Rulon McGregor’s ’39 Mercury
The Rulon McGregor 1939 Mercury has been at the Petersen Museum since 1999 and was featured in Rodders Journal #21 (the ‘B’ cover) some years later. The car is just a great example of a very pure early post war custom in California… Before massive chops and body panel swaps. The Merc was dropped front and rear, given a mild chop (with a real Carson top), period tuck and roll interior with chrome garnish moldings. DeSoto bumpers were the classy choice for a 35-41 custom, and the shaved decklid with smooth running boards added to the slick, streamlined look. Interestingly, the dull hubcaps and funky ’39 ‘beer keg’ tail lights were still bone stock Mercury items. The Garnet Maroon bomb was most likely still a work in progress for Rulon, who was killed in a foolish El Mirage accident in May of 1949 when his lakester collided with a ’40 Ford race car driven by Robert Fadave, who was off track. We will never know if the car would have kept being customized to the point of absurdity, but due to the tragedy of that day, the car was kept exactly the way Rulon had it up to that pre-50s point. Maybe that’s why I love this car so much- It really is ‘the way it was’.
Pardon my fuzzy photos. I missed the car at the GNRS and only had these sloppy shots taken at the Petersen “Vault” last summer.