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Projects '51 Merc Kustom Project

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by michaelvz51, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 435

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    That will be class and I can't wait to see it.
     
  2. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 435

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Here are the latest. Grille roughed in. The bar will be welded in and the teeth will be chromed. The 3 window conversion will be tuned up so it looks like the Hirohata rear window but in metal. Thanks to all who are guiding me so far. Firewall 102012.jpg

    Grille Bar-Beginning 101912 (1).jpg

    Grille Bar-1st Tooth 102012.jpg

    Grille with Teeth 102012 (1).jpg

    Rear View Passenger Side 102012.jpg

    Rear View Driver Side 102012.jpg
     
    Kage and Sprout like this.
  3. I'm not digging the front bumper, but the rest looks killer. Nice firewall, love the rear quarter and bumper extention.
    Do you know where the frame came from? It looks interesting. (In a good way)
     
  4. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 435

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    I HATED the front and rear molded in bumper setup originally on the car so I went for it and add real bumpers. Heres a photo of it on a trailer with a proper (in my opinion) 53' Desoto front bumper that falls in line with the 55' Desoto rear bumper.
    Thanks for the kudos on the rear fender extensions-they are alot of work but worth it.
    The frame is a complete chassis, done properly and includes mustang 2 front suspension and a c notched rear end etc. I would REALLY like to find out who did it but have had a heck of a time trying to find out-no one really knows.
     

    Attached Files:

    Kage likes this.
  5. Ya, that Desoto bumper is about 1,426 times better.
    Thanks for posting the pic.
     
  6. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 435

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    It has been a while since I posted progress pics so here are a few from recent work. I have to give credit to Tim Bostwick for doing some beautiful metal work on my car and helping bringing it back into shape and eliminating a ton of bondo in the rear lower quarters. He also reshaped the rear fender wells, frenched the 55' Desoto rear bumper into the rear quarters, rounded the trunk, hood and door corners and performed the 3 window conversion that I wanted.
    The bad news: I had found a ton of bondo in this car EVERYWHERE.
    The good news: There is no cancer in the metal so the bondo actually saved the metal etc.
    Next: Complete all removal of bondo so she is bare metal naked and I can actually see all metalwork that needs to be done, repair the hokey body work that someone did in the past, shave the 80's door handles etc.
    More pics to come.......
     
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  7. Interesting build. It's hard to tell from the angle of your pictures but to me I think for the three window concept to really work well proportionately the doors need to be lengthened. I think your c pillar is going to be really heavy looking when all is said and done with stock length doors. That being said it's not my car and it is awesome that you are building what you want and saving another Merc!
     
  8. Love the tail treatment.

    Removing those back windows... You are a brave soul. I thought you had hardtopped the car before I opened the pics which got me really excited. Good luck sir and keep us posted.!!
     
  9. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 435

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    John, your build has been inspirational to me and thank you for providing the suppliers list. I have studied books and here on the HAMB for a long time and am trying to build a mid to late 50's years style Merc where some body modifications were done but not too over the top and where the mods accented the lines somehow. Previous owners had actually cut off the extended 51' rear fenders, shortened them up to look liek a 49' or 50' and installed late model Cadillac tail lights. I love the 55' Desoto tail lights and decided that they looked like they belonged there so I went for it and appreciate the good words on them and the bumper. I am planning on running the exhaust through the bumper too.
    As far as the back windows: These rare 3 Window Conversions, as they were called, were done back in the day but they all put the posts from the door straight up and looked funny to me. Rikster posted a black 49' that he photoshopped out the rear windows and slanted the post from the door and this is where I got my idea. I wanted to curve the back opening so it looked like the Hirohata opening and give it a more traditional look in that sense. Also,the doors I have did not have the frames and when I originally bought the car the previous owners attempted to hardtop it, which is cool, although not done right it was a mess-so.....I decided to go in a different direction. The car pictures below along with many found here on the HAMB, including yours, are my inspiration. I am going to use the same Pontiac Side Trim, Oldsmobile Headlights and similar 54 Mercury teeth and rear skirt setup as the Schoenberg (Pink) Mercury. I want the car to look as long and low as it can in the end and I still have a lot of metalwork to do.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. I remember that pic, your car is coming along nice. Really like that taillight treatment.
     
  11. I understand your idea and like it but if you look at Rik's photoshop he has lengthened the door on the 3 window car which visually removes some weight from the C pillar area. Without the added door and corresponding window length the amount of roof behind the side window is going to look very heavy and out of proportion IMO.
     
