Register now to get rid of these ads!

History My AUTORAMA MERC GATHERING Photos

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Rikster, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,781

    Rikster
    Member

    Well it has taken me a bit more time to get back home and back up to speed from this very exciting and fantastic trip from my home in the Netherlands to the not so sunny California.

    I have already posted a few small movies that I made during set up and when the cars where leaving, but now its time for some photos I took of the Mercury Gathering at the 2009 Sacramento Autorama.

    Thanks to John Buck and most of all to Axle and Celeste for making this Mercury gathering reality. This was truly a once in a live time experience. Seeing all these great Mercury's together in one building at the same time.

    After a 26 hour day on Tuesday and a way to short night of sleep it was Wednesday and the first cars where going to arrive that day. I was so excited. The Hirohata Mercury, Stardust, and the Sam Barris Mercury where all expected to arrive that day. We only where not sure what time.
    Axe was calling regularly with the drivers to get a feel where they where at.
    80 miles from Sacramento, half an hour, at the gate. The excitement was almost to much. And to make things even "worse" both the Sam Barris and Hirohata Merc arrived at nearly the same time, but the trucks where parking a few hunderds jards from each other.. so where to look first :)

    One of the first cars to arrive was Jim McNiel's Hirohata Merc.

    [​IMG]


    That evening I met Jim Mc Niels and his wife Sue and we talked for a long time. They where both so nice, and the passion Jim has for his car is incredible.
    Jim told the story on how he restored it over a period of about ten years. And how he wanted to keep as many original parts on this car. And if the original parts where gone. He went out and looked for NOS parts to replace them with. Even all the electrical wire ends where removed from the long shot wires and added to new wires. And Jim also kept all of the "flaws" the original car had. Remember the car was built in about nice weeks. Sam Barris and Frank Sonzogni did most of the work on the car. Sam did the drivers side and Frank the passenger side. And if you look good you can see some differences in both sides. Not only in shape but also how it was made. Jim left all that in the car. And all those small little things that Jim pointed out or talked about really make this car come alive.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    One thing I had never noticed in any of the many photos of this car are the painted Cadillac crest on the Hubcaps. Jim always thought the red centers where just a bit to much color on this car, so he painted them the same dark green as under the trim

    [​IMG]

    I was lucky enough to not only see the car, but also hear and.. and even sit in it for a little while.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I like this photo taken from the walk way. In the picture we can see Jim McNiel (blue shirt) talking to Bill Johnsson (TwoChops) and Axle (red jacket)
    Sue and Bill's wife Nancy probably talk about the shopping opportunities in Sacramento :)

    [​IMG]


    And the Sam Barris Merc...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    John showed me the hubcap that was used to clear the rear axle in the trunk. The upholstered cover is to the left.
    Hard to see.. but still neat..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Two other cars that arrived on Wednesday where the freshly restored and improved Stardust. And a recently built 1940 convertible for John Mumford by the Kennedy Brothers... Stardust still has its Appletons all wrapped up from the trip.

    [​IMG]


    The next day the majority of the cars would arrive.

    Jeff Neppl arrived with his father and his fantastic - Dick Dean chopped - 1950 Mercury late Wednesday evening... after I had already left to the hotel.

    [​IMG]


    There was one transporter coming in carrying 6 (SIX) Custom Mercury's... Many people where asking the driver what it would take to park the truck at their homes.

    One truck.... Back side

    [​IMG]

    back side door...
    [​IMG]

    Front side door...
    [​IMG]


    Bill Worden arrived with his Barris Ralph Testa 1950 Mercury...

    [​IMG]

    And was given a thorough cleaning for the show starting on Friday...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2010
  2. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,781

    Rikster
    Member

    A bit later that day Building C looked like this...

    [​IMG]


    Still a few cars are missing.. but most had arrived Thursday afternone...

