57 and 58 Mercury confusion?

OK its a slow day and too cold to be outside so I was paging through the latest Hemmings. In there they had a picture of the 1957 Indianapolis 500 Mercury pace car but it has the double headlights instead of the single. Then in the ads there is another listed as a 57 with the four headlights instead of two. I google and get both versions. Now in 1958 I was ten and quite into cars. All 57’s from my memory had the single headlights, then the double headlights in 1958 and beyond. Am I nuts? Are the articles and ads wrong? Or like the Mustang, did they do a mid year upgrade or something or do the four lights in 57 for a particular model or something?

I thought boy if Hemmings doesn’t get it right, we are truly a dying breed to know better.

I found '57 Mercury Turnpike Cruisers with four headlights and '57 Mercury Montereys and Montclairs with two headlghts. They appear to be two variations of the same body.
(see my next post for the proper link)


The link you provided was for gun violence . . .

If I remember, many cars were set up for quad headlamps for the 57 model year but state regulations varied and not all states approved quads for road use. So some models were set up for it but the separate high beams were either not wired or used as parking lights.

Or something like that. 1957 predates me by 12 years.

But the same mountainbike wants to start a shooting match over it…haha!


Turnpike Cruiser, what a name for a car. I remember seeing one, but at an antique car auction about ten years ago, not as a kid.

No gun violence here.


Yeah those are the pics I looked at. I can’t believe they had four headlights in 57 but its even on the brochure both ways. Unbelievable. Another bubble burst. Next I spose there’l be a 57 Ford or Chevy with four headlights that I never saw before.

Well a closer look. I have a 57-58 Motors Repair book that shows the front ends. The 57 has the grill pretty much above the main front bumper, but the 58 has the grill more integral to the front bumper. So the pace car that is a 57 with the four lights has the grill of a 57 so it must be. I absolutely never new of any 57 with the four headlights though so new to me.

Those '57-'58 Mercury’s were so ugly they didn’t sell many of them…But if you were looking for a 312 to put in your '55-'56 Victoria those Mercs were a good place to find one…Also to be found, the first FE big blocks, a 352 Thunder Motor were fairly common in the '58 Mercs…

I always like the Mercury styling, 57 on up. The 57 lists the optional engine as a Lincoln 368.

The link you provided was for gun violence . . .
Must have been one interesting site! Most folks are *against* gun violence :wink:

My dad was in sales and in the '50’s he got a new station wagon every 2 years. He traded in the '55 Mercury wagon for a new '57. This wagon was a white Colony Park with the Turnpike Cruiser package and indeed had the quad headlights which was a new thing in '57. The lower line of '57 Merc’s had the standard larger two headlight set up.

This '57 Merc had a very padded dash which was a new safety feature. It also had the 1st (or one of the 1st) tailgates where the rear window rolled down in to the tailgate and it was a power window. It was a good looking car, and was a great open highway road car.

Here’s a '57 Plymouth, see how the extra lights aren’t headlights -

As am I, meanjoe, adamantly. I’d explain why I had that site up, but that would cause the thread to wander into areas not car related, so I’ll end my part in all conversations about guns and gun violence here. I urge others to please do the same.

“This wagon was a white Colony Park with the Turnpike Cruiser package and indeed had the quad headlights which was a new thing in '57. The lower line of '57 Merc’s had the standard larger two headlight set up.”

My copy of the American Car-Spotter’s Guide, 1940-1965 shows illustrations of '57 Merc Montereys and Turnpike Cruisers with quad headlights. The Montclair model (which I assume was the lower-priced one) is shown with just two headlights.

@texases Yes I had an identical 1957 Plymouth; even the same color! It was the worst car I ever owned, it literally fell apart in my hands.

The space for 2 headlights was there, but because of some weird state legislations, only one sealed beam light was allowed on each side.

Europeans with much better headlights had to revamp the car fronts to accommodate sealed beam lights.

@Docnick - I guess I’m not telling you something new, the '57s Chrysler products were infamous for poor quality, sad how it changed so rapidly, prior years had built up a good Mopar reputation…

Consumer Reports shows a poor repair record for the 1957 and 1958 Mercury. The 1955-57 Oldsmobile had a good record as did the 1957 Pontiac and 1958 Buick. The 1958 Rambler was also a good bet as a used car. The 1956 and 1957 Chevrolets were good if you stayed away from the Turboglide. The cheaper PowerGlide was fine. I point this out in case we establish trade relations with Cuba and the cars of the 1950s start coming back.

Thanks @UncleTurbo and @VDCdriver I think that clears it up. I really had no idea for the past 57 years that there were any models with the quad headlights in 57.

My Standard Catalog of American Cars states that early build 1957 Mercurys had single headlamp and late builds came with dual headlights. Montclair model shown;