One Sweet ‘61
Drive!|October 2020
One Sweet ‘61
Modern upgrades and old-school cool make for one hot topless beauty
TJ Shepherd and Michael Eckerson

D!: Meet TJ. He’s an every-man’s-man. Sharp-witted, eclectic and a shrewd business owner. TJ and I sat down to talk about his latest love, this sumptuous 1961 Mercury Monterey Convertible. This is not his first foray into the restoration game. But I’ll let him tell his story:

TJ: I had just finished building my 1953 Chevy Bel Air Hardtop and I was ready for a new project. So I put my Bel Air up for sale and ended up selling and shipping it to a rockabilly barber in New Zealand who was looking for daily driver and cool car to park in front of his barbershop.

After the transaction, I suddenly had no car. Not good for a “car guy”. So I began searching to see what was out there. I wasn’t looking for anything specific. Just something old and cool that I thought I could bring back to life.

I came across an ad that was poorly written with fuzzy photos. I could tell the car was long, and a convertible, so I decided to check it out.


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October 2020