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Projects My 1951 Mercury Restoration Part II

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Pro Stock John, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. More of a question than update...

    How does the stock windshield trim work if you are running v-butted glass?
  2. atomickustom
    Joined: Aug 30, 2005
    Posts: 3,157


    You leave out the center bar! Might have to make a small filler piece to fill the gap - could probably use the top and bottom of the original center piece to do so.
    The car is looking great.
  3. Thanks.

    And anyone know offhand how the window fuzzies are supposed to be set up in a Mercury?
  4. John...... your merc is looking great,I dig the color,tailights etc.You should be very proud of your resurection,you have been doing a killer job.Please dont skip any of your stainless trim.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011
  5. BOP-Nut
    Joined: Oct 20, 2008
    Posts: 746


    Awesome turnaround. Went from a bit overboard to elegant and graceful looking. Love it.
  6. Thanks, elegant was my goal.

    Anyone have vent window assemblies for sale? My car just has fixed-glass stuff. 00 Mack said I have to address that.
  7. I'm still planning to emulate this rear window setup as done by Rudy Rodriguez about ten years ago:

  8. I had a discussion with Ether here..... Pretty much came up with the factory way of the stapleing deal. Doesn't sound like fun to me,but that's the route i'm taking.We both agreed it was/is a P.I.A! Take your time,do it once,forget about it!
    Car is bitchen! Keep on movin' forward.....We're watchin' !!!!!
  9. I was in San Diego all week for work, got back 1am Friday morning.

    Larry and I had to meet up and look over my glass and gaskets, as there fitment issues. I had a useful conversation with Matt about this yesterday. The big lesson I'm learning right now is when you take the glass out of an already built custom, I should have saved all the removed gaskets and then compared to them to the stock ones, because who ever built the car originally did not use stock gaskets for the most part.

    Rear window: Fits tight. Upper corners really could use some shaving of the glass and that would solve the issue of the gasket material protruding out a bit. It's in now, so I'm gonna leave it in so I can drive it for the summer. So I can't run any kind of stainless trim on the back window for now.

    Q: So my question to the HAMB world is could I at some point use a file or something to shave down the glass?

    Windshield: Mine is v-butted FWIW. Gasket and glass don't fit well. Glass is too small with the stock gasket. I also looked at the fitment, and the glass is just too small overall. We plan to get new glass cut. Current glass pieces are also de-laminating.

    Quarter windows: Mine are fixed. When I first got my car, the glass was put in wrong, it was on the outside of the flange. The glass is now too small even with stock gasket when we attempt to properly install them on the inside of the window flange. I will have to get new glass cut.

    Front vent windows: Mine are fixed, but they are too small again. I've sourced a set of movable vent windows, so I will pull the trigger and buy them, and then VDL will cut them down.

    Door windows: I will get new glass. I want the glass to match and some of them look tinted or something.

    Lessons learned is that trial fitting the glass is a must. My '51 rear glass really needs the corners shaved down. One quarter window flange needs a little grinding on the inside lip.

    Matt's theory is that whomever built my car 20-25 years ago used non-stock gasket material, maybe a giant roll of something. I have no real easy way to figure out what size it was, and from what I recall, it was not cut super nice.

    I'm EXTREMELY motivated right now as summer is coming and I want to ride around in this midnight blue baby gangster sled and get my ruckus on.

    Thanks again to Matt, VooDoo Larry and Mitch for helping me work out the bugs with this car. We are close, this car will be on the road soon, and I'll promise to take a ton of video.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
  10. roddin-shack
    Joined: Apr 12, 2006
    Posts: 2,364


    Shit Your car looks great, big difference from what you started with. If you are going to alter the glass take it to a pro. glass guy they will sand it down and polish the edges for you. By the way I fell in love with the look of your car with out the wheel discs and black paint only. My wheels are drying with new black paint as you read this. Thanks and Good Luck, Larry :cool:
  11. Cool, I'm not going to run hub caps for the time being, I like how it looks too.

    Thanks for the advice on the back glass, I will investigate that.
  12. slddnmatt
    Joined: Mar 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,669


    Just put it on a trailer and bring it on out. We'll get it fixed!
  13. Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
  14. Okay a question.

    I didn't have factory style vent windows in my doors, I had fixed glass.

    Since you guys suggested I should get the right stuff, I got some from Bill Papke. I'm worriedy about my doors, anyone have a pic of what the vent windows attach too?
  15. slddnmatt
    Joined: Mar 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,669


    they attatch to the one hole at the top of the division bar, that you will have to drill and but a small screw in. two screws at the base of the window opening and two at the bottom of the division bar. your division bar should only be about a foot long. when you add the new rigid run channel to fit in the division bar, the lower bracket gets riveted to it. the rigid channel is held to the division bar by either rivets or bend tabs that come with the division bar seal kit that you will need. i was messing with these tonight.

