The `M' in the center of the bumper/grille assembly stands for Mercury, but it could just as well stand for `massive,' a term that describes the overall impact of the beautifully preserved Monterey. When the hood hinges forward, the `M' actually swings inward to clear the bumper.
The instrument panel of the big Merc is festooned with enough push buttons and control levers it might have doubled for a Buck Rogers-era spaceship. If you look closely at the padded area of the dashboard, you can see that the car is equipped with an unusual center-mounted glove box.
Mercury chose to forego a shift lever in favor of this bank of buttons for its automatic transmission. Using the upper horizontal buttons, the transmission can be set in either performance or cruising mode. The chrome tab below the control box activates the parking brake.
Accentuating the car's already long, low profile are a set of factory full length fender skirts fitted with bright gravel guards on their leading edges. Redinger said he's been told a pristine set of original skirts like these can bring up to $1,000 each.
A big car needs big rolling stock, and Redinger's Merc uses stock 14-inch factory rims fitted with P215/75R14 American Classics wide whitewall radial tires. The full wheel discs, complete with Mercury head spinners, complete the retro look.
Mercury had its own distinct line of engines in 1958, separate from Ford, with this 383 cubic inch V8 cranking out a stout 312 horsepower and 405 foot-pounds of torque. And this was the smaller of two engines available that year.