1956 Mercury XM Turnpike Cruiser for Sale

mercury xm turnpike cruiser for sale

Automobile designers of the 1950s drew inspiration from space travel for their designs. This resulted in cars featuring towering tail fins, rocket-inspired cockpits and unique features such as power-operated gullwing doors that made ingress and egress much simpler; some even featured scalloped trim pieces coated in gold anodizing to complete their space-age aesthetics.

It’s a one-off

The 1956 Mercury XM Turnpike Cruiser was one of the more unique and futuristic show cars of its time, boasting innovative design ideas that wouldn’t have found their way into production models at that point. “XM” stood for “eXperimental Mercury”, while this car served as an experimental showcase. The Ford designers John Najjar and Elwood Engel designed the XM concept car together, with help from Larry Shinoda (now famed for his C2 Stingray work). Ghia in Italy built it, costing about $80000. After making its auto show circuit debut at Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Omaha and Milwaukee auto shows, it served as pace car in the 1957 Daytona Grand National race in Florida. Unfortunately after no longer appearing at shows it fell into disrepair until finally restored back to its former glory by 2017, which will celebrate its 70th Anniversary this year.

The XM was powered by a 312 cubic inch Mercury V8 with four-barrel carburetors and Merc-O-Matic pushbutton automatic transmission, installed into a modified 1954 Mercury convertible chassis equipped with additional reinforcement. It boasted an interesting front end design featuring sculptured grille work featuring twin jet pods on either side designed in chrome-plated nacelles; deeply fluted side channels flowed back from doors towards rear fender tips/fins; the roof featured beautiful Persimmon paint colors featuring transparent butterfly roof panels which opened when doors opened up; all this made for an unforgettable car ride!

Maruska had extensive experience restoring other unique show cars, such as a Ford Thunderbird Italien and 1954 Mercury X800, so was familiar with its restoration process. He managed to replicate its unique face of the dashboard instrument cluster while upgrading it with modern clock movement; additionally he stitched all interior seating himself and installed custom carpeting that perfectly matched its color of original dashboard clock movement.

He is currently working to restore other one-off vehicles, such as his 1970 Alan Mann lightweight Ford GT40 and 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Indy Pace Car. These rare automobiles serve as important reminders of hot rod history and automotive design history, and may inspire young people to create vehicles with unique styles of their own.

It’s a show car

The 1956 Mercury XM Turnpike Cruiser stands out among car show cars of its era as a distinctive piece. Although never made into production, its designs inspired several features found on 1957 Mercury models. It’s unique name and features make this car stand out as an intriguing representation of a bygone era.

The design of the XM Turnpike Cruiser was heavily influenced by futuristic science fiction popular at that time, which inspired its designers. Ford encouraged their designers to create designs that represented a vision of the future and incorporate innovative features. It featured a sleek, curved body and rear wraparound window as well as twin jet pods and unique exhaust. Furthermore, headlights were hooded and recessed for forward thrust while its dashboard boasted four torpedo-shaped nacelles housing speedometer, tachometer and engine instrumentation; all this was created as show car designed to inspire future buyers and show buyers alike!

John Najjar and Elwood Engle designed its bodywork, while Larry Shinoda, Gene Bordinat and Don DeLaRossa each contributed styling tips for its appearance. Although its debut caused quite a stir among car enthusiasts, its two model years ran their course before it was replaced by Park Lanes in 1959.

Like its Ford contemporary, the Edsel, the XM Turnpike Cruiser proved to be an interesting amalgamation of ideas that ultimately proved insufficient for car buyers. While its innovative features pushed automotive engineering limits further than ever before, they failed to draw buyers’ interest.

Tom Maruska has extensive experience restoring unique show cars such as Ford Thunderbird Italien and 1954 Mercury XM-800, among many others. However, this latest project presented unique challenges due to its need for extensive work; ultimately taking four years for completion.

Mecum Kissimmee will auction the XM in January for an estimated selling price of $150,000 or higher, after which Maruska plans to restore another Amphicar and some production cars before placing the XM in a museum where its charm can be appreciated by everyone.

It’s a pace car

The 1956 Mercury XM Turnpike Cruiser stands out among the many show cars of its era as an extraordinary concept car designed by Ford designers John Najjar and Elwood Engel and constructed at Ghia in Italy by artisans there. A hit at auto shows across America, this show car eventually became the Indianapolis 500 pace car in 1957.

The XM featured many novel ideas and innovations, most of them less-than-practical but nevertheless impressive. People were drawn to its novel features – especially transparent butterfly panels on both driver’s and passenger’s doors that opened automatically, becoming popular features on production cars by other manufacturers later. Other noteworthy elements were its towering tail fins, dual headlights, wraparound rear window that could be opened electrically as well as towering tail fins.

Interior features of this car were equally futuristic: four individual bucket seats covered with two-tone leather and the dashboard featuring four torpedo-shaped nacelles housing speedometer, tachometer, engine instrumentation and AM radios were presented alongside push button controls for controlling its three-speed automatic transmission system.

Shinoda, who worked on both GM’s C2 Stingray and this XM model, added some neat details such as inverted triangle-shaped grille and scalloped side channels finished in anodized gold to his design of the car, including scallop-shaped taillights and use of gold throughout.

After the XM retired from show circuit competition, it was left in storage lot where it eventually degenerated into an eye sore. But Tom Maruska, a Minnesota collector/restorer spotted it and purchased it; spending thousands of hours refurbishing, it will now be auctioned at Mecum Kissimmee later this month.

The XM will be auctioned off at the American Muscle Car Museum alongside Shelby Mustangs, Hemi-powered Dodges and various types of Yenkos. Although it might seem an unlikely place for such an extravagant display car to end up, museum founder Mark Pieloch believes it fits right in.

It’s a hot rod

Are you in search of a Mercury XM Turnpike Cruiser for sale? Mecum Auctions will host its four-year restoration at their Kissimmee auction house beginning January 3rd after this unique concept car was designed and constructed by Mercury employees John Najjar and Elwood Engel in 1956 and sent on tour by Ghia for auto shows – it even served as pace car at Indianapolis 500 races in 1956!

The XM was unique in that its roof panels opened and closed automatically when its doors were opened, making entering and exiting easier and nodding to space age grandeur that characterized automotive designs of that period, from towering tail fins to rocket-inspired cockpits.

Unfortunately, the Mercury XM wasn’t popular with consumers and only saw two model years of production. Like its Ford counterpart Edsel, it fell far short of expectations and soon after was replaced by Park Lane as Mercury’s premium model.

It’s safe to say that Mercury’s XM wasn’t ever intended to become mainstream, yet its concept remains fascinating and thought-provoking. Mercury was known for being forward thinking and daring when it came to automotive design – the boldness and willingness to try new ideas in car production were evident here; many of its features made an appearance later, including grille-mounted headlights and anodized-gold trim pieces found on some 1957 Mercury models.

Tom Maruska of Duluth, Minnesota spent thousands of hours and considerable money to restore an XM automobile from 1958. As a result, it was stunning in appearance and attracted crowds when displayed at auto shows across Minnesota and Wisconsin. Unfortunately, auction results weren’t what he had hoped for so he ended up selling the XM to a museum in Florida for an unknown sum; Maruska now says it will be publicly displayed rather than sitting hidden in his garage.

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