    [​IMG]


    Of all the Mercury Customs that where invited there where two that I really looked forward to see up close. The first one was the Hirohata Mercury, and the other one was the Westergard Bertolucci Buddy Ohanesian 1940 Mercury. Both have been favorite custom cars of me as long as I can remember.

    I was very fortunate to be able to talk to Jim McNiel about his Hirohata Mercury and his passionate stories made my love for that car even greater. And equally impressive was an conversation I had with Dick Bertolluci about the Buddy Ohanesian Mercury.
    I approached mr Bertolucci and asked about the Mercury. And we spend at least 20 minutes talking about the car. How he had made the top, where he made the cuts and how he had to hammer weld everything so that his work would be as impressive as the work Harry Westergard had already done on this car. How he painted the car at least two times. It was a real pleasure talking to him. And I could not stop walking around these great customs all day long.

    I was very lucky to be outside at the right moment to be able to take this photo of the Ohanesian Merc arriving. He was in a hurry so I could only take this one shot outside... much better than all the lights inside.

    [​IMG]


    Clean up time...

    [​IMG]

    Dick Bertolucci and his wife with the Ohanesian Merc...

    [​IMG]


    The lines on this car are absolutely perfect...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Harry Westergard and Less Crane built this 1940 Mercury in the 40's for Butler Rugard. Jack Walker had it restored and its now part of the American Car Collection Museum.

    Cleaning up...

    [​IMG]


    A bit over exposed photo, but I really like the speed boat feel of this photo.

    [​IMG]


    Derby Ahlstone brought his first Coachcraft built custom 1939 Mercury, and Larry Danes brought his rarely shown Barris Frank Sonzogni 1950 Merc

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    The car now has an Hemi engine, and Larry has put many many miles on this one. He plans to restore it back to how it once looked. but is in no hurry since he loves driving it around like it is now.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  3. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,781

    Rikster
    Member

    We have all seen the progress on Tom Black's - original owned by Charlie Mars - 1940 Mercury... it was finished just in time for the show... well almost it did not have an interior.
    But that did not matter. The car looked great.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Chrome plated heads came with the car when Tom bought it.

    [​IMG]


    A nice detail is the Studebaker (I think it was 1941) waterfall dash insert to replace the plastic Merc pieces.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The Wally Welch Mercury owned by Justin Mozart had just been painted but was far from finished. The owner doubted if the car should be entered at the gathering. But Luckely Axle was able to talk him into showing it anyway. This might be the only time it will be showed together with the other early custom Merc's.

    The car did not have a dash or interior, nor running engine. So we helped push it out of the truck and into the building...

    [​IMG]


    The sound you hear is a helicopter in the back ground...

    <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/JLgFt4AAHXs&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/JLgFt4AAHXs&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>


    The color on the car is incredible... although I personally feel it should have been painted the lime gold how the Ayala Brothers had built it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  4. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,781

    Rikster
    Member

    Greg Back brought his old Philip Sauers 1951 Mercury to be part of a Barn find scene. Unfortunately Kean Sledga was not able to bring his barn find 1939 Mercury convertible to join the scene, but this car alone was well worth the effort of the team that had built the "garage"

    Great patina...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Joe Bailon's The Widow...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    This was the first thing I saw of Stardust. It looked deep high gloss solid black. The paint by Daryll Hollenbeck was so smooth. But in the trailer it looked black. I had always addored this car in the early 90's. this was for me the best Merc ever built at a time I did not know much about custom car history. Today its still special to me and the team at Brizio did a fantastic job in restoring it. I heard that it took a lot of work to make the old body work look good again. The interior was redone and the very 80's mohair interior was replaced with leather.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Bruce Meyer brought this 70's built Joe Bailon custom with cracking paint.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,781

    Rikster
    Member

    Richard Zocchi's cool 50 original built by Bill Reasoner was also brought by the American Car Collector Museum

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Kevan Sledge worked many late night together with Robbie Radcliffe to get his fantastic 1940 Mercury done for the show.

