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Old 12-15-2007, 06:52 PM   #1
Ace Brown
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Default Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

my dad and i have decided to take on another project for the winter. it's a '54 merc 2dr. hardtop. So far, we've put packard tail lights in, frenched the headlights, shaved, decked and recessed antennas. Future plans include either a nice 4" top chop, or converting it to a convertible. 55 pontiac trim should be here monday (thanks to a fellow hamber!). Anyhow, thought i'd post some pics. Engine plans are a 472 caddy, "dressed up" to look "old".

all starts with that first cut!

Here's our inner panel to hold the tail lights:

Plans were to make patch panels to this shape, but turns out there's a ton of factory lead work in this area, the original tail light "caps" were welded on separately, as was the trunk area:

SO, we had to cut a little further back. no biggie

Here's the finished product with the bumper loosely held in place. From this angle you can see the antennas. i'll post pics of that later, as well as the 472 cad build up. Tore it all apart this afternoon. Thankfully, all internals look great!
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Old 12-15-2007, 06:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Figured i ought to show a "before" shot! These are pics taken off the ebay page, where we bought it.

interior is pretty nice! NO rust in the floors, or the trunk surprisingly. Not even on the rocker panels. Only bad areas are above the fenders. That'll be fixed soon too
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Old 12-15-2007, 07:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Bitchn taillights. My vote is keep the top, with a chop and leave her a Vicky.

Nice work, -Abone.
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Old 12-15-2007, 07:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

a Vicky? she's a monterrey I can't decide what route to take...the convertible would be killer, but so would the chopped top. both have problems. the convertible would be a little tricky to fit correctly and be a 'true' convertible, as in the arms folding. the top being chopped poses the problem of the rear window. My choices are sinking the glass into the trunk, grafting in an early 50s/late 40s "round" rear window and sheet metal, or trying to cut the rear glass. my cousin is a sandblaster. we were thinking it might be possible to blast the glass down as opposed to actually cutting it, which would be close to impossible with the curve of the glass.

got a little way to go before we reach that point yet, so we'll see
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Old 12-15-2007, 07:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Hey,

That's some great fabracation work on the Merc quarters!
I'd shudder to think what that amount of leadwork would add to
the price of a new Mercury were they still using lead and people
skilled enough to apply it on the assembly line today.
It looks like you're building "a real kustom", very kool!

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Old 12-15-2007, 07:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Wow nice to see aonther custom in the works. The tail lights look great. The car looks realy solid. I also have to throw a vote in for the chop. I think 54 fords and mercs look great chopped
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

i thank you guys for the compliments! I agree with you about the top chop. One of my other rides (though a little "new" for here) is a '67 Galaxie 500 convertible, mild custom. Chop tops are awesome, but so is a convertible. i maybe should have mentioned the top would be chopped regardless
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Old 12-27-2007, 10:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

great looking tail lights Im looking for a set to put on my 57 buick


nice work





Tom
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Old 12-28-2007, 04:15 AM   #9
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Nice work! Here's my friend´s -55. Chopped HT roof looks awesome... http://public.fotki.com/Rinnewood/ev...7/1007741.html


--mika
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Old 12-28-2007, 05:40 AM   #10
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

lookin good ..
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Old 12-28-2007, 07:47 AM   #11
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

I really dig thise tail lights. What is that rear bumper. 56 Chevy? I have aplan to do this to my 53 one day.

