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Hot Rods 51 Mercury, any downsides?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 1great40, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. 1great40
    Joined: Jan 1, 2008
    Posts: 471

    from Walpole MA

    My wife doesn't know it yet but I'm thinking of my next project and I'm thinking of 51 Merc. I remember the one my dad had when I was a kid, black, those suicide doors. (yeah I know it's too many doors but...)

    Dad's 51 had whitewalls, fender skirts and a visor. I can still smell the mohair and the "little tree" evergreen air freshener.
    I'm thinking of a four door because it's going to be a rememberance car. I have some decent pictures of it so I can get it to look the same. I even have one picture of me as a little tot sitting on the fender!
    Apart from the general condition of a car this old, are there any typical things that those cars were known for that would be trouble spots. Ours was a 3 speed with an overdrive and I know we went Mass. to NJ with it a few times and I don't recall any trouble. I'm not sure how I would power it yet, that really depends on the condition of whatever I buy, I'm not against keeping a decent flatmotor in it if it has one.
  2. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,882


    Not a thing wrong with a black 51 Merc 4 door. I see good looking ones on Ebay every now and then, and they'll be a lot cheaper than a 2 door. No downsides. You grew up with one. That's why I'd like to have a blue and white 53 Buick Super, childhood memories, 1st car I remember.
  3. bottom feeder
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 86

    bottom feeder

    I agree nothing wrong with a four door merc.
  4. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 27,705

    Jalopy Joker

    possible rust, possible flathead having cracked block/overheating, etc - stuff that you possibly will find on many cars. alot depends on how big of a project that you are looking for, skill level and how deep your wallet is - like on most projects. have fun reliving your memories.

  5. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 7,364


    Buy one that is "done" and in the best condition you can afford.
    Biggest and most expensive to fix rust areas are inner rockers, bottom of door pillars
    and floors. Whatever you buy, put it up on a lift and look it over really good. I know it's hard to check, but it would be nice to know how many times the drums have been turned since good 49-51 Merc brakes drums are hard to find.
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 1,427

    from Ojai,Ca

    2dr. vs 4dr. is a mind set mostly for older hot rodders. 4drs. were always the parents car so had a stigma you might say. In all honesty 2 drs. look better but if that is what you want do it. Not much difference in 49 or 50 , 51 has fins and minor grill difference. You can always make it a 2dr. later if you don’t like it.
  7. The right deal and I would own one,,2 doors or 4 . HRP
  8. dangulo
    Joined: Feb 11, 2012
    Posts: 56


    Nothing wrong with 4door, flat head, 3 gear, and OD, 6v... allot of fun to drive.. Enjoy.
  9. I prefer 2 doors for the most part. I did do a photo shoot for a magazine I was working for back in the '90s on a more door 50 ( maybe a '51) merc that was a pretty slick old car, mild chop, full roll and tuck, deep maroon paint, subtle stripes, chrome revers wheels and moons. The absolute neatest thing about the car was when he opened all 4 doors. it then became a walk through.
  10. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,185


    Your car your door count unless you are building it to sell not long after it's done.
    I loved my 51 Merc coupe and the back seat was one of the easiest two door car seats to get in and out of of any I've been around outside of maybe my grandparents 54 Chevy two door sedan. That said if a 51 four door showed up for a reasonable price and I had the cash I'd go for it.
    Rust in the floor and rockers and the possibility of a flathead block being cracked are the biggies.
    Check the frame around the front hangers of the rear springs and around the front crossmember as mine was cracked in both places. I think that from the pounding it took from the heated coils in front and being lowered in the back and the axle hitting the bumps stops all too often though.
  11. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,285

    dan c

    i'd go for the four-door, too. maybe a turn-off for some, but i like them because they're "limosinish."
    fiftiescat likes this.
  12. I have replaced or rebuilt the front body mounts on a few old mercs too. Maybe it was because of where they lived.

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