Oh Canada! 1951 Monarch 4-door Custom
It is not a Mercury, this is a 1951 Monarch 4-door custom. For some peculiar reason Ford Motor Company had this odd idea, they didn’t want Canadian Ford competing against Canadian Mercury and visa versa. It makes sense right? We didn’t think so either. In Canada this unique Mercury came into existence from FoMoCo called the Monarch. The 1951 Monarch has all the bodylines of a ‘51 Mercury except the badging and other superficial treatments like trim, grill, bumpers and the “leaping lion” hood ornament.
The story of this particular Fordor Monarch starts in the wild lands of Manitoba, Canada. Sitting and rotting in a rural farm field were three-abandoned Mercury’s. They were covered in more rust than a sunken U-Boat, but that didn’t stop Canadian customizer Brent Hoitink (co builder) from seeing the potential of what could be. Brett’s partner Esther Enns (co builder) wasn’t convinced; she thought he had finally lost it after all these years. However, six months later after endless weeks, of cutting grinding and welding, the Monarch was alive and moving down the road again.
After decades of sitting in the field the floors and frame on the Monarch were rusted out, and non-existent. Brent came up with the clever idea of using the floors, drivetrain and frame from a 1986 Pontiac Parisienne. For those in the states, think of a 1986 Chevrolet Caprice, and you have the same vehicle. Once the Mercury was on the Pontiac chassis, Brent and Esther chopped the top on the 1951 Monarch 4-inches in the front and 4 ½ in the back, molded in the lake pipes, shaved the door handles and molded in the drip rails. Six months later it was road worthy. It was always meant to be a driver, nothing fancy, but something that Esther could drive, even in the brutal Canadian winters. And drive it they do as you can see Esther sitting on the side of the road on a road trip through the American Southwest.
Esther tells us: “We were supposed to spend two weeks in Hawaii. I was really looking forward to it, but Brent had other plans. He wanted to drive all way to the Grand National Roadster Show in January. Brent packed spare parts & tools in the trunk, road trip essentials. It was -22˚F when we left southern Manitoba on a clear Friday morning.
“Fifteen days after leaving we made it back home from the best vacation ever. We’d put over 5,500 miles on the Monarch with only one minor repair and a roadside carb cleaning on Route 66”, they told us.
With a unique custom and thousands of miles under the belt, not to mention memories to last a lifetime, who needs Hawaii anyway?