    Attached Files:

  16. Thank you very much Matt. BTW you should give Bill Papke your contact info, he's heard really good things about you over the years. He said he might be able to refer some builds to you.
  17. Papke knows that Matt and I are good friends. He tells me when there's a build shopping around.
  18. Cool, please give Matt's info to Bill, he asked me for it when I ordered the vent windows.
  19. Update...

    The front and side glass did not fit with original-style window gaskets. Another problem was that some of the glass was coming apart, I think it's called de-laminating. Larry and I decided to have all new glass cut for the front and sides. Also, based on the advice on here, and Larry echoed this too, I decided to source a set of movable wing/vent windows and have a set cut down for the car. Bill Papke has tone of this stuff and he was great to deal to deal with. Most of the glass and window stuff is done, I have not had a chance to swing by and snap pics. Maybe Mitch who works at VDL will see this thread update and feel inspired to snap a few phone pics.

    The other problem was that the rear glass fit super tight with the replacement gasket I got from I believe Mercuryland. So tight that I plan to take the glass out again at some point and figure out how to get the stainless clips in there so I can run trim. Maybe I will need to try another gasket, maybe see if I can trim a repop glass. Having no experience with a custom car, this was all new to me so in the end I should have had the glass trial-fit before paint but we never thought of it. I'm sure I'll figure something out. The glass is in the car so it will be drivable.

    VooDoo Larry is a great guy to work with, he has a 24-7 passion for customs, hot rods, and the whole scene. He's more meticulous than me, and I greatly appreciate that he has a great eye for detail and finish. I look forward to working with them again on some metalwork, namely that floating grille.

    So I'm probably the poster child for buying a car that needed a lot of body work and then subbing it out to pro's. The bad part is that I'm approaching the three year mark since I last drove the car. The good news is that the body is freaking mint now. A 49-51 Merc is one of my all-time dream cars and I hope that I'll have this car even when I'm wearing a diaper and a crotchety old grandpa.
  20. Good new John....good for you. I'm impressed with your stick-to-itive-ness on this whole project. Most guys who jump into something new then find they are in deeper than they thought just give up on the whole mess. Having rode this pony all the way, you have been rewarded with a beautiful car you can be proud of. Can't wait to see the pics of you cruising down the road with that big ol smile!! :D
  21. Thanks sir!

    I'm sitting here in Anaheim for work, thinking about the whole project. So 3 years ago when I bought my car, I looked for a deal. I'd see done cars selling for $50-75K and I couldn't fathom paying that. I really had no idea how to price the value of the work. I have a much better sense today of how much it costs to build a custom car like this. In my case it's more about paying to have someone else who knows body work, metal crafting and painting.

    I'd say for the Mercury newbs, you should do one of two things. Get a project under $10K and do it up. Or, buy a nice built car and enjoy it. I bought a middle car, it was more of a 20-footer. I was able to knock down the seller almost 6g's on price, but in the end I paid more in the mid 20's for the car. But, the car was already chopped, has a nice SBC crate engine, AC, and was almost completely roadworthy from a mechanical standpoint. All I've had to do mechanically was swap in an electric puller fan and change the rear main seal.

    Tomorrow is the 3 year anniversary of the re-build. I'll be here in Anaheim. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can pick up the car in time for Memorial day weekend, and get her back on the road. Once she's back, she'll get a name.

    I look forward to remembering how to warm up a carbed car as I've been a FI performance maven for the last 13 years, and burbling down the street, a 44 year old dingaling remembering the first time he saw American Graffiti.

    Where can I buy a porkpie or derby hat online? If my wife saw me drive by in the Merc with a derby hat, she'd think I'm nuts. And that's, of course, the reason she married me.

    John on the road
  22. enfieldjoe
    Joined: Jun 5, 2009
    Posts: 838

    from Eustis, FL

    John: Your Merc is looking great. Read your post #81 and as a Newbe, agree about buying a project for under $10K and doing it "your" way. I seriously considered buying a $30K--$40K car, but then would have spent more money doing it my way...anyways. At least with a project with good "bones", it will be all of your ideas in the Merc and not the previous owner's taste, which might not be your taste.
  23. Yep. I initially liked the red with yellow flames, had a hooligan-esque vibe that caught my eye. In my head though, I was already thinking I'd repaint it black and go for this idea that I've had, I call it "elegant gangster car." Then I found the HAMB did a ton of reading, and have tried to pay attention to the little things that make a car more specific to a time period.
  24. I went about it a little different. After I met slddnmatt,I told him I was looking for a Merc,49-51(prefferably '49) that wasn't full of rust repair work needed. I went to all the swapmeets and bought every autotrader,Hemmings,and E-bay,trying to find a good car to start with. Had about 80k to work with,but didn't want to buy a "done" car. I wanted to finish it myself. Matt called me and said he found a car,with almost NO rust whatsoever! We talked about what I had in mind,chop,shaved,nosed,decked,and get it running,then I would finish it. I never saw the car,til he had it shot black,about 7months later. I put alot of trust in him. He called me one morning and said I could come out and see the car,still needing the front window put in. I'm not ashamed to admit,I teared up. My dream was finally coming to a reality! You need to understand...I wanted a chopped Merc since I was a 9yr old kid!!! After seeing one pulling out of Ed Roth's Shop,in Maywood(when I ditched school,haha) I was hooked! I dropped my bike and went to ask Ed what that car was. I still to this day,don't remember who he said it was,but never forgot him saying it was a '49 Mercury. I got to sit in it once! The interior was all torn un,no headliner,no door panel on the drivers door.
    Anyways...I paid $30k for mine,90% done. Just needed the wiring redone and the interior. At first,I thought I spent too much money. Then I started looking at the prices of other Mercs similar to mine,and realized I got a GREAT deal!!!!