Nice work.
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Old 12-28-2007, 08:41 AM   #12
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

nice work man this one gonna be up at kevins this summer>?
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:52 AM   #13
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Look at a 51 Merc rear window. Get the whole set up from someone choppin a Merc, you will find it fits a chopped 52-54 Ford and Merc very well.............OLDBEET
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Old 12-28-2007, 11:22 AM   #14
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

I have an extra '55 Merc 2 door rear window if you screw up yours. It came from a car I scrapped. They are close to the same, I think.
Mark your cut with duct tape leaving a 1/8" gap on both sides of your line and go real slow. Give the glass a lot of time to cool between passes with the blaster and you'll be fine.
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Old 12-28-2007, 11:29 AM   #15
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Forget about cutting the rear window!!!!! It is tempered glass and CANNOT BE CUT!! Or sandblasted, or modified in any way! Don't even try it! The truth!........OLDBEET
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Old 12-28-2007, 12:23 PM   #16
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

nice job, the tail lights look great! and yeah someone asked about bumper...thats a stock 54 merc bumper. its always nice to see that customs are still being built.
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:03 PM   #17
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

sorry about the late response guys, been away for a couple weeks with the holidays and what not...

in regards to the bumper, that's right. it's a stock '54. the bumper guards will be going to "clean" up the rear a little more.

Beet, thanks for the tip. More photos up soon...'55 pontiac side trim...headlights...472 caddy..more goodies
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Old 01-13-2008, 06:56 PM   #18
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Few more updates...doin' a little leadslingin'. Leaded up the frenched antennas, and moved to the packard light extensions. One side done, one to go. Ran out of lead, so i have to wait to continue

antennas:

putting some lead down:

trying not to catch my cheap paddles on fire

vixen filing:

here's after sanding with the vixen file. I sanded it with 80grit paper and a block after this to get her nice and smooth...no pics of the "final" sanding yet. those will come soon.


Soon as i get more lead, on to the next side and probably smoothing the trunk.

-ace
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Old 01-13-2008, 07:33 PM   #19
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Awesome a lead slinger.......nice job.
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Old 01-13-2008, 07:56 PM   #20
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

I'm still working on my "leadslinger" status... hell, that side took me about 5 hours
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Old 01-13-2008, 08:06 PM   #21
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Excellent work!My .02 is also for the top chop.especially with your metalworking skills.Keep us posted. Fuzz
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Old 01-13-2008, 08:23 PM   #22
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Hey,

Great job so far..... I'm still shaking my heat that someone would
try to tell you that back/tempered glass was cuttable-

On the subject of a chop for this era Merc: the '52-'54 Fords &
Mercurys start to look very chubby with only a chop and no section
taken outa the middle to balence the mass of the body. Better chop
it on paper or better yet look at one with3"-4" inches taken out prior
to comitin'.

Masterin' leadwork takes some time, but that's the true kustom way!


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Old 01-13-2008, 08:23 PM   #23
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Please go with the chop. I'd love to see it completed, keep us up to date with the blow by blow - please.
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Old 01-13-2008, 08:25 PM   #24
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

My similar back light isn't chopped glass - its plexi.
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Old 01-13-2008, 08:29 PM   #25
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

where do you get your lead?
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Old 01-13-2008, 08:36 PM   #26
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

man you do real nice work, chop top would look real nice on that car..keep us up dated
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Old 01-13-2008, 08:44 PM   #27
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

lookin good, had one back in the day. Suggest keeping it a mild custom, and no chop, a chop looks like someone stepped on it, 49-51's are meant for chopping not these. Just clean it up, make the hood scoop functional etc. paint it one solid color and drive it!
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Old 01-13-2008, 10:22 PM   #28
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Eastwood sells lead, Punkabilly. It's 70/30 (70% tin-30% lead). It's about 30 bucks for 10 sticks. Where in ohio are ya?

Thanks guys, comments and opinions appreciated. As far as sectioning goes, i'm not a big fan of sectioned cars for the most part. However, in regard to the "chubby" factor, you're right, Pimpin. To accomodate that, the rear window will be moved forward around 5 or 6" with the top chopped around 4", and with the taillight extensions, it will appear thinner than it is. Of course, it will be lowered too.

