Welcome to Found Around The Quarter, where I highlight fascinating cars I found walking around a city that is known for being Big and Easy, with great music and a great cruising culture: New Orleans, Louisiana.
We’ll return to your regularly scheduled programming over the next few weeks, but as I recently took a trip to New Orleans and Patrick deserves the well-earned chance to sleep in on a Sunday, I figured I’d highlight some of the beautiful cars that seem to be absolutely littered all over the French Quarter of New Orleans and its surrounding neighborhoods.
Jalopnik used to feature Down On The Street, set on the pretty little Island That Rust Forgot- Alameda, California. New Orleans is most certainly not free of rust, with its constant heat and humidity nine months out of the year and the ever-present salt coming off the Gulf of Mexico. It's for that reason alone that it's so surprising to find this Mercury Meteor 800, albeit with South Carolina plates, sitting right on the main drag of New Orleans' Central Business District.
This particularly pretty sky-blue example looks like it might've had a restoration at first glance, but once you get a look at those torn-up bench seats, you know it's nothing but a survivor. And a good-looking one at that.
This example is a Mercury Meteor 800, and these things are more rare than you think. Even though they look like the quintessential car from the early 1960s, the Mercury Meteor was never really all that popular, and was only on sale from 1961-1963. The "Meteor" name itself was used in bid to goose-up public interest in the wake of the all of the publicity surrounding the NASA space program. Gosh I love those whitewalls.
Yeah, those are cowboy hats.