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History Sam Barris's 49 Mercury and Bob Hirohata's 51 Mercury

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Rikster, Nov 13, 2007.

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


    A few weeks ago John Mumford's Sam Barris 1949 Mercury was completely finished. The new interior was installed and all the fine tune details where done and the car was ready for the Rodders Journal photo shoot. Next stop would be the Barris Exhibition at the Wally Parks NHRA museum in Pomona.

    I think this must have been the very first time these two ICONS of Customizing where brought together and showed sitting next to each other.

    The Sam Barris Mercury was sold in 1951 and left Sunny California before Bob Hirohata had his 1951 Mercury built at Barris.

    Thanks Greg Sharp and other custom car enthusiast we can now see these two Mercury's sitting side by side... and a what a sight it is.

    If you are a custom car enthusiast and are in the position to make the trip to Pomona... the NHRA Museum Barris Exhibit is a MUST!

    Dave Lindsay photos



    I'm extremely proud that a large protion of my Kolorized images has been used at the Barris exhibition, and when I saw the photo below I felt extremely proud. The Sam Barris Mercury with "Sam" standing next to it and my kolorized photos used on the ground display and on the wall behind it.




    Photos by Rob Radcliffe... concentrating on the Sam barris 1949 Mercury




    Ratfins56 likes this.
  2. 51Gringo
    Joined: Jul 22, 2006
    Posts: 652

    from Nor Cal

    Bitchin, thanks Rikster for posting those pics, sweet!!!
    Sams '49 still is king.
  3. really did a fantastic job on the Kolorized images. Having them on display with the most influential kustoms EVER is well deserved, although I'd imagine it's almost surreal.

    I'm making the trek to Pomona this weekend,,,,,,I'll be lucky if I can even fall asleep before I leave!

  4. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,524


    It's like a trip to kustom car Mecca.

    Outstanding as usual, thanks!
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  5. Nekronomicon
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 814


    Awesome cars and photos Rik, thanks for posting them. I'd love to get over to the states one day to see all this.
  6. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,689

    from California

    it can't get any more cool than that.....

    if I had to choose I'd take the Sam Barris Merc. though if the Hirohata was dark green, it would be a tough choice
  7. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 5,741

    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

  8. mazdaslam
    Joined: Sep 9, 2004
    Posts: 2,525


    Two of the most important 49-51 Mercurys ever built. Sam's Merc is absolutly STUNNING !!! I love them both.
  9. hiboy32
    Joined: Nov 7, 2001
    Posts: 2,774

    from Omaha, NE

    thank you for posting this. Just like automotive porn.
    Ratfins56 likes this.
  10. Two great cars side by side
    Thanks for posting
  11. attitudor
    Joined: Sep 28, 2004
    Posts: 2,975

    from Finland

    Thanks for posting this, Rik. And congratulations on display. Good work. Here we have two most beautiful Mercs ever! --mika
  12. Moonglow2
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 657


    At a time when most custom enthusiasts were swapping grille, headlight and taillight combos that all too often came off looking like just that, change for the sake of change, Sam, with his artistic eye was a metal sculptor. All his designs flow naturally with an organic look. He was 50 years ahead of his time.

    Is that the Blue Danube I see in the background or is it the Jack Walker clone of the same car?
  13. texastramp
    Joined: Jan 11, 2002
    Posts: 81


    Not just almost, that is automotive "porn"!
  14. Thanks Rik, for all you do.
  15. blown49
    Joined: Jul 25, 2004
    Posts: 2,213

    Member Emeritus

    Thanks Rik as usual a stunning post of two beautiful Mercs.
  16. oldandkrusty
    Joined: Oct 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,099


    THANK YOU Rik, for making all of us aware of just how perfect these two cars were. And, also for keeping Sam's work alive in the eyes of all the new fans of "Kustoms" that are certainly going to be brought on board after seeing the cars in person or through your fantastic work with colorization. Thanks again.
  17. publicenemy1925
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 3,187

    from OKC, OK

  18. PeteFromTexas
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 3,837


    Automotive mastery at it's finest.

    Did something happen to the back of sams car? It looks like there is a pretty big scratch or dent on the trunk and near the tail light.
  19. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,781


    Luckely not... thats a Neon sign reflection hanging on the wall behind the cars... You can see the same thing on teh Hirohata Merc in a different photo I posted.


    And Moonglow 2 to awnser your question. That is the Jack Walker clone.
  20. PeteFromTexas
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 3,837


    OK, cool. I was about to freak out!
  21. Great pics. Thanks alot for sharing theise photos of probably the two finest Mercs of that era!
  22. Simply beautiful! Man, I love a smooth custom, and those are two of the greatest.
  23. Chad s
    Joined: Oct 6, 2005
    Posts: 1,718

    Chad s

    WOW. Wish I could take a trip to California. Thanks for the pics Rik!
  24. UnIOnViLLEHauNT
    Joined: Jun 22, 2004
    Posts: 4,824



    Even more impressive than that, that car belongs to John Mumford? The shelby thread where the company in Texas (Unique?) was ripping people off, he was an owner of a Shelby at a price tag one could buy a house with.

    Google his name and you see a 36 Ford rod being built, 2 stage painted the 9s. Thats his too.

    His letter to the Shelby company said that he had a collection of 50 or so hot rods/street rods and custom cars. Damn.

    So...I guess kids.....stay in school!
  25. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,776

    from Texas

    Funny how the first group of the Custom Mercs have turned out to be the Best of the Custom Mercs and Milestones which have never been equaled or exceeded. Nothing like setting the bar high enough to continue for over 50 years challenged but never beaten.
  26. ka-zoo
    Joined: Oct 20, 2004
    Posts: 509


    are there photos of the rest of this exhibit available anywhere? I didnt realize that the aztec resto was done, and would like to see more shots of it and the other greats in that room.
    Oh yeah, the mercs are awesome too, best mercs ever built, imho..

    Rik, do you have pics of ALL the 49-51 mercs that Sam restyled? it would be neat to see them ALL together.
  27. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,781


    Here is an older post...

    Aztec goes California trip

    And here is a link to all of the photos I have collected from the Barris Exhibit.

    Barris Exhibit at NHRA Museum
  28. <TABLE id=HB_Mail_Container height="100%" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0 UNSELECTABLE="on"><TBODY><TR height="100%" width="100%" UNSELECTABLE="on"><TD id=HB_Focus_Element vAlign=top width="100%" background="" height=250 UNSELECTABLE="off">NOW THOSE ARE KUSTOMS PEOPLE !!!!!!!! Rags
    </TD></TR><TR UNSELECTABLE="on" hb_tag="1"><TD style="FONT-SIZE: 1pt" height=1 UNSELECTABLE="on">
  29. LOWCAB
    Joined: Aug 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,989

    from Houston

    A fantastic grouping of cars for sure but when I look at your shots I wonder why they put them so close together. They need some breathing room. At least enough to open the passenger side door of Sams car. That way when you look at them you can see the individual cars themselves. I realize they are limited in space and try to cram as much as they can but at a cost. Side by side is great but crammed in is not. It reminds me of some of the old car show shots where cars are packed in. Give them some honor without looking like a parking garage.

  30. JimA
    Joined: Apr 1, 2001
    Posts: 4,796


    Yes, he is a great guy. His collection is AWESOME- and it includes the Ala Kart that he bought before Sam's Merc.

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