by Animal Jim Feurer
The Black Merc!
March 23rd, 2014 marked the 51st anniversary of the delivery of my favorite car of all time.
My 63 black Mercury 427 R code. It was a special order, V.I.P. car.
It was an entry level, two door sedan Monterey, Breezeway. Radio delete, and bench seats. This was the cheapest full size Merc available. The basic engine offered, was a 390 2V with a 3 speed standard shift. That made the price of the car $3005. When we added the 427 R code package it brought that car to about $3744. Special order?? "Rare" is a better word than "Special". Only 58 Mercury's in 1963 had 427s. Only one was a 2 door sedan.--- Mine.
The 5th. digit in the vin code, designates the engine code. R meant 427 8V 425 HP. A Q code was a 427 4V 410HP.
The 427 package came with 4 speed, HD suspension, including special 15 inch steel painted wheels instead of 14 inch, and a 4:11 /4 pinion differential, for just over $700. Typically no air, power windows or steering was offered with the R and Q cars. Although I have seen a couple with steering added. My entry level chassis, being a rear haloed window Mercury Breezeway , did have a rear power window.
The Q and R codes were actually designated 63 1/2. Mine was one of the first ever sold. I had an insider. His name was Robert Brown Olmsted. He was manager of the Lincoln Mercury part of Peterman Ford- Lincoln -Mercury dealership in my home town of Peru, IL. Bob was also a family friend. Robert Olmstead six years my senior, had been an engineer at the Rotunda Building in Detroit for Lincoln Mercury for several years. Bob got burned out and decided to come home and sell cars.
Bob had told me several times since late 1961, a special HP engine, besides the 401HP 390CI and the 1962 405 HP 406 CI was coming from Ford. I kind of blew it off.
In late winter 1963, I was incognito, driving a 57 Lincoln I had bought from Bob. I had my license suspended and was driving on a restricted license. So I succumbed to something none HP.
I had a good job working for Western Electric as an installer. That job moved me around to different Midwest locations a lot. At this time I was working in the Chicago suburb of Harvey, IL. 105 miles from Peru. I would stay over night in Harvey Mon through Thursday, and come back to Peru, and stay with my folks, on weekends, run with my friends and make nice with my girl friend.
I got my license back on my 22nd. birthday. Feb 17th. 1963. I was single, had my license back, and making good money. I decided it was time for a new hot rod. I was going to buy my first brand new car.
Like now, I was not prejudice of car brands. I just wanted something that was fast. Well---The Beach Boys were singing to me about the Chevy 409. So I tried to order one. A Biscayne in white, entry level sedan, radio delete , bench seat, stripped basic as possible. Then ad the 409 425 HP package , with 4 speed and 4:11 posi. There came a problem. No 4 speeds left, I was told. Perhaps in 64??? I tried another dealer. Even my friend Tory, in Ladd, could not help.
Couple weeks later on way home from Harvey, I stopped at the Plymouth Dealer in Ottawa. They stayed open till 9 PM. We put on paper, a 63 stripped white Plymouth Savoy with the 426 425 HP Maxi Wedge package, and the new push button Torque flight and 4:11 rear. The price was cheaper than the 409. $3100. (today that car, like the 426 Hemi cars, is listed as inestimable in the Classic Car Price Guide)
Oh! Oh! Another problem. Even though my 57 Lincoln was a nice car, the Plymouth dealer did not want it in trade. I would have to by that special order Savoy outright.
Man! I was having hard time trying to buy a new hot rod! I told the Plymouth dealer I would think about it. Continued on next page...
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