Our mystery car this month is a tricky one. European, dated fairly precisely to 1961, and probably a one-off rather than a production vehicle. Apologies for the rather fuzzy picture, but this photo — scanned from a magazine — was very much a ‘grab shot’ rather than a posed publicity or press photo. Send your solution, by email or snail mail, to Mystery Cars No. 234, NZ Classiccar, PO Box 46 020, Herne Bay, Auckland by mid-july. The winner (and a worthy winner!) will be the first correct entry opened from the entries box. Our big US mystery last month was the Mercury Monterey Custom, introduced in September 1962 for the 1963 model year. This was indeed a big car, a four-door sedan body built on a 3048mm (120inch) wheelbase, overall length 5461mm (215 inches) with a kerb weight of around 1865kg (around 4110lb). It used the 186kw (250bhp) version of the Ford 6.4litre (390ci) V8 engine, using a twinbarrel carburetor, but the car could be optioned up to 224 or 246kw (300/330bhp) versions of the 390ci motor, or even a 406ci V8 with a massive 385 or 405bhp on tap — that’s 287 or 302kw. Testbench power, of course, and considerably lower as installed in the car, but these were still very powerful engines. Poweroperated steering and an automatic transmission were of course standard (a threespeed manual was available), and the highgeared axle ratio imparted good cruise ability. The big engine gave the Monterey 175–180kmph (c. 110mph) performance, with a 0–100kph (0–60mph) time of around nine seconds. Fuel consumption (fuel was cheap then, thank goodness) was 12.8mpg (imperial gallons) or 22 litres/100km. The big styling feature was the ‘Breezeway’ reverseslant rear window, seen previously on Lincolns a year or two before. This wasn’t quite the reverseslant rear window as seen on the British Ford Anglia 105E, as the Mercury version could be poweroperated down to give extra ventilation, hence the Breezeway name tag. The standard Monterey Custom sold 39,542 units for the 1963 model year, and with the other models in the lineup, the Monterey Custom series sold 78,684 units in total for that year. Writing to an early deadline, we have had no takers so far on the Nash Palm Beach Mystery No. 232, but we will update on that in our next column.
Clues Across: 7. TVR’S 1976 to 1979 Capri V6– engined coupé with electric-powered opening hatchback (6) 8. Four cylinder 1100cc Lagonda with advanced twin-cam engine built from 1934–’35, and again from 1935–’38 by a separate company (6) 10. To ---- --your engine, especially older long-stroke classics, is a quick way to destroy your engine (4-3) 11. Lancia’s 1984–’94 sporting saloon that shared a Type 4 platform with Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Saab (5) 12. Previous corporate and brand name for what since 1972–’73 has been known as Exxon (4) 13. Interesting and effective small Lancia saloon, built from 1939 to 1953 (5) 17. British-born car stylist with an Italian-sounding name — he worked for Fissore, and later for Citroën (5) 18. The Japanese conglomerate company that builds Subaru cars (4) 22. Subaru’s 4WD (or FWD) mid-size saloon built in several generations from 1971 onwards (5) 23. Model name for Vauxhall’s six-cylinder performance models in the FD and FE series, late ’60s to mid ’70s (7) 24. This horsepower rating (old RAC method) acted as model name for many pre-war British cars in the 1500–1600cc engine size bracket (6) 25. US automobile legend who managed both Cadillac and Lincoln to prestige-car success (6)
The Beach Boys’ Little Deuce Coupé was “ported and relieved and ------- and bored” (7) 2. Model name shared by GN, Triumph and Rover (7) 3. French transport and aerospace company, prominent in sports racing, single-seaters and F1 competition in the 1960s/1970s (5) 4. UK motorcycle firm remembered for solid big singles, ideal for hauling sidecars, though it folded in 1967 (7) 5. TVR again, this time the 1967–’73 cars using mainly the Cortina Gt–tune Ford Kent engine (5) 6. French word for station wagons or estate cars (5) 9. Transmission component used to raise vehicle gearing to improve cruising fuel economy and reduce wear — fifth or sixth gears have now replaced them (9) 14. Belgian maker of fine luxury cars through to 1938, using the Knight double-sleeve system of valve operation (7) 15. Vehicle fuel system, now obsolete, using vacuum effect to supply an auxiliary fuel tank that fed the engine through gravity — fuel pumps were unreliable in those days! (7) 16. British automotive engineer, noted for major design and research achievement in engine design and operation — his company is now a consultancy operating worldwide (7) 19. Lotus Types 14, 75 and 83 shared this model name (5) 20. British car marque, building its first cars in 1904, with many classics to its name including P4, P5, P5B, P6 and P6B, and if you get a good one, SD1 (5) 21. Classic GT and sports Ferrari V12 of the early ’50s in the 166, 195 and 212 series (5)
nice thing with this selection is that the cars didn’t even have to be particularly successful to get included, but they all contributed towards the magical variety that populated starting grids at Le Mans or Sebring.
This truly is a stunningly good book.