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1951 Mercury Coupe We're Working On

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by oldtimerodder72, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. Here's a new combined JDH Rod & Custom and Keith Sim Metalcraft project. Being as we're busy at JDH working on 4 other cars, I decided to send my 51 Mercury Coupe to Keith to do the metal work on. Keith's work is amongst the best in the business, so I knew the coupe would be in good hands. This is the first time I've subcontracted metal work to another shop. In a role reversal, JDH this time will look after the assembly, engine rebuilding, and paintwork. Usually we do the metal restoration and fabrication. This has the makings of being a fun and interesting project.

    We started work on the car in June of 2008. From the start I had a very clear idea in my mind of how I wanted the final concept to look. I have always admired the Sam Barris and Hirohata Mercs, along with the build of Terry Hegman's car. I set a definitive course for the vehicle and decided to build something that would have fit in during the 1950s. For the sake of definition, I chose 1955 as my cut off point.

    Over the course of the following posts, I will take fellow HAMBers on a mini tour of the build. The ultimate destination for the vehicle will be an unveiling at the 2010 Detroit Autorama. Hopefully with a little luck we'll make it. It's still a long road to travel, so why don't we get started.

    This first group of photos show the initial inspection after the shell came back from the sandblasters. Upon first buying the car, it appeared it was really quite sound. Boy was that impression inaccurate! The car required full floor pans, outter rockers on the passenger side, and inner/outter rockers on the driver side. But I am getting ahead of myself.

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    Here is a photo taken from the driver side after the body had been mounted on the frame, and the frame had been mounted to the transport cart. The shell had just returned from being sandblasted and was undergoing initial inspection to assess what work was going to be required.

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    Frontal view of the shell mounted on the frame. Damage is visible around the steering column opening. Someone had cut away the lower support bar to make installation of the late model GM steering column possible.

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    Pseudo 3/4 rear view taken from the driver side. Notice installation of the mounting location for the 1950 Lincoln tailights. Also the lower trunk lid pan has rust pin holing along the face by the driver side quarter.

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    Full view of the rear of the shell. Again showing crude 1950 Lincoln taillight installation and rust on lower trunk lid pan.

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    3/4 view taken from the passenger side.

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    Closeup of the driver side rocker panel. While this side was affected by some rust pin holing, we were to discover there was also some inner rocker panel rusting as well.

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    A photo of the passenger side floor pan with extensive rust through. Notice there is some rust damage on the top of the rocker panel as well.

    As an item of interest, this Mercury was originally a Monterey model. You can determine this by the lip along the windshield on the roof. This lip was used to tuck the vinyl roof under. The Monterey was the upscale Mercury model.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2009
  2. Here are some more pictures of the problem areas we discovered after having the body shell sandblasted. Just as a side note, JDH no longer has shells acid dipped. We found dipping to cause a lot of problems with leaching, no matter how well the shell had been power washed upon return to the shop.

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    Rust damage to passenger side rear floor pan. Black rubber puck is one of the body mounts.

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    At some point in the car's history, someone spliced in a piece into the rear seat pan. Further evidence of prior tampering.

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    Rust pin holing through another section of the floor pan.

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    At some point the spare tire well was cut out to allow access to the passenger side spring shackle. Notice the crude cutting job.

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    Damage to the trunk floor on the driver side where the lower quarter panel attaches to the upper quarter panel.

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    Extensive damage to the passenger side outter rocker panel. This was by far the worst of the two rocker panels. While the drive side did display some pin holing, it was nowhere near as extensive as the passenger side.
     
  3. PeteFromTexas
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 3,837

    PeteFromTexas
    Member

    Looks about like my car. Looks like you have a game plan and a good team to help you with it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2009
  4. banditomerc
    Joined: Dec 18, 2005
    Posts: 2,159

    banditomerc
    Member

    Once all that bad rot is replaced...then the fun begins! Don't forget to post up as you go along.:cool:
     
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  5. Just a quick note to you guys. The body modifications are almost done. I have pictures highlighting all the work. I am just getting used to posting here, so I will be adding a bit at a time until the completed body work is posted.
     
  6. PeteFromTexas
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 3,837

    PeteFromTexas
    Member

    Can't wait to see them!
     
  7. Johnny C.
    Joined: Dec 17, 2008
    Posts: 755

    Johnny C.
    Member

    Looks like a sweet project. Ya gotta love a Merc. Coupe.
     
  8. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,310

    Squablow
    Member

    I would still call this car "really quite sound". Hell, I'd probably call it unreal clean. Haven't seen one yet that didn't need rockers and floorpans.

    I look forward to the updated pics.
     
  9. Ok, now that I have presented a bit about what we were up against, I'll get on to the first step in building this car. In order to ensure all panels would fit properly, we needed to have a stable foundation to work with. This meant replacing the floor pans, rear seat pan, trunk floor corners and rocker panels. It's important to note all pieces were fabricated. Part of the build requirement was that all pieces should be exactly the same as original. I am trying to achieve a car as built in the 1950s.