    The car has the most perfect chop ever done on a 1940 Mercury. Slightly leaned back windshield, and recontoured C-pillars makes this top flow just perfectly. The speed-boat stance and all period goodies dont hurt either...

    [​IMG]


    No interior and semi gloss paint right now... but eventually it will be finished as how it could have been built back in the late 40's...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    The original plan was to get the Bill Hines built Matranga clone, but in the end the car could not make it. Luckly Dany O.Neill was able to bring his very fine 1940 Mercury coupe...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Jim Baker from Texas brought his Dave Guymond built 1947 Mercury. Jim hated teh fact that he had to trailer his car to the show. He likes to drive it.. everywhere he goes. And it shows. The car looks perfect with all the road patina. This is how a custom should be.
    When the car arrived it did not have the skirts on and used stock 47 Merc hubcaps...

    [​IMG]


    But not for long.

    [​IMG]


    Jim Was inspired by the Jesse Lopez 41 Ford and Cliff Rockohn 47 Mercury both built by Barris. And asked a very joung Dave Guymond if he could create a similar style custom for him... Sure I can he said. And he sure did!!!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Lots of road grime....

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009
  6. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,781

    Rikster
    Member

    Glenn Shimmin brought his American Graffiti clone to the show... but I only took one photo of it. I never cared for it... sorry for everybody who does like it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Now here is another car that I looked forward seeing up close... and it sure was not disapointing. This car and its builder (and wife) are absolutely fantastic.

    Paul Bragg's 1951 Mercury... once winder of the Harry Bradley Design award

    [​IMG]

    And to make it even better... take a look at Paul's very cool Chopped and customized dually!!! towing the 51.

    [​IMG]


    The Bragg's removing the cover.

    [​IMG]


    This car was absolutely stunning. I have looked at it for several hours over a three day period. It has so many cool details. Body modifications you would just never see in photos.

    [​IMG]

    One such body modification is how the rear lower quarter panels where welded and molded to the body. Sure this has done before. But on Paul's Merc he created a new radius from the panel to the body that is the same radius as that of the front fender to the door radius. So from the lip in the door all the way to the back has been molded in with new softer radius... Side trim is 54 Mercury...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Next to it sat Dale Hollenback's very fine 1950 Mercury...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Javier Mejia spend a lot of time wiping of all the road grime one his 1950 Mercury. It sure was great to meet you Javier, and see your car in person.
    John Aiello is responsible for the body work on Javiers Mercury

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  7. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,781

    Rikster
    Member

    Parked next to Javier on the other side of the isle was Jeff Neppl with his period perfect 1950 Mercury. The car has the last ever chop that Dick Dean performed on a 49-51 Mercury.

    Jeff and his father where great people and it was a lot of fun talking to you guys.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Jeff put some small lights in his interior for a very special effect...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Mercury Charley... his Merc can be seen.. if you look closely at the end of his display :)

    WOW what a display and what a car.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Terry Hegman brought his gorgeous 1951 Mercury to the gathering.
    This car is just absolutely perfect. The fit and finish on it... the details. the flow, the new ideas. This car clearly must have been on Terry's mind for a very long time before he started to built his perfect dream custom.

    [​IMG]


    Here Terry is cleaning his car. He had to use his left hand for it (not sure if he is left or right handed) since his right hand was in a cast.

    [​IMG]


    New hood lines, and the Appleton mounts where molded into the A-Pillars, a neat touch that can be overlooked very easy.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  8. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,781

    Rikster
    Member

    A few modern built Mercury's...

    Ken Stuart 1951 Mercury

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    And Frank Hinmon 1950 Merc both had a sort of Hot Rod stance... that did not really work for me. But thats just a personal opinion. Ken Stuarts Merc had some really nice touches done to it.

