1961 Mercury Unibody. Looking for any helpfull info
Hi guys, I am new here and am just looking for some info and this seems to be the best place to get it, I hoping that someone can shed a bit of light on what I have found. Please excuse my ignorance and I apologise if I am rambling a bit but I donít really know much about this truck.
I have found it for sale about an hour from my home but have a few questions and a concern.
First off how rare is it? I canít seem to find much about it, there is some info for the Ford Unibody. But seems to be very little on the Mercs.
Itís listed as a ď1961 mercury heavy half tonĒ with a 289 V8 and a 3 speed manual. I have no idea what options these trucks were available with from the factory or what the difference a ďheavy halfĒ would be.
It also says that it is complete but the engine doesnít run but Iím not really concerned with that, Iíd like to modify the whole truck and make it more of a street version, but I am sure that not running affects itís value. Or would it be considerably more valuable with a numbers matching engine, if the 289 is the right engine keeping it original?
Would the majority of parts and panels for the Fordís fit on this truck and is it even feasible to rebuild one? I would think that Mercury parts are quite a bit harder to find. I know there are some places to buy Ford parts, like LMC truck, is there anyone who specializes in the Unibodies or the Mercury version?
My one main concern is that the box behind the rear tire seem to be out of proportion, it just looks too short as if something is out of place. Every picture I can find (mostly of the Ford version) shows the overhang to be longer then this. Was there a longer wheel base/short box option, or is this more likely a long box that some one has hacked up and tried to shorten. Would this be a common mod for a truck like this?
I guess the main question is, is it worth it? I havenít seen it in person yet but was going to look at it tomorrow, from the pictures it looks to be in decent shape for a 50 year old truck? It is listed for $1000 Canadian. I imagine I could talk him down on the price a little bit.
FREAKY!!!!! Somebody has been busy with the sawzall....
The rear part of the bed has been shortened and re-attached. I wonder why? Otherwise it looks like a pretty decent old truck. And the 289 engine is not original....it should have a 292 Y block V8 or a 6 cyl.
It does look like someone had some time on their hands, but if it is in good cond. it looks to have the correct parts on it, example, the doors, notice the body line? The Unibody trucks have different doors than the 61-66 trucks. And then they also made a big back window option that is rare also.
Welcome to the FTE forums from a Canadian Merc driver...that 61 unibody looks unusual, but it could be a short wheelbase and lacking the rear bumper that does that. For some info on 61 Merc pickups check the following link. It may or may not be helpful, because the truck shown in it is the longer wheelbase; nevertheless, the one you're looking at seems to be missing a few inches (at least!) behind the wheels...is there a tailgate? If it seems to otherwise be in good shape and not missing too many parts - even not running- the price is not unreasonable for a Mercury. They're pretty rare nowadays. 1961 Mercury Trucks, Canadian Truck
Thanks guys for the insight so far, I have done a bit more digging and judging by the picture the engine is a 292 not the 289 he has it listed as. So one could assume it's the original engine. I must say this old truck has me completely intrigued, but at the same time kind of worried. I not sure if I am interested if the box has been hacked up and shortened. For those who have asked I am not sure if the tailgate is there or not. I canít see it in any of the posted photos but could be in the box or his garage perhaps.
It's tricky to go by photos, so if I were you I'd go look at it. The more I look at that back end the less convinced I am that it's been hacked - I think it looks odd because there's no back bumper. It would be hard to chop a few inches out of the box and keep the folds in the sheet metal lining up properly, as it seems to do. If you have time maybe see if you can find any photos of 61 Ford short wheelbase/short box unibodies - I'd think they would look the same as the Mercs. And offer something lower but realistic..$750? I wouldn't dawdle though, it's probably worth that for parts alone! Speaking of parts, if there is a tailgate, get it, no matter what condition it's in. Fixed up, that would be a really nice ride - and probably the only one like it for a long ways in any direction. Good luck!
Ok so all this talk about the tailgate makes me have to ask, first what is one worth in fair condition and second why is it so key and a selling feature (besides the obvious completing of the truck). Are they just really that hard to find?
[IMG]file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/GT/Desktop/images.jpeg[/IMG]Yeah tailgates are hard to find and usually run at least a couple of hundred dollars unless you're lucky enough to get one in an obscure junkyard somewhere - or a farmer's field.
That said, I've looked at some photos of 61 Ford shortboxes and the Merc box is definitely shorter than short! In fact, if you look at the side-on photo there does seem to be something odd in the sheet metal work about 2 or 3 inches from the rear where it looks like someone has tried to match up that line that flares from the front of the box to the back (just below the top of the box). Why anyone would do this is a mystery because it only shortens the box by maybe 4 inches? A possibility is that this truck was rear-ended and the box chopped rather than straightened. Who knows when it's 50 years old? I'm thinking now: not running, possibly rear-ended, mystery bodywork, was the frame shortened, straightened, etc.?...I think I'd save my money for now. It's an attractive price, but I suspect you're looking at least another thousand just to have it on the road, provided there's nothing else seriously wrong such as the transmission, which of course you can't know about if it's not driveable. It's a shame, as they are few and far between. Are you set on a Mercury? I like them because they're a Canadian icon, but there are more Fords available from that era that also look pretty amazing when they're redone - or even as they are! And there are Mercs around. It took me about two years to find one I liked that I could also afford - but came with no tailgate (actually has a Ford one)! I've been looking for THAT item for the last eight months...and that's just the beginning of the list. Fun to drive though. So if you decide to pass on this one, another will come along, not to worry.