    I love the transformation of your Merc,John. You did your homework and asked all the right questions. It shows in the look of your car. make sure you do the same with the interior. I have lots on pic's if you need them.
  25. buckeye_01
    Joined: Jun 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,441


    Bob, you shed a tear!?!?! I actually don't blame you I did the same thing when I arrived to pick my merc up. It has been one of my top 5 dream cars for as long as I can remember! I don't have the initial capital that you and John had so I have to do it a little at a time. I really look forward to reading your posts Bob and I have really enjoyed following the overhaul of your merc John. I expect a ride in your merc if I ever make it to your neck of the woods. Keep the faith buddy. There is light at the end of the tunnel, just hope its not the

    I know the pain you are feeling John. I travel for a living too and when I get back to the hotel I day dream of the weekend and what tin I can bend.
  26. Bob if you were at $30K including the price of the car, plus glass, and all that work I think it's a solidly good deal.

    I'd say for me, including buying and chroming bumpers, replacement sheetmetal and glass, paint, bodywork, shiny paint, tires, purchase price of car, little mechanical. I'm at around $50K.

    Time to shower and suit up. :)
    Last edited: May 23, 2011
  27. It's easy to see why a fully finished custom car that you are happy with 80% or more is pretty much a good deal at 30-40K, especially a merc. But, at 50, you have YOUR merc just the way you want it, and I think that is worth the extra price.

    I got into mine below 20k and knew I had a great deal even though it had "issues." Like you, I was thrilled to get a painted, upholstered, running car I could drive today, even though it was/is a 20 footer and knew I had the ability to address the issues as time went on. Well, time is on, so a couple of weeks ago it came apart for a new brake system that actually worked....which lead to wiring and steering. I'm just hoping I get it back together sooner than 3 kid wants my current daily in Aug when she gets her license. ;)
  28. Yeah your car was a really good deal. Do you have any close-up pictures of it?

    On a different note, I had wanted to run bumper guards, but it's hard for me to figure out which ones I would like without seeing more in person... I went with a '50 front bumper and '51 rear. I had liked the idea of small uprights in front so as not to compete with the future floating grille, and then maybe a Kaiser-style one in back.
  29. There are a couple pics of it on my profile. Something specific you are wanting to see, or just the car in general?

    I've sorted out some of the goofy stuff in the few years I have owned it. Right away I removed the character painted on the trunk and the previous owner's wife's name off the dash. LOL. It also sat way to high and the PO had removed the lowering blocks out of the back....put those back in of course. Swapped the warped fiberglass 51 skirts for a set of bubble skirts. The rest has been getting stuff working like it should. I planned when I got around to rewiring it that I would swap out the custom dash for a factory one as well as the sloppily installed steering column (found out when I got into it, it was actually unsafe not just sloppy), so all that is on the table now and getting sorted out. I'll have to go into the body eventually and not sure how far I will go right off. Thinking I will take care of the bubbling out rust, fix the bent hood, cut out the hagans for 54 Merc rings then just scuff and shoot the rest for now. I'd like to keep it on the road as much as possible while I finish another car or two before I really tear into it.
  30. I was just curious about your car, hadn't seen too many pics of it.

    Yesterday I got to hang out with two cool dudes, Mr. Bad Bob and Mr. Matt Townsend of Townsend Fabrications. Not only did I get to jaw about Mercs with someone who's been into 'em since he was 7 (Bob) but I got to check out Matt's shop and the I think SEVEN Merc's he's got over there!!!

    I really can't say thank you enough to Matt for the help he's given to me on my car, and for letting me lob 30 questions at him yesterday. For a Merc lightweight like myself, being able to ask tech questions with someone like Matt is just so damn cool.

    Bob is a character, but it's only after you hang out with the guy do you truly realize what a dingaling he truly is. Dude I was a million times more pumped after seeing Matt's shop and hanging out with a true expert, and then to swing by and see the Bad Bob-mobile... well fugg... I was two million times more pumped. Your car is awesome.

    I f'n can't wait to get my car from VDL, glass all in, and start driving it, taking pics, taking vids, and causing a ruckus!!!!!!!

    I'm a little punchy after being at a conference for four days can you tell.

    Thanks Bob and Matt. Stay out of trouble Bob. :)

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