New to restoration

I came across a 1962 Mercury Meteor sedan being sold for $2,700.00. It starts right up and the owner uses it weekly. The front bumper was ripped off by a passing truck, and the body needs some work. Besides that it does not seem to be in terrible condition. The interior is in really good condition. My question is would this be a good candidate to restore? I am not a mechanic(I am a woodworker), and only have a general knowledge about how cars work. So I need a car that is simple mechanically, and easy to get parts for. If this car is not ideal then what would any of you out there recommend?

This car is similar to a full size Ford of that year, except for some of the trim. Restoration should be no problem; there are many cars like that in car shows. The rocker panels on these cars gave out early and may need replacement.

Any specific Meteor trim items you can’t get can be replaced with Ford equivalents. The V8 engines were common as dirt and any rebuilding should not be difficult.

Awesome thanks. I think this is a V6. But either way I think the price is right.

@gman86 There were no V6 engines in that year; they came much later. I had a 1961 Ford 6; it was a STRAIGT, inline 6 with overhead valves, very easy to work on. Very similar to the “stove bolt Chevy 6”

My brother was married in a 1962 Ford, a very roomy and comfortable car.

If you plan to repair and restore this car, take a few minutes to evaluate and prioritize the needs, write down a budget and timetable to accomplish this, and then rip it up and throw it away.

Since you’re a woodworker then you appreciate the effort, the time and craftmanship that goes into a finished product. That’s what restoring a classic car is all about. Either that, or having enough money to pay to have it done. In my experience, cars of this age turn into 2 things: you’ll either get started fixing the obvious and end up doing a complete restoration, or you’ll do bit by bit here and there over the years while still driving the car. Either way can be fun.

Mechanical parts will be easy to find. Body panels, etc., might be a little harder, but joining your local old Ford/Mercury/Lincoln club will be a good way to make new friends.

It depends upon what you mean by “restore.” If you mean making it into a decent looking daily driver, then it won’t be too difficult or expensive. If you mean turning it into a show winning car, then you will sink more time and money into it than it will ever be worth. These are not collectible cars and will never be worth a lot. Enjoy it for what it is.

I just want a nice easy project to get my feet wet. Just a cool looking car to tool around in. I will not be entering any shows or anything like that. That is a little beyond my skill level. Maybe in 8 years my son could use it when he begins driving.

+1 for @twotone. It’s the perfect candidate for a vehicle that’s different from anyone else on the block. The car however, will never be of much value in our lifetimes.

One thing that is absolutely critical to have checked before buying is rust. You need to have an experienced mechanic give it a thorough inspection on a lift to do a thorough check, including a magnet to look for bondo.

Do you have the space and tools to work on it?

Exactyy right. I just want a car that is different than the camry, accord sitting next to it in the drive way. I am not looking for a windfall after i sell it. I just want an easy restore that won’t have me discouraged. If this car gets sold by the time my slow butt gets moving and makes an offer what other cars would you guys recommend?

I have space, and a tool or two. I will have my local guy check it out before I purchase it thanks for the heads up.

This is a hobby car, right? Not something I’d want for a daily driver.

The 1962 Mercury Meteor, as best I can remember, was the Mercury counterpart of the newly introduced 1962 Ford Fairlane, which was an intermediate size car. The Meteor name was used on the 1961 Mercury as its lowest trim line and was based on the full size Ford chassis. In 1962, the Meteor name was given to the intermediate size Mercury. The “compact” Mercury was the Comet.
If I am correct, the 1962 Mercury would be of unitized construction rather than riding on a separate frame. That makes it particularly important to check for rust. The engine would either be a 170 cubic inch 6 as used in the Ford Falcon or the newly introduced 221 or 260 cubic inch V-8 small block. This engine later grew to 289 cubic inches and is a very good engine.
As a side note, Mercury always seemed to have an identity problem. From its introduction in 1939 through the 1948 model year, it was a glorified Ford. From 1949 through 1951, the Mercury was a completely different car. From 1952 through 1956, the Mercury was again Ford based, though the body did not look like at all like a Ford. From 1957 through 1960, the Mercury was again its own car. When Ford introduced the Edsel in 1958, the lower line Edsels (Ranger and Pacer) were based on the senior Ford chassis while the upper line Edsels (Corsair and Citation) were based on the Mercury platform. In 1959, the upper series Edsels were dropped and all Edsels were glorified Fords. There were a few 1960 Edsels made and were barely distinguishable from full sized Fords. At this point, the Edsel was discontinued. In 1961, the 1961 full sized Mercury was a full sized 1961 Ford with different trim. The Meteor name was used for the entry level which had previously been the Monterey. Monterey had been the top trim level until 1955 when the Montclair name was established as the top trim line. In 1962, the Meteor name was applied to the newly introduced intermediate sized Mercury. The Mercury Meteor was discontinued after 1963 and the Mercury Comet compact, introduced in 1960 then became an intermediate and was based on the Ford Fairlane chassis.

