As original old steel gets harder and harder to find, getting
the custom sled you want often means buying one that has already gone through
the restoration process and going back to the drawing board with it. This
slammed 50 Merc is a perfect example. This one had already been chopped
and customized by a previous owner before the current one brought it to
us. In fact, when it came into the shop, the last thing we expected was
to be asked to tear it apart and start over (you can see the before
pics on page 4 of this series).
While this was a fairly extensive restoration, it was not
a complete frame-off resto and it did not require us to do any extensive
fabrication or bodywork. Most of the work was cosmetic; new paint and a
new interior. We also worked on some mechanical upgrades like a Vintage
Air AC system, new brakes, rebuilt motor, new wiring, and other mechanical
The Mercury line of cars was the brain child of Edsel Ford.
He felt there was a market for a line of cars that could fill the price
gap between the standard Ford models and the high-end Lincolns. He was right.
That Edsel decided to name the car after the winged Roman
God Mercury turned out to be prophetic as the new cars began to fly off
the Ford assembly lines in 1939 and into the hands of eager consumers. The
cars boasted a more aerodynamic design and a more powerful "Mercury
Eight" motor. 17,000 were produced in 1939 and by 1941 that figure
had climbed to over 98,000.
From 1942 to 1945 Mercury halted most of their production
due to the war. When the war was over, Henry Ford separated the companies
and established Lincoln Mercury. The 1946 models were really just slightly
modified '42 models, but the production of new models ramped up quickly
and by 1948 all new Lincoln-Mercury models were rolling off the lines and
into the showrooms.
1950 was Mercury's highest production year, selling 344,000
vehicles. It was also the year in which they sold their one-millionth vehicle.
When it comes to styling, the 50's belonged to the Mercury,
and it was the '50 Merc that set the bar for those that followed. When it
comes to hot rods and street rods, or classics of any kind, few cars have
the stylistic appeal of those early 50's Mercury's. From the distinctive
chrome dental-work of the grills, to the sleek, futuristic bodies, they
always stand out in a crowd.
Randy Clark delivers the refurbished Merc to a very happy