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Projects 1950 Mercury project...

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by redranch, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. I originally posted this story in the 'Introduce Yourself' section back in 2007. For those who haven't seen it or have forgotten about the project, I thought it was about time for an update with a proper thread on the car....

    I'm originally from London in the UK, and have lived in various parts of the world including Australia, USA, Canada, Hong Kong and currently living and working in the French part of Switzerland.
    I've owned and sold many cars over the years, and one of those was an original black 1950 Mercury, I sold it when I moved to Canada for a year as I had no storage in London. Anyway, fast forward to 2006 and I really fancied another Mercury for a possible road trip across the US.

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  2. So I found this Mercury Coupe on ebay from a guy just outside Detroit, November 2006. It has had a very mild custom done sometimes in the early 80's which including ripping out the original flathead and installing a 351 Windsor from a 69 Mustang, the usual stuff had been shaved off and a quick blow over in bright Yellow. It looked okay from the photos and his description seemed to be okay (or so I thought). I wanted something that I could get in and within reason drive across country.

    I bought the car and had it transported to some friends in Ann Arbor, I flew over on a very cold day in January 2007 to see the car in the flesh for the first time let's just day it wasn't exactly as described. So the road trip was off for that year and I had it shipped to a friends place in Los Angeles to do some work to the car.
    The car did run and drive and we took for a spin around the block. I guess I should have sold it then and there, but no I thought we could restore it and have it back on the road the following summer, so we started the restoration/custom work.

    The original idea for the car is to do a very mild traditional custom, with nothing in or on the car later than 1955. Probably a maximum of 2" taken out of the roof (see blue tape in some of the photos), and maybe painting it the original dark metallic blue.

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    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
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  3. Photos from when it arrived in LA...

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  4. April 2007 I went back to LA for a vacation, the night I landed I picking up a hire car (Ford F150 truck) and with a friend we left his place around 11.30 pm for the 14 hour drive north to Oregon, that's was where my latest ebay item was purchased...a 53 Mercury flathead engine to replace the 351.

    I ended up stripping all the paint off the car by hand just to see what was hidden, the trunk floor was pretty rotten under all that black paint, so I bought the remains of a 1951 Mercury Coupe floor from a guy in Texas and had it shipped to LA. This and a few other parts were taken to L&M striping in Van Nuys to be dipped. They include the hood, front fenders, front valance, hood catch and trunk deck.

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  5. more photos of the rust repair over the next few years...

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  6. Over the next few years, work was done now and again to the car, either when I had the money or when my friend had the time. But I think the longer he had the project the less work he did as it had been hanging around his shop too long, so after a long chat with him it was decided that I should find someone else to work on the project….I sold the flathead at some point, I can't remember if a needed the money or was just selling things off as I wanted to sell the car

    So without dragging the story out, I found someone else to do the work and he did a small amounts to the car, but over a two year period didn't do that much to the car to be honest. So now I have a project car that I have a lot of money tied up in but nothing to show for it. In the last 6 years I think I've tried to sell it twice, junk it…maybe cut my losses and walk away from it.

    But the good news is that I've now found someone who is doing the work for me. He's done more in the past few months than has been done in the past 4 or 5 years.

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    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
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  7. Yesterday was a big day as the body finally came off the chassis, I've been waiting for this for a long time. It goes to the blasters this week and we'll have to see what comes back…hopefully most of the car.

    So I'll update this thread as and when I can…and I'll be back over to LA in Dec/Jan to see the car and will have a better update.

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  8. Wow, that's commitment. Definitely looking good though. If you still fancy a cross country trip in a flathead Merc, I have just the one you need listed in the classified section. Although it's a four door, it has no rust at all and it's ready to go. Besides four doors are better for picking up hitchhikers, right? :D
    Good luck on the build, you'll have a nice ride when it's finished.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  9. Jimbo17
    Joined: Aug 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,814


    You really out did your self with this project.

    It really is beautiful and done with a great deal of class.

    Classic lines and taste throughout the car really set it off.

    Nice job Jimbo
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  10. She'll come up a treat! Great dedication and patience. I could learn something from you there.
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  11. farmer12
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 7,717


    Great project, looking good so far!
  12. I wanted to add a comment to your classified post (mechmitch) but for some reason I can't...anyway I just wanted to say it looks like a pretty straight car, and to think with the amount of money I have in my project I could have bought your car and still had money spare to buy a few more for lot's lots road trips!