If we go the chopped top route, as opposed to convert., we'll be using most likely a donated '49 dodge rear window leaned forward. maybe... i think it'll work. It will look something like this (stolen from HAMB, if i knew whose it was i'd give credit. My apologies) :


I think this picture has a '51 merc rear window (?) as OLDBEET had mentioned previously.

I'll post more pics as we plug along. Next step is to take the front fenders off and the hood. Will probably work on the hood next, make a funcitoning scoop as mentioned. It's getting '55 pontiac trim, so sorry, it's going 2tone. Long way off for paint yet though. things have a way of changing too along the way

until next time...
-ace
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Old 01-13-2008, 11:35 PM   #29
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

You still got your stock tailights and fender caps? Wanna sell 'em?
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Old 01-14-2008, 09:40 AM   #30
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Hey harry, i'm sorry man! The bass player in my band has a '52 buick he wants to put thos in. If the measurements don't work out i'll put you in line after him!
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:01 AM   #31
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

great job, Ace im doin the same car, 54 merc monterrey ht. Im gonna make a mild Kustom. Good Luck,Mike
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:09 AM   #32
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Looks cool. I love those tailights in a custom
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:23 AM   #33
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Looking nice.
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:26 AM   #34
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Great job on the tail lights!
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Old 01-14-2008, 02:20 PM   #35
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

All the work looks very nice. I've been wanting one of these for a while, I've got a complete glass top roof from a '54 Ford that's just dying to go into something.

I chopped my '53 Ford and sunk the glass into the trunk, won't ever do that again. It looks decent but it's really hard to keep water from seeping into the trunk since you can't really get a gasket in there properly. Next time around on my '53 I'll be using a '50 Ford rear window.
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Old 01-14-2008, 02:34 PM   #36
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

hey ace
im about two hours west of you!!! thanks for lettin' me know about the lead, i have a 51' merc' that im gonna start on here soon and am gonna wanna lead it...i'll def. be chopping it so when i get to that point you should cruise on out!
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Old 01-14-2008, 04:03 PM   #37
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

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Originally Posted by punkabilly1306 View Post
hey ace
im about two hours west of you!!! thanks for lettin' me know about the lead, i have a 51' merc' that im gonna start on here soon and am gonna wanna lead it...i'll def. be chopping it so when i get to that point you should cruise on out!
bob
I think you'll need a whole lot more than lead to fill that car up. Might wanna consider some sheetmetal too!

Quote:
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I think this picture has a '51 merc rear window (?) as OLDBEET had mentioned previously.
Thats looks like a shoebox back window to me. Def not '51 Merc or '49-'50 for that matter.
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Old 01-14-2008, 04:20 PM   #38
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Nice work. Making us Ohio boys look good. I have some high standards to live up to.
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Old 01-14-2008, 04:55 PM   #39
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Hey Punkabilly, you out by Toledo? If so do you know the Screamin' Demons guys? If you need an extra set of hands, let me know

Hey a Norwalker!? i'm just east of you, 5 miles south of Wellington, in Rochester. I've got friens in Wakeman, car guys too.

SlowandLow, you're right. my mistake . I recall it being a ford now that you mention it, and after looking closer it's definintely ford.

thanks again guys
-ace
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Old 01-14-2008, 05:20 PM   #40
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Thats actually a really nice look IMO. Definitely beats the stock window. They're usually farely common, I may know a of a few around. Oh ya and Punkabilly needs all the help he can get. That merc needs some luvin.
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Old 01-14-2008, 05:23 PM   #41
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

looks nice man cant wait to see the finished product.
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Old 01-14-2008, 06:05 PM   #42
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

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Oh ya and Punkabilly needs all the help he can get. That merc needs some luvin.
billy is just jealous cause my p.o.s. has potential of being cool and his will always be a p.o.s
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Old 01-14-2008, 06:06 PM   #43
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

oh and im an hour west of toledo
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Old 01-14-2008, 06:48 PM   #44
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

hour west of toledo...got ya. which town would that be? So where can we see both of thes P.O.S.s we keep hearing about