  12. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 435

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    K13, I agree that Rik did some modifications to the photo but it does not look like he lengthened the door as much as he layed down the door frame AND did some interesting rework to the back of the roof line shaving it down a lot. This gives the illusion that the door is lengthened in my observation and his new modifications certainly make the rear portion of the roof look seriously smooth and makes the rear portion look "light" as we are describing it here. What he did would require very serious metal surgery and my car has had enough of this for me. I will post some side views soon that may seem to be a little more in proportion as right now, the different color primer is a bit of an optical illusion. I do agree that my car will be a littel "heavy" in the rear section but this is also the reason why I radiused the rear opening versus laying it down like Rik did. Like I said, a lot more metal work is to be done and thank you for pointing the differences out-I had not looked that closely before.
     
  13. zjerry
    Joined: Feb 11, 2013
    Posts: 315

    zjerry
    Member

    Nice Looking Merc..
     
  14. Tacho
    Joined: Aug 21, 2009
    Posts: 85

    Tacho
    Member

    Nice detail and work.
     
  15. Not wanting to be argumentative but he definitely lengthened the doors and quite a bit. There was a guy in the UK that had a build thread going based on Rik's photoshop a few years ago. See the link.
    Some of the pictures are missing but he describes what he did which was move the rear window forward 10" and lengthen the door 14".
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=216952

    I just wanted you to know that if you are basing what the final version of your car is going to look like at all by Rik's photoshop I thought you should know what was done to it.

    I look forward to your updates.
     
  16. slddnmatt
    Joined: Mar 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,681

    slddnmatt
    Member

    Riks photoshop was lengthened like another 7" over stock i think it was. It definitely helps the overall look and flow. Sams pink merc is desceptive also, that car has be stretched also. Keep those pics coming!!
     
  17. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 435

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Thanks for the thread as it definitely shows what you are talking about and some more studying is in order for me here.
     
  18. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 435

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Thanks for the information Matt, oyur guidance is very much appreciated. I am going to add the 53' Desoto bumper up front and extend the splashpan a little to give it a longer look. Aslo, I am going to add the Oldsmobile browed headlights on the car too as this helps make it look a little longer. Along with the extended rear bumper and tail light treatment, I am hoping it will come together and look as proportional as it can. I will update within a few weeks as I am going to get after it in the garage here in the next few weeks.
     
  19. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,781

    Rikster
    Member

    The photo below shows the amount the doors were lengthened to get the right proportions.

    [​IMG]


    Lynn Goodwin also used my design for his 1950 Mercury. This side view should give you an indication how much he stretched the doors. He also shortened the roof a bit. Not sure if I would have done that though. And the bubble skirts take away from the lines of the car, but that of course is all personal.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
  20. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 435

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Risk, Thank you for clearing this up and I would really like to thank you for your website as I have spent many hours there learning about theses specific cars. Take care and keep up the great work you do for all of us!
     
  21. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 435

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Finally got some time to work on the Merc again. I had to get rid of the molded front bumper and I was lucky enough to find a 53' Desoto Front Bumper in decent shape. A few photos of removal of he molede bumper and the basic setup of the Desoto Bumper. Next, will be work on the interior and then to tackle installing the 55' Oldsmobile headlight buckets and rings etc to the front end to put all in symetry.
     

    Attached Files:

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  22. desotot
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,809

    desotot
    Member

    It's going to be a nice ride, I'll be following along, I took some inspiration from Bo Huffs grill as well as a 54 Desoto front bumper.
     
  23. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 435

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Thank you, it is taking some time but I believe it will be worth it. Your avatar looks cool and I would like to see some more photos of your project too.
     
  24. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 435

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Here is a few more I forgot to post earlier of the beginning of the interior. A 64' T-Bird Rear Seat and a 49' Mercury Dash installed. Next will be the 64' Lincoln Continental Front Seat etc.
     