Well, I think the price is a little high, particularly if it needs substantial body work. My BIL got one for about $500 with the body pretty good and just needing paint. Also check first on the availability of the parts you need. Some years ago I needed a bumper, grill, and fender for one and had a hard time finding the parts, even then.

Call me jaded but this is a car that I would walk right past at a weekend car show. What instead? Check out a few summertime weekend car shows to see what is personally interesting enough for you to believe in spending much money to bring an old car back. So many old cars could be called transportation appliances; not unique then and now.

@Triedaq, Not to be contradictory but I recall the Mercury counterpart to the Fairlane being the Comet, with the Meteor being the base full-size car. But this was all several years before I was born…

In 61 the meteor was full size low end mercury. In 62 the meteor was mid size, with the comet the compact size, same as the fairlane, and the Monterey was the full size merc. This escaped me before. I was thinking comet.

@asemaster–The Comet was the counterpart to the Fairlane after 1963. Until that time, the Comet was the Mercury version of the Falcon. The Meteor was a full size model in 1961, but became an intermediate in 1962 based on the Fairlane. The same was true in 1963. From 1960 through 1963, the Mercury Comet was the Mercury version of the Ford Falcon. This changed in 1964 when the Comet became an intermediate and the Meteor intermediate was dropped. The 1964 Comet had two interesting models, the Cyclone and the Caliente.
Unfortunately, I remember all this because it was well after I was born–I was in my senior year in college when Ford introduced the Fairlane. The year was 1962. I had a colleague who owned a 1963 Meteor. It was an intermediate. I had a relative who owned a 1960 Comet and it was a compact. I had another colleague who, in 1967, special ordered a Mercury Caliente which was the top of the line Comet. By this time, the Comet was based on the Fairlane platform. This colleague ordered the 1967 Comet with the Ford 390 cubic inch engine. The husband of another colleague bought a 1967 Ford Fairlane with the 289 V-8. The cars were similar in appearance. I thought the 1967 Fairlance with the 289 was a much more desirable car than the 1967 Comet.
As I said in my earlier post, Mercury shifted name plates around so much it confused almost everyone.
Another nameplate shift that Mercury did was with the Cougar name. The original Cougar was based on the Ford Mustang and came out in 1967. Sometime later in the 1970s, the Cougar was based on the Thunderbird.

To add to the confusion, the Meteor name was also used on Canadian Ford models.

People imagine that getting parts for these old cars is easy but anymore, that is not the case. The salvage yards that are still in business don’t keep old cars laying around anymore. The 1962 Meteor was based on the Ford Fairlane. The base Meteor engine was a 170 cubic inch displacement inline 6-cylinder engine with a 1-barrel carburetor 101 horsepower (75 kW) @ 4000 rpm. Optional engines included a 221 cubic inch V-8 with 2-barrel carburetor that generated 145 horsepower (108 kW) and a 260 cubic inch V-8 with 2-barrel carburetor that generated 164 horsepower (122 kW). A three-speed manual transmission was standard. Overdrive and Merc-O-Matic automatic transmissions were options.

Generally speaking, you can buy a restored car like this much cheaper than you can restore one in “original” condition…