In general, woodies are rare beast these days, especially in running condition. The one you see before is especially rare, as only 2,400 Mercury wagons were built in 1952. How many are still on the road or in restorable condition is not known, but it can't be more than a handful. Like most car companies in the 1950's Ford and its Lincoln/Mercury divisions began eliminating wood as structural componant in cars, and it was not long before Ford closed its Iron Mountain facilities. The Woodie "look" was still desired though, and wood panels gave way to decals and wood trim. This '52 Mercury "Custom Series" wagon is an excellent example of one of transition from wood to chrome as a trim of choice.Designed by Gordon Buehrig, the Custom Series bodies were offered in 3- and 5-door models for six to eight passengers. It came with a V8 motor, 3,800lb curb weight, and would set you back about $2,700.00. The '52 Mercury "Custom Series" wagon was a high vehicle that came with a radio, clock and environmental controls. While not a luxury vehicle, the Custom Series wagon had everything you needed; plenty of room for passengers, radio, clock, and environmental controls. The Custom Series wagon came equipped with a 225.4-cid, 125-hp flathead V8 with a 7.2:1 compression ratio. The motors built for Mercury came equipped with a Holley "Centri-Flo" concentric downdraft dual-carburetor, and had a slightly longer stroke than the standard Ford motors (4-inch compared to 3.75-inch).
This is the woodie before Joe Creamer brought it to us for restoration. We always like to ask customers why they want to restore a particular vehicle because there is always an interesting story to be told. According to Joe, he remembered the car from his childhood because a reletive of his had one just like it. Also, he has always loved woodies. So when he started searching for a woodie to restore and found this 52 Merc for sale on e-Bay, it "spoke" to him. He contacted the owner here in California and purchased the car as a project for he and his son to work on. However, before they got too far into the project, his son took a job in Oregon. He had wanted to restore it to the way "it was when it rolled off the assembly line." With his son gone, however, Joe felt that the project was too big for him and brought it to us.