I think the donor window if we go top chop route will be a '49 dodge. it looks really similar to the ford, and hey, it's free. a friend turned his into a carson top. well, it's in progress i should say.
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Old 01-14-2008, 07:01 PM   #45
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

an hour west of toledo would put you in a small town called "montpelier"...and the p.o.s's are a 62' monterey (getting a face lift soon) and a 51' merc' two door that needs major surgery to get back on its feet but hey its a merc' right!!
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Old 01-14-2008, 07:21 PM   #46
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

well, in your hunts for body panels or what have you, keep an eye out for 49/50 lincoln/merc rear quarters for me. 4door preferrably, since i've got a 4dr that is... Got my '50 lincoln that needs some. i might just make them since they are astronomical.
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Old 01-14-2008, 07:33 PM   #47
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

mmmm...gotta love a merc' no matter how bad it might be
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Old 01-14-2008, 07:36 PM   #48
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billy is just jealous cause my p.o.s. has potential of being cool and his will always be a p.o.s
Mainly cuz I never have any time to get anything done on it.
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:40 PM   #49
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

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I think this picture has a '51 merc rear window (?) as OLDBEET had mentioned previously.
-ace
No...the '49-'50 Mercs had the rounded rear windows. Here's an un-chopped '51 for comparison...completely different.

ACE: Looking GREAT!!!!!
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Old 01-15-2008, 08:57 AM   #50
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No...the '49-'50 Mercs had the rounded rear windows. Here's an un-chopped '51 for comparison...completely different.

ACE: Looking GREAT!!!!!
Thats a shoebox rear window.
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Old 01-15-2008, 08:58 AM   #51
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

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Originally Posted by SlowandLow63 View Post
Mainly cuz I never have any time to get anything done on it.
I think he meant because they are Floored's, not Mercurys.
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:45 AM   #52
Ace Brown
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

hey Merc Man, thanks, but we already got it sorted out it was my mistake. i called it a '51 merc, but clearly it's not.
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:54 AM   #53
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

hey ace what kind of old bone yards you guys got up your way i need some stuff but there is nuthing down in pittsburgh!!!
guessing you have some up there .
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:17 AM   #54
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Heres a picture of my buddy Gil's newly finished 54 Merc. Just another way to do one. I do love the variety, thats what keeps us all doing what we do.
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Old 01-15-2008, 04:29 PM   #55
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Hey Flop! well, tell ya the truth i have no clue. My dad found this one on ebay out in Indiana somewhere. The lights were on ebay too, and the pontiac sidetrim came from a HAMBer. Tell ya where to go in PA...Johnny Bones can maybe go with you sometime...but it's called Renick's. If you get on Rt. 8 north it's up behind the Clearview Mall in Butler. I'll pm you directions
-ace
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Old 01-15-2008, 04:54 PM   #56
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

"Hey a Norwalker!? i'm just east of you, 5 miles south of Wellington, in Rochester. I've got friens in Wakeman, car guys too."

Are you talking about any of the devillabilly boys? I kinda know em. Rochester is just a shout away. Let me know if you need a hand any time. I live right down from the dragstrip.
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Old 01-15-2008, 05:06 PM   #57
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnIOnViLLEHauNT View Post
I think he meant because they are Floored's, not Mercurys.
Then again you own at least 2 Mercurys so they can't be that classy.
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:59 PM   #58
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Ace,
This thing looks lots better than the little pics on my telephone!
And Flop, haven't been able to get ahold of Renick's lately......weird hours, but probably not closed completely. What all ya lookin' for?
Johnny
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:00 PM   #59
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Yeah, i'm speakin' of those guys! they've been backing me up when my regular guys can't make shows (band shows that is). Thanks for the offer, i'll keep you in mind. If you're ever out my way you're more than welcome to stop by. i'm right off 511 south of rochester
-ace
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Old 04-28-2008, 02:53 PM   #60
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics! *new pics added*

Here's some new pictures of the past month or so's progress.