    I too have a couple of other project cars and need to finish them before I buy anything thanks for the offer, but I'll stick to my 2dr project for now.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  13. Thanks for the other comments too...
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  14. The positive is that you know what you fixed, that's why I still dig my car though I've put some cash into it that I hadn't planned too.
  15. You can't comment in the classifieds.
    I admire your sticking to this big of a projoct for so long. You saved one!
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  16. thanks chopped51...I hope to have it back on the road for a road trip next summer
  17. I can relate. I did over 5,200 Kms in June in my Merc, spending almost a month in SoCal. Best road trip ever.
    Hope yours goes well.
  18. sounds like a wonderful trip and one I hope to do soon. Hope you took photos along the way.
  19. About 1,200 pictures. Made a nice DVD out of it, about an hour long.
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  20. desotot
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,844


    that much commitment deserves a road trip.Should be a nice ride.Another merc saved.
  21. Doctor Detroit
    Joined: Aug 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,020

    Doctor Detroit

    Keep us updated with pictures. About two months ago I got the body back on the frame of my '51. It had been off for about 14 months. It's a pretty good feeling to get those back together. I have a lot of 49-51 Mercury related info and links in my build thread that you might find helpful.
  22. Thanks for the comments and I'll post more on the car soon. Just too a quick look at your thread and your doing a great job on the car...much faster than my project, but like you I was let down so the project stalled a few times.
    I look forward to more photos as the car comes together.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  23. Okay, so here are a few photos of the car just after it's been blasted. I'll try and get some better ones taken in daylight so we can see the car in more detail.
    But at first glance I still have some rust issues to deal with, but at least the car didn't fall apart once all the paint and bondo was blaster off the car.

    More to come soon

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  24. chryslerfan55 likes this.
  25. mr50s
    Joined: Jul 26, 2009
    Posts: 59


    Hey redranch,

    I'm following your journey with great interest. Reminds me a lot of some of the "swiss-cheesy" metal I've faced after sandblasting my last three projects. But I've found a line of products which has helped me permanently fix plenty of rust-out areas without going to the expense of metal-finishing them. This has been very helpful to me since I'm on a fixed retirement income, and I drive my cars on the street.

    These products are all offered on one website, "". POR stands for "paint over rust", and it bonds best to freshly sandblasted metal. Seals and wears like iron, I've found. Works by chemically sealing out the very oxygen which is necessary for rust to re-form.

    I'm thinking the firm's "Floor Pan and Trunk Restoration Kit" alone would cover all those hundreds of little pin-holes in your metal surfaces while adding needed strength to support weight once again. Once that's done, you re-direct your savings toward metal-finishing the larger areas in the car that have more metal missing--the areas most seen by you and others.

    Please don't lose focus on this project at this stage. Remember, each time you touch this car from now on, you will be making big steps toward saving it and drawing the compliments this type of car ultimately deserves. So give POR a call at 1-800-726-0459, get their catalog, study it closely, use some of the products they offer, and keep us posted here on the HAMB on how things are going. Good luck!!


    ps: is that a 1950 Olds Rocket 88 coupe parked next to yours in one of your recent pix? I'm doing one of those right now. The whole frame, body trunk and interior have been freshly sprayed in POR-15. I used a $25 sprayer from Harbor Freight Tools to shoot it, and things look lots better. No more worries about rust-outs!!
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  26. Hi mr50s, thanks for your comments on the project. That sounds like a great product you recommend but we have already started to cut the floors out and then they will be replaced with new metal along with lot's of other missing metal...

    Don't worry I won't lose focus, the project was stalled for a while but it's back on track now...hoping to update with more posts as and when the work is done.

    I'm not sure about the other car as Randy (who is doing the work on my car now) has a lot of different projects in his workshop.

    I should use that product on some of my other projects when I finish the Mercury...they don't sell it in Switzerland, but when I'm back in the UK there are two suppliers there.

    I look forward to seeing some photos of your ongoing project.

    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  27. rotorwrench
    Joined: Apr 21, 2006
    Posts: 633


    The redranch mobile looks like the typical rusty monsters got in there to nible away at it. They look about the same when they are from the rust belt here in the US so don't feel like your the only one to find a fully ventilated Merc model.

    I too will watch your project progress. It will take much time & work for sure but modern primers used liberally work a lot better than the little or nothing they got from FoMoCo back in the 1950s.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  28. Here are a couple of photos of the hood as the old repair work is cut out and done properly...

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  29. tikiwagon13
    Joined: Feb 23, 2011
    Posts: 373


    Nice! I just picked up a 1950 4door barn find, can't wait to get started on it.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  30. sounds some photos or start a thread of the rebuild?restoration.

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