    [​IMG]


    Lucky 7 Kustoms brought two outstanding modern custom Merc. The first one that was invited was Darrell Hayes 1950 Merc. Rather traditional, but clearly a modern built. The lines and idears and fit and finish on this car was incredible. The color glowed all day long.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The detail work on all the window trim is exceptional.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    A last addition to the show was another Lucky7 custom car the car they built for George Garza seen here parked next to the Hayes Merc. Color combinations WOW

    [​IMG]

    The Garza 51 Merc has a much more modern feel to it than the Hayes car. But it is still done with a very nostalgic flavor to it. I really fell in love with this car.

    [​IMG]

    Unique rear window treatment and the Lincoln taillights with custom made bezels...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  9. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,781

    Rikster
    Member

    OZ brought his "one Bad Apple"... and it sure was.
    He brought it at the very last moment and it was raining when he puled it from his trailer.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Dave Baker was a great guy too. I talked to him several times over the weekend and he loved talking about his car and the concept and how it was built. And how he had offered Axle to make a set of white wall tires and hubcaps for his car especially for this event. The car normally runs 17 inch wheels.
    When Dave pulled the car from his trailer he has his brand new white wall tares still wrapped in plastic. He wanted to have them clean for the display.

    [​IMG]


    The Hydraulics on this one makes it a lot easier to get them in and out of the trailer for sure.

    [​IMG]

    Later the new hubcaps where added... if you have seen this car with its 17 inch rims... WOW what a difference. Dave, please keep these on your car.

    [​IMG]

    The car has a very special blend of styling... 50's 60's and 70's influences have been used.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    John Mozart recently bought the SoCal 1951 Mercury... and send it off to the show.

    I took these photos outside where it had been just unloaded...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  10. Toast
    Joined: Jan 6, 2007
    Posts: 3,885

    Toast
    Member
    from Jenks, OK

    Wow! Some beautiful Mercs. Thanks for posting!
     
  11. glassguy
    Joined: Feb 12, 2003
    Posts: 2,261

    glassguy
    Member

    wow great pics rik. thank you!
     
  12. Smooth Customs
    Joined: Apr 28, 2008
    Posts: 241

    Smooth Customs
    Member

    Great photos
    Stunning cars
     
  13. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,781

    Rikster
    Member

    Unfortunately Mark Morton was not able to come to the show himself... but we where lucky he sure was able to send his very fine 54 Mercury.
    A stunning custom that was in its own league with perhaps the Terry Hegeman and the Lucky& custom Mercs... Modern built cars that are built to perfection!!!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Topper 1956 Mercury... The car was built in the 80s by kelsey martin (Thanks for the info Dave)

    It sure looked great.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    One car I forgot to post photos of at the start was the Kennedy Brothers built 1940 Mercury Convertible for John Momford.

    A very mild period perfect custom...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    The Kennedy brothers installed a Caddy engine as well as a Caddy Dash.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The top was chopped only two inches and the taillights are 1940 Buick units. The rear fenders had a slight lip to make the Buick taillights fit the fenders. That was a very nice touch.

    [​IMG]


    A few more overview shots.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  14. customfc
    Joined: Dec 26, 2006
    Posts: 50

    customfc
    Member

    Great photos and great stories.
    Thank you for sharing them.
    Regards
    Alex
     
  15. Beautiful photos and informative commentary. Thanks Rikster.
     
  16. gr8ness13
    Joined: Aug 28, 2008
    Posts: 405

    gr8ness13
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Rik i was at the show but i wanted to say thanks this is a awesome post.
    BEAUTIFUL PICTURES....
     
  17. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,781

    Rikster
    Member

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I really like this photo. The Graza Merc was ariving rather late... and a grew of people from Lucky7 Kustoms are working fast to wipe and polish the 1951 Mercury....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Many more photos can be seen on my website here:
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  18. Incredible post, Rikster! Incredible!

    Loved the photos and commentary...

