1950 Mercury Club Coupe
The first postwar Mercury was introduced in the 1949 model year.
The engine was a flathead V8 that produced slightly more power than
the then also newly designed Ford. A new overdrive system was
optional, activated by a handle under the dash. The styling of the
Mercury Eight, when it was released in 1949, adopted the "pontoon"
appearance, and was successful in both ending the monotony of
warmed-over pre-war style, and differentiating Mercury from its
comparable Ford cousin, a trick that spelled sales success. The
Mercury Eight was popular with customizers. In 1949, Sam Barris
built the first lead sled from a 1949 Mercury Eight; the Eight
became the definitive lead sled. The Eights were among the first
models to receive an aftermarket OHV engine swap, since Oldsmobile
and Cadillac developed the first high-compression OHV V8 engines in
1949, whereas Ford was still using a sidevalve engine. Sam and
George Barris also used the 1949 body style to build "the most
famous custom car ever, the Hirohata Merc, for customer Bob
Hirohata in 1953.
With dauntingly small numbers of these cars surviving, let alone
being restored, this is a hen's tooth of a consignment. Dual
Strombergs feeding a 255ci displacement flathead V8 gives us our
Eight designation, and at the turn of the new decade it's the best
it gets as to the design. Aerodynamics were a second thought in the
day; however, this car has the design of a sleek rocket ship,
albeit in Buck Rogers heavy form, but still sleek and swept. Big
chrome adds to the look, and weight, which nearly eclipses 2 tons!
The beneficiary of a restoration in the early to mid 90's,
presenting nicely inside and out, and mechanically sound. Grab this
baby and start crowing about it.
Picture an elongated bubble, all round and shiny that starts out
with a tastefully large grille with a tastefully large bumper
below. Add on 2 rectangular parking/signal lights with tastefully
large bezels, a big badge above and the beginnings of a bulbous
hood topped with a stylized rocket/bird hood ornament leading the
way. Single headlights on fenders that tastefully bulge away from
the hood and run to the back dying into a straight panel on the
second set of doors. A few more bump outs for the rear quarters, a
trunk lid that bulges slightly upward from those quarters and wrap
around taillights framed below by another tastefully large rear
bumper and dual pipes protruding from underneath. A rounded roof
line with rounded windows, chrome surrounds along with some sexy
rear skirts, and we have the Buck Rogers rocket look. Lest we
forget the side spear and dish wheel covers with their wide white
wrappings for finishing off the bottom end. All this rocket-like
menagerie is bathed in Glasurit Deep Black, showing only a few
chips and inclusions.
Swinging open the long sleek door and we are met with a black
covered door panel that has a mix of smooth leather on top and a
horizontal cut in of tuck and roll leather on the lower section.
This beautiful leather plays out on the seats with clean tuck and
roll uppers and lowers on the front split bench and a back seat
bench just like the front only add on some big arms, and we have
room for 6. Black carpet floods the floors, and up front above this
carpet floats the dash with its dark gray dash top, and mostly
chrome ribbed dash front and instrument surrounds. We note the
signatures of world renowned car customizers Darryl Starbird and
Gene Winfield on top of the dash. These are all clean and looking
great and are fronted by the original steering wheel, fashioned out
of black bakelite with a round chrome horn rim just inside the
bakelite. A black headliner also in supple leather is above.
Taking a peek under the hood, and we see a nicely restored engine
block painted green presenting as a 255ci V8 that has been bored
.030 over and has had an Isky camshaft installed within. During the
rebuild the heads were shaved and sitting atop is a silver intake
manifold and dual Stromberg 2bbl carburetors. The carbs were
recently rebuilt using genuine Stromberg parts. A 3-speed manual
transmission is on and sends power back to a rear axle weighing in
at 3.54. A big shout out to the twin chrome coolant pipes,
generator, and air cleaner horn assemblies.
Underneath we are met with a sea of black. A rust-free X frame with
no rust body hangers, floor pans and wheel wells. No invasive rust
is present, and we only note some road dirt and surface rust on the
suspension. Independent coil springs for front and leaf springs for
the rear along with 4-wheel drum brakes to provide the woah. Dual
exhaust snakes its way back along the chassis and ends under the
rear bumper with rectangular chrome tips. No mufflers are present
on the exhaust system, so we already know this car is going to
sound lean and mean.
Slipping inside this earlier restoration it retains its sparkle and
je ne sais quoi. It fired right up and idled with a subtle roar.
Smooth take off and decent stopping, as well as tight steering with
some body roll, but it's a 2 ton car so it will not carve a curve
like those of less stature and similar structure. All functions
were operational during my drive, and I certainly felt a bit like a
rebel without a cause.
Holding its own very nicely, a few minor faults in the exterior
paint, and the interior is just fab. A nice engine and bay, and
structurally sound with no rust to speak of. It's a rarely seen
car, and even rarer to be seen in this condition. Fluff your
feathers, and strut proudly to the next car show where you can grab
one of those elusive ribbons for your mantle. Cock a doodle
ME-Metuchen, NJ Assy Plant
46440-Sequential Unit Number
Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special
interest automobile showroom, featuring over 650 vehicles for sale
with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle
barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is located in our showroom in Morgantown,
Pennsylvania, conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia
on the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is
www.classicautomall.com and our phone number is (888) 227-0914.
Please contact us anytime for more information or to come see the
vehicle in person.