Engine is a 472 caddy, here's a couple shots before we put it all together, just test fitting and getting ready to weld in the motor mounts. Trans is a b.o.p. 400. Slightly cammed, should be around 550-600 horse we're hoping. Not that it needs that much of course






don't worry. just tacks...




More photos to come of the engine fully together, and of some other little stuff.
-ace
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Old 04-28-2008, 06:58 PM   #61
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

cool ride gonna be bitchin when it drivin
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Old 09-28-2009, 04:16 PM   #62
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Finally got around to posting some more pictures. Chopped the top finally. With othe projects that fell into our hands the Merc got put on hold for a while.

So, here's some more photos.

putting the center bar in to help re-align the roof. That's my dad, Pete:


Me, doing the cutting:


Top off!


Dad, pimpin' in the new chop top! Note the A pillars (and C) don't fit. The bottoms were cut on the outside (couldn't weld behind the dashboard which would have been easier if i could), and the top portions were cut on the backside.


Here it is after being re-aligned.


The wood was temporary. I replaced both sides with angle iron pieces for more structure while welding the bottoms


We noticed that there was an inner brace on the A pillar, so we removed a piece of the A pillar and I welded the brace where our cut severed it. We then made a patch and welded it in place. I'll finish welding later. Yeah, it's an ugly weld. My brother took my MIG and I only had the TIG which i haven't mastered making pretty welds with yet


We'll tackle the rear portion this weekend i think. We're going to cut between the decklid and the bottom of the rear window and the whole piece will move forward 3 1/2" if i recall. To do so we'll have to "section" the package tray that amount also. And cut the top to spread it out to meet the rear.
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Old 09-28-2009, 06:21 PM   #63
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

there is a company out in california called roto metals you can buy any amount of 30/70 lead you want the minimum order is 1 pound and shipping is free they charge 5.52 a pound and at 25 pounds they give a discount , it works really well and a whole lot cheaper than eastwood theirs comes out to about 16.00 a pound plus shipping . the number is 1-800-779-1107 you can also find them on the web
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Old 09-28-2009, 06:37 PM   #64
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Great start on what is sure to be a killer ride.
Glad to see you kept the top.
Please keep us posted!
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:29 PM   #65
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

bdynpnt- thanks, i'll check them out. I have a lot of leading to do on this car, and over winter i plan on chopping my '50 Lincoln as well. Probably doing lead on it as well.

'Mo- Thank you! We fit the convert. top on and it would surely have looked killer. Unfortunately, it was way too short it turned out. It would have taken a lot more work to get it to fit, than making the original fit nicely. We're thinking mint green and ivory when all's said and done. Below the 55 pontiac side trim, the main part of the body, will be the mint green, and the rest ivory. Not 100% yet, probably a little early to be thinking about that anyhow
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:54 AM   #66
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Hey Ace,
I was thinking about chopping mine this year also. I look foward to seeing your progress.
Please check out my pics. I would like to hear your two cents on my 54.

Joelchris
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:02 AM   #67
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

That is going to be a nice custom when it is complete. Thanks for sharing the build.
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:01 AM   #68
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Nice work! That's going to be killer!
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:21 PM   #69
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

thanks everyone, i appreciate it.

Joelchris, your 54 looks nice. The difficult part so far is planning the rear section of the roof. We have it figured out i'm sure so again, this weekend we're going to get into it i think. Keep checking here, should have pictures up by the weekend.
-ace
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:03 PM   #70
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

any updates?
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:40 PM   #71
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

looking good! cant wait to see more progress pics, I will also be chopping my 54 sunvalley sometime soon
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:47 PM   #72
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

Kool thread, great job on the car and pics
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:47 PM   #73
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Default Re: Custom 54 Merc, progress pics!

I love 54's, Cant you tell?
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