This Mercury Can Make You Feel Like You're On Another Planet

Illustration for article titled This Mercury Can Make You Feel Like Youre On Another Planet

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.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled This Mercury Can Make You Feel Like Youre On Another Planet

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.

Illustration for article titled This Mercury Can Make You Feel Like Youre On Another Planet

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.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled This Mercury Can Make You Feel Like Youre On Another Planet

Yeah, those are cowboy hats.

Illustration for article titled This Mercury Can Make You Feel Like Youre On Another Planet
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled This Mercury Can Make You Feel Like Youre On Another Planet
Illustration for article titled This Mercury Can Make You Feel Like Youre On Another Planet
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled This Mercury Can Make You Feel Like Youre On Another Planet

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

Ad_absurdum_per_aspera
Ad_absurdum_per_aspera

What's under the hood? The 390 was available... Looks like a three on the tree steering column and shift lever.

Definitely a better ride than my '63 Comet — paint was the same color (and by the time I got it used, so was its exhaust) but with 144 cubic inches of screaming Six and an automatic whose two speeds gave the choice of lugging or redlining, mine was not likely to outrun anything that wasn't labeled Schwinn.

Looks straight and clean and I'd bet the Galaxie/T-bird community could point you to restoration fabric for that seat. Add a discreet aftermarket air conditioner (you could probably figure out how to do factory air if you really wanted to go the extra mile) and maybe a conversion from generator to alternator and it's a very practical driver.

Too bad you couldn't hang around and get the owner's story. He'd probably have been happy to tell it, especially since some things about this tableau (not just the conspicuously retro car but the locale, display of cowboy hats, dashboard sticker...) suggests maybe a musician who knows the publicity value of striking a pose. Just a hunch.