    Attached Files:

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  25. desotot
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,809

    desotot
    Member

  26. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 435

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Mercury Project-Front End Work.jpg Mercury Project-Side and Rear View 2.jpg Mercury Project-Side and Rear View.jpg Mercury Project Side View.jpg Hi everyone, It has been a long time since I posted any picks of my project and I have some to share now. In addition, I wanted to share some simple tech on how I built some turn signal mounts as I want to give back to the HAMB. Many here have been very instrumental in helping me with research and parts for a car I have wanted for many years and I thank you all.
    About 9 months ago, I had completed all the fabrication work for installation of the engine and transmission, transmission tunnel cover, shifter, along with building all of the interior wood panels for upholstery. I was at a standstill on the body because, although I am a decent fabricator, I have no experience and/or tools for this specific kind of work. Rather than buy all the necessary tools, learn how to use them and burn up more time, I decided to farm this part of the project out to a very close friends son, who is very skilled at sheet metal work. We carted the car up to Nor Cal and, Mr. Ryan Cambra, formerly from Cambra Motorsports in Orange, CA began the transformation of what I have envisioned. Ryan is up in Nor Cal for an excellent day time job and does this work on the side, hence the time gap etc.
    He completed the following:
    -55' Oldsmobile Headlight Conversion
    -Shaved Front Bumper along with flush fit Splashpan
    -Repair Front Grille Opening
    -Repair Roof Splice
    -Repair Driver Side Window Opening
    -Shave Door Handles-80's type of Honda door handles SUCK
    -Repair and clean up Rear Splashpan
    -Install 54' Ford Front Fender Lips
    -Shave Rear Bumper Bolts
    Here are a couple of pics just before we loaded it onto the trailer for the journey home. I know it is still a bit rough but it is a work in progress and now I can see the shape that I was hoping for.
     
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  27. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 435

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    Next on the list after getting the car back and settled was to fix some more of the bad welds Ryan and I found on the front end on some of the old sheet metal work that was done a long time ago. After this, I began to look at front turn signal options and how to dial in my Ford F1 Grill Teeth into the newly improved front face.
    Following are the steps with instructions on how I did my front turn signals. I like the 51' Ford front turn signals for many reasons, they look 50's, they are readily available in the aftermarket with good quality, and they have nice chrome bezels. After looking at them and thinking about mounting them flush to the body under the headlights, I thought that maybe they would look better "raised" on a mount much like the 49' original turn signals. I thought that I could give them some depth and this is what I came up with.
    I started with purchasing a pair of 4" half steel hollow balls from a local metal supplier because they are already cut in half versus using the fully welded versions and they have a bonus center hole in them, perfect for using Mercury Turn Signal Fab-Start.jpg Mercury Turn Signal Fab-Step 2.jpg my hole saw!
    You can see the half ball, lower in pic, the "slug" I cut out using a 3" hole saw, the turn signal bezel (which happens to be 3" in diameter) and the mount with a piece of sheet metal (cut also 3" in diameter) to weld to the now cut half ball
    Next................
    Mercury Turn Signal Fab-Step 3.jpg Mercury Turn Signal Fab-Step 4.jpg
    I welded the new mounts to my bench to hold them in place and welded the flat 3" sheet metal to the mount. I then used a 1 1/2" hole saw to cut the holes seen in these pics, completed the welds finished them with a sanding flap wheel and layed out the turn signal bucket mount holes/slots and the holes for the bezel to mount to.
    Next......................
    Mercury Turn Signal Fab-Step 5.jpg Mercury Turn Signal Fab-Step 6.jpg
    Make sure the lenses are correctly "clocked" before welding to the body. I layed out the new mount to the body evenly on both sides, drilled another 1 1/2" hole in the body for the bucket and wiring to clear, painted the body and the inside of the mounts and welded them to the body.
    Last....................
    Mercury Turn Signal Fab-Step 7.jpg
    Last.....................
    Here is how they look "mocked" up with the Olds Headlight Ring in place. They measure 4" in diameter at the body, taper to 3" at the front and protrude about 1" off the body. After the welds were cleaned up, I like the finished result and hopefully this will help others here.
    P.S. Sorry for the "sideways view", can't quite edit pics well yet!
    Mercury Turn Signal-Headlight and Splashpan.jpg
     
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  28. 1951hudson
    Joined: Sep 22, 2014
    Posts: 93

    1951hudson
    Member

    I like this idea, thanks for sharing it!
     
  29. michaelvz51
    Joined: May 24, 2011
    Posts: 435

    michaelvz51
    Member
    from So Cal
    1. HAMB Merc Club

    You are welcome, hope it sparks some ideas for your project
     
  30. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,544

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I like most of what you are doing but think you are going to end up with way too much sail panel the way you have it set up now if you don't stretch the doors. Myself, I'd have left the quarter windows and done slim pillars behind the doors with a hardtop look but not hard topped. Right now the sail panels remind me of an all steel Carson top without the covering. Not an all together bad thing and it may look better to me slicked out with paint.
     
    rpm56 likes this.

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