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    Photo highlighting the fitting of the newly fabricated passenger side rocker panel. You can also see the test fitting of the new passenger floor pans as well.

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    Side view of the new rocker panel.

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    Photograph showing the detail of the newly fabricated floor pans on the passenger side.

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    Picture of the newly installed rear seat pan. The portion that was replaced came out of a 51 Mercury 4 door parts car I bought. Notice also the replacement corner on the passenger side lower seat pan.

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    Closeup showing detail of the passenger lower seat pan corner being fitted.

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    Another photo of the passenger side rocker panel.

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    Closeup detail of the front replacement floor pan.

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    Closeup of the front and rear floor pans where they join the seat mounting crossmember.

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    Now work has progressed to the driver side. Here we see the original front floor pan and the rust damage to the rocker panel.

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    Picture showing the body mounting points under the driver side rear floor pan.

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    Picture from the driver side showing repairs made to the rear seat pan.

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    Picture taken from the front of the passenger side rocker panel. We used an NOS rocker panel as the pattern to make these pieces.
     
  10. I need for you guys to tell me if you like seeing a lot of photographs or if you'd prefer fewer. Usually, I like to get as much detail as possible on a build, but I'll leave it up to you. What do you think?
     
  11. strike a poser
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 399

    strike a poser
    Member
    from Salinas,CA

    I like. Keep em coming! Thanks.
     
  12. Johnny1290
    Joined: Apr 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,834

    Johnny1290
    Member

    I think there's no such thing as too many photos!
     
  13. PeteFromTexas
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 3,837

    PeteFromTexas
    Member

    Most of us around here like as many pics as possible. Keep them coming!!!
     
  14. That car was pretty strong to begin with...I would have crapped myself if my car looked that nice...
    have fun and keep the pics coming.


    tok
     
  15. bluestang67
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 589

    bluestang67
    Member

    Was wondering why there wasn't more already :) . Seems you also picked the right guy to do this job nice repro work . Keep the pics coming it will help Merc guys in the future .
     
  16. 00 MACK
    Joined: May 10, 2004
    Posts: 3,679

    00 MACK
    Member

    Not Monterey but must have ben a factory 2 tone car.
     
  17. Very nice. I think any 60 yr old car at this point needs rockers. Keep snappin' those pics.
     
  18. Here is the second part of the floor pan, inner/outter rocker panel repair. The first part dealt with the trial fitting of these components, while the second part is going to deal with the actual final installation to factory specifications.

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    Showing finished installation of passenger side rocker panel and trial fit of driver side door.

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    Showing finished spot welding to firewall. Also showing trial fit of transmission cover.

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    Showing final installation of passenger side lower seat pan corner.

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    Final installation of rear seat pan.

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    Installation of front floor pans mounting to fire wall taken from driver side.

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    Completed installation of the rear seat pan taken from the driver side.

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    Completed rear floor pan taken from driver side.

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    Detail of passenger door inner structure and passenger side quarter window inner structure.

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    Passenger rear quarter window inner structure detail along with rear seat pan and parcel shelf installation.

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    Driver side inner rocker repair details.
     
  19. Ian Berky
    Joined: Nov 28, 2007
    Posts: 3,643

    Ian Berky
    Member

    Beautiful clean work!! Very inspiring. Thanx for sharing

    Ian
     
  20. Ok guys, I know you're interested in each stage of the build. I've been told you want lots of photos. I have no problem with that. It will take me a long time to format and post every photo I have, so I thought I'd give you a little tease as to the current status of this build. So here goes. This is how she looks as of a week ago. Enjoy......

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    I just want you to know the grille is by no means finished, and neither is the front bumper alterations. Since this photo was taken, we have pretty much decided on the final touches for the grille and front bumper. But you'll have to wait till the end of my body modification postings to see the final product.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2009
  21. Next up we have the modifications to the frame and front face off the door openings. The frame was modified to allow the exhaust pipes and mufflers to be routed through the frame. The frame had the openings for the exhaust cut into the passenger side only. We performed a mirror image alteration to the frame rails on the driver side to allow us to run dual exhausts. There was rot around the front face of the door openings on both sides that needed to be repaired. Also, there needed to be repairs made where the front end was modified for clearance for the Nova clip that was installed when I bought the car.

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    Photograph of the modification made to the driver side fram rail to allow the exhaust system to be routed in the frame.



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    Another photograph of the frame modification for exhaust system routing.

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    Picture showing repairs to outside of cowl. Taken from driver side, you can see the pieces that were welded in to replace those removed to fit Nova clip. Also not repairs leading up to door post.

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    Another picture of driver side front body corner repairs.

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    Repairs to the passenger side front body corner.

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    Another picture of the passenger side front body corner repairs.
     