    Thank you,

    Joel
     
  19. customcory
    Joined: Apr 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,832

    customcory
    Member

    Pure custom porn! That's the best pics I ever seen! I know you enyoyed the heck out of that Rikster, I know I would have! I love all them Mercs , but I am still fascinated by Balions 51 merc the Widow. Beautiful pics Rikster!:D
     
  20. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,781

    Rikster
    Member

    Some people photos....

    Pat and billy Ganahl...

    [​IMG]


    Robbie Radcliffe has his Pat Ganahl book signed by all the famous names he could find.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Oz Welch his wife and one of his sons...

    [​IMG]


    We all know this guy...

    [​IMG]


    John Barris spoke about his father Sam Barris.. and brought some very interesting stuff to show.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Penel discussion about the importance of the Mercury in Custom Car History.

    Butch Hurley, Rod Powell. Daryll Hollenbech, John Barris and Gene Winfield. Later Jim McNiel was added to the panel as well.

    [​IMG]


    Rod Powell and Alex Cambino.

    [​IMG]


    Me and Brett Barris

    [​IMG]


    Brad Masterson with John Barris next to the Sam Barris Mercury

    [​IMG]


    Robby Radcliffe (that guy is everywhere!!!) John Barris and Bill Warden (owner of the Barris Ralph Testa Mercury)

    [​IMG]


    Name tags say it all...

    [​IMG]


    Pin-up contest

    [​IMG]


    This was not part of the Merc Gathering... but here is a photo of Cleatus talking to Dick Bertolucci about Cleatus his fantastic Chevy Custom...
    Cleatus and Dick talked for at least half an hour... True craftsman together.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2010
  21. 51 MERC-CT
    Joined: Apr 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,595

    51 MERC-CT
    Member

    Just about all I can say is
    [​IMG]
     
  22. sinticket
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 579

    sinticket
    Member

  23. MCINK
    Joined: May 26, 2007
    Posts: 887

    MCINK
    Member
    from EASTRIVER

    Thank you for sharing your hard work and passion.
     
  24. myke
    Joined: Dec 13, 2004
    Posts: 2,134

    myke
    Member
    from SoCal

    Wow great post! Thanks for taking the time!
     
  25. punkabilly1306
    Joined: Aug 22, 2005
    Posts: 2,656

    punkabilly1306
    Member
    from ohio

    amazing post, thanks for taking the time to arrange it and explain in good detail on everything!!!!!
     
  26. attitudor
    Joined: Sep 28, 2004
    Posts: 2,975

    attitudor
    Member
    from Finland

    WOW!!! That's neat, one of the best coverages on HAMB for a while. You must have been super excited!!! :)

    --mika
     
  27. twochops
    Joined: Feb 28, 2006
    Posts: 1,510

    twochops
    Member

    Rik --"You done Good!" It is really great to see your
    pictures taken during set up. Your information you
    posted with them makes them even more interesting.
    It was nice meeting you and putting a face with a
    name. Just went to your website and viewed all those
    great pictures. Keep up the terrific work and keep
    enjoying those fabulous American customs. Thanks
    again for giving me the many colorized photos.
    TwoChops
     
  28. Thanks Rikster....Great photos as usual from you....Made me happy to see Jim Bakers
    Merc from Texas inasmuch as I had a small hand in its build....Keep on keepin on
     
  29. oldandkrusty
    Joined: Oct 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,098

    oldandkrusty
    Member

    Rik, thanks for putting up your photos and, more importantly, giving us your take on all those fabulous Mercs. Man, I've got so much slobber on the front of me now, I've got to go take a shower!

    Rik, again, thank you!
     
  30. BruceVE
    Joined: Aug 2, 2006
    Posts: 1,331

    BruceVE
    Member
    from Sacramento

    great shot Rik and a pleasure to meet you. I am going to subscribe to this thread so I can go back for refrences of the history you wrote with the pictures.

    OH, and thanks for the great video of my ass.
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.