold is 929,910 . So very good performance considering a major shutdown for about a month in China (Covid, factory revamp). Not sure if the chart is also inaccurate for other makers.
  • ToolGuy "...overall length grew only fractionally, from 187.6” in 1994 to 198.7” in 1995."Something very wrong with that sentence. I believe you just overstated the length by 11 inches.
  • ToolGuy There is no level of markup on the Jeep Wrangler which would not be justified or would make it any less desirable [perfectly inelastic demand, i.e., 'I want one']. Source: My 21-year-old daughter.
  • ToolGuy Strong performance from Fiat.
  • Inside Looking Out GM is like America, it does the right thing only after trying everything else.  As General Motors goes, so goes America.