Coasting through town with a one-of-a-kind ride, Brad Martin’s 1963 Mercury Meteor turns heads wherever he goes.
Martin said he has always been a Mercury enthusiast and knew when he found the Meteor, he had to add it to his collection.
He came across the ’63 Meteor sitting outside his detailer’s shop in 2018. He inquired if it was for sale and quickly made a deal.
“I drove it for five minutes and knew I was going to buy it,” Martin said. “It was just so solid and it rides so nice.”
He found some rust on the lower body and took it to get fixed. The task proved challenging, as he can no longer buy the metal for repairs to the car — instead, every new piece needed to be fabricated from scratch.
He credited Dave LaSack and his dad, Brian, from Uncanny Custom for “going above and beyond” in meticulously rebuilding the car. He later collaborated with Brad Patterson and BP Custom Upholstery to create a complete custom interior. Brandon Windshield Repair completed the glass and tint for the Meteor.
“I couldn’t have this hobby without friends like that,” Martin said.
The Meteor has been lowered three inches and has an air ride in the back to lift the vehicle when there are multiple occupants.
“If more people come in, I can just put the ride up,” Martin said.
A 221 V8 engine has been added under the hood. When it was rebuilt, he also added flat-top pistons.
The Meteor boasts a three-speed column-shift transmission, which can be tricky to drive for those unfamiliar with it.
“It’s just a great cruising car,” Martin said.
He visits many car shows in the province over the summer and appreciates how rare it is to spot a Mercury Meteor at a show or on the road.
“Through COVID ... I always have a smile on my face driving something old — it’s my therapy,” Martin said. “It’s just a great hobby.”
Martin has always been into cars. He first got his feet wet in the hobby working at a body shop in high school.
He drifted away from restorations as he grew older, but reconnected with the hobby after injuring his shoulder about five years ago. The injury helped him find his way back to restorations.
Martin currently has three trucks: a 1962 Ford, a 1971 Ford and a 1957 Dodge, along with a 1970 Mercury Marauder that is almost ready for the road.
A major appeal of the hobby is finding unique rides that he can save and give a new life, he said.
“It’s a passion of mine, and my family and friends can appreciate it as well,” Martin said.
“What I really like is when I drive around [and] it starts conversations. People come up to me of all ages, mostly older people saying, ‘My parents had one’ or ‘I’ve had one of those’ or ‘I took my driver’s test in it.’ It really starts some great conversations.”
» Twitter: @The_ChelseaKemp
Chelsea Kemp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brandon Sun