Car-Spotting Rite of Passage: The San Francisco 1956 Mercury Montclair.

December 14, 2013

11 comments
1956 Mercury Montclair San Francisco homeless
1956 Mercury Montclair San Francisco homeless
1956 Mercury Montclair San Francisco homeless
1956 Mercury Montclair San Francisco homeless
1956 Mercury Montclair San Francisco homeless
1956 Mercury Montclair San Francisco homeless
1956 Mercury Montclair San Francisco homeless
1956 Mercury Montclair San Francisco homeless
1956 Mercury Montclair San Francisco homeless



I've been sitting on these photos for about nine months, waiting until I had the time to give them the presentation they deserve.

Back in March, the wife, kids and I were preparing for a roadtrip down to California for my brother-in-law's wedding. Our itinerary included a few days with family in San Francisco, which I hoped would offer the chance from some casual car-spotting. And just before we left, I happened upon photos of this very Mercury, documented by our blogroll brothers at The Street Peep.

Their photos were taken in February, but other shooters had been documenting the car since as far back as 2009, with comments suggesting that it's been parked in this same spot for over a decade, always with current plates. At least two bloggers reported realizing, after photographing the car, that there was someone inside.

... which explains the private, weatherproof cocoon of tape and cardboard, but not the layers covering the hubcaps, hood and trunk.

As we set out on our adventure, I thought, "What I wouldn't give for the chance to photograph that car."

We spent a day doing touristy things in downtown SF, and I shot a handful of satisfying OPC's. Then, as we headed toward my aunt and uncle's place for the evening, GPS guided us down a street that looked eerily familiar. Without getting my hopes up, I thought, "This looks just like the place where that Mercury lives."

Five seconds later, there it was. I shrieked so violently that my wife thought I had witnessed a murder.

11 comments:

Jay Wollenweber said...

Yep, you found it! Thanks for the plug to California Streets, too.

Jay Tyan said...

Wow! I have so many questions O__O such straight body panels though

Jay Tyan said...

It seems to have taken some damage since the Street Peep photos - makes me sad and wonder who did it and why.

Jay Tyan said...

er, the California Streets photos, not the street peep. my bad

Justin said...

I can only imagine what it smells like inside.

Tim in MO said...

Looks like a street scene in Cuba.

Anonymous said...

that would be beautiful if i could buy it, clean it up and drive it. like it is, no mods, just maintenance

Jay Ho said...

This is a legendary car here in San Francisco which has been parked in the vicinity of a popular grocery store for God knows how long. I first noticed it over ten years ago. The car runs I think, because it is often in different spots in that one block radius, and sometimes it goes missing, though I've never seen it being driven. It is completely filled with newspapers and junk, and yes, someone does live inside. There are all kinds of rumors about it and the owner, who I think is a little old man who I can't imagine pushing it himself. There is a story here.

Anonymous said...

Close to two decades. It's been there as long as Rainbow has.

captaingizmo54 said...

Right-o Tim! Sure looks like one I saw up on youtube. As for driving it, I think that
our rolling boudiar would require a ton of cash to fix up. Haven't seen one like that
up close since '64, when my sister's 4th grade teacher had a Monterey ragtop. It
was red with a white top and trim. Hers had the rear bumper guards and a connie kit
out back. I think it had skirts too.

Grumpy Cat said...

If you look on the google street view photos, you'll notice that there are all kinds of old RV's, vans, even an old bus. All of these cars provide shelter to the homless people who live in them. I'll bet the owner has put up all the tape to stop people from asking about his interesting car.

http://telstarlogistics.typepad.com/telstarlogistics/2011/05/six-facts-about-san-franciscos-spooky-1957-mercury-montclair.html