  22. buckeye_01
    Joined: Jun 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,441

    buckeye_01
    Member

    Its looking great. Are you going to include pics and details about the chop later? Keep the pics coming!!!

    Do you have any better detailed pics of the inner rockers? I have been looking high and low for some and can't seem to locate any. I'd rather make mine then spend the $$ on new ones...if I can that is.
     
  23. choppintops
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,460

    choppintops
    BANNED

    Fantastic work.
     
  24. Now that we have built a solid foundation, we can move on to the fun stuff! In this section you'll see the process of chopping the top. This series of photographs starts after the top has been reattached. I don't have any of the top actually being removed from the car. I do know Keith has photos from every stage of the build, which I will get at a later date. Being as we're working on other cars at my shop, I wasn't up at his every day.

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    Here is a view taken from the passenger side showing the basic chop as completed. The 50 Mercury rear window has yet to be installed.

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    The bottom of the post after having been slanted. The drive side has been cut out but has yet to be installed.

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    Passenger side top door corner has been rounded. Also shows detail of top right corner of quarter window.

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    Bottom corner of passenger side quarter window has been tacked into place. Shows the additional material that was needed to reshape this area.

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    Passenger side windshield post showing where the cutting had taken place.

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    Passenger side upper roof corner at windshield showing modification that was needed for chop.

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    Driver side Windshield post at cowl modifications.

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    Modification made to the roof by the top windshield corner on the driver side.
     
  25. RPW
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 950

    RPW
    Member

    Wonderful! Your work is stunning and the level of quality and design is great inspiration for me. I'm saving all the photos to use for reference when working on my own car.
     
  26. merc-o-madness
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,544

    merc-o-madness
    Member

    really nice work. great on details its looking really good!
     
  27. MercMan1951
    Joined: Feb 24, 2003
    Posts: 2,654

    MercMan1951
    Member

    More, more, more! Looks great, I love the chop.
     
  28. Here is Part Two of the top chop pictures. In total I took over 100 photographs dealing with the chop. I will post them as I can.

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    Driver side view of the car. 50 Mercury back window has not been installed yet. You can also see the door post cut out in the process of being slanted.

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    Closeup of the door post cut out showing the cuts made to angle the post.

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    Photo showing the inner door post structure after being slanted.

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    Closeup showing modification to the roof structure behind the driver side rear quarter window. Drip rail has yet to be cut to proper length.

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    View showing 50 Mercury back window section being placed into approximate position. Notice newly fabricated driver side rocker panel in trunk.

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    Passenger side view as seen from the rear. Notice tops of 4 door donor car quarter panels being used to fix taillight mounting area.

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    Passenger side front view of top chop progress. See the 4 door donor car in the background. Not only did it provide a stock frame, but it has been an invaluable source of other needed parts too.

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    Closeup of chopped windshield.

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    Driver side photo of top chop progress.

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    Taken from the driver side rear.

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    Modification to the back edge of the door during chopping.

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    Splice in the back edge of the passenger side door window frame.

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    Front edge of the passenger side window frame after modification.

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    Close up of the front edge of the passenger side window frame after modification.

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    Modification to the door opening at the top on the passenger side.

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    A close up of the modification to the top rear corner of the door opening.

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    Closeup of the inside, lower corner of the passenger side windshield area after modification.

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    Closeup of the modifications made to the driver side windshield post.

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    Modification to the top corner of the driver side windshield post area.

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    3/4 front view taken from the passenger side showing the completed modification to the windshield and side window area.
     
  29. And now Part Three. The chop continues......

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    Passenger side view showing top chop progress.

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    Another side view.

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    Closeup of the windshield area after the chop.

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    Another frontal view of the chopped windshield.

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    Modifications to the rear of the roof. You can see the slices from where the roof skin was being lowered to meet the back window insert. Note the new outter roof skinsthat join just inside the drip rail sections. Ultimately, we were to use a section of the roof skin from the 4 door to do away with the pie cut piece.

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    Another view of the rear roof detail.

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    3/4 view taken from the passenger side rear. Gives an idea as to how the finished product is going to look.

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    Side view showing the outside roof skin pieces clamped into place.

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    Closeup of the finished passenger side slanted door post and newly fabricated roof skin segment.

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    Closeup of the passenger side quarter window and roof skin to back window segment.

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    Roof skin segment photo taken from where the new piece will blend into the 50 back window insert.

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    Detail of the driver side outter roof skin being fitted. Also, the finished slanted driver side door post with rounded corner.

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    3/4 view taken from driver side front. The roof is starting to resemble its final shape now.

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    3/4 view taken from the driver side rear. Gives an indication as to the final product will look from behind.

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    Another view from the passenger side.

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    Last edited: Mar 24, 2009
  30. banditomerc
    Joined: Dec 18, 2005
    Posts: 2,159

    banditomerc
    Member

    nice solid car.
     

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