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History What Ever Happened to..........?

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by OG lil E, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. Thanks for posting the article @BrewtownPrez. I forgot it was featured in Kustoms Illustrated. Issue number 2 was quite a while ago now! E

    You know Jim (@stanlow69), if a person never read that article there is almost no way to tell that the Paul Vigilant and Fred Steele Merc are one in the same. I love the look of the canted quads, but since it got wrecked I'm glad the car was repaired, canted quads or not. Mr. Steele did a nice job saving the car. The only real tell-tale that it is the same car are the Lincoln door buttons. A lot was changed. Whoever chopped it way back when did a great job as the car has a super profile!
    This is one Merc that is in my steno pad notes that I have been collecting information on. The article Jim posted is a great piece of its history. I do know from my video watching that Fred took the Merc to the '83 Spectacular in Springfield, Ohio. It was only shown on the video for a few seconds, but from what you could see it looked the same as in the above article that Jim posted from the August '77 Street Rodder. Since there were so many yellow Mercs in those days, I have been sorting through video watching for the car--lots of yellow in those days. It was easy to tell Fred's by the unique "FONZ+" New Hampshire license plates. E
     
  2. da dodge brother
    Joined: Apr 2, 2010
    Posts: 356

    da dodge brother
    Member
    from wisconsin

    Lil E .... Thanks for posting this about my Merc. Really liked the article and comments. I was really impressed. Please keep the story's coming. Very enjoyable.... J.T-ski ...
     
  3. Austinrod
    Joined: Jun 14, 2012
    Posts: 1,430

    Austinrod
    Member
    from Austin

    What’s the story on this 55 Chevy
    [​IMG]


    Sent from KUSTOMS
     
  4. You're welcome Mr. Thomaszewski (@da dodge brother)! Your Merc was awesome and it definitely belongs here with all the other great sleds of that time. Glad you're enjoying the thread and I'm happy to know you're following along. E
     
  5. What Ever Happened To..........? number 90.

    1955 Mercury
    Owner: David Guyman
    Cartwright, Oklahoma

    This week's car is one that all the research information seemed to fall into place. The more I dug the more I found out. Compared to a lot of the cars that I've researched and posted on this thread, this one went together pretty easy.
    David Guyman put together this great '55 Merc back in about 1985. It had alot of great modifications that set it apart from many other mid-50s Mercs. It was chopped 4 1/2 inches and it was completely shaved. A '56 Lincoln front bumper was used as well as a pair of different grilles. More on that later. David added a '55 Pontiac bumper in the rear, '57 Ford side trim and a pair of sought after Jimmy Jones bubble skirts.
    David took his car to the 1986 Leadsled Spectacular in Springfield, Missouri. The car had the lion's share of the body mods already done to it, and was sprayed in a clean coat of black primer waiting for paint. I saw the car on the '86 video, and it looked like the car had a tube style grille in it. Further research stated that it was a '57 Lincoln grille.
    David made it to the Spectacular again in '87, this time in Springfield, Illinois. For this trip the car was painted turquoise and it really stood out from the many sleds at the show. On the '87 video David was interviewed and he gave a nice rundown on the car. He mentioned the car had a '59 Cadillac grille in it. I figured that maybe he switched them back and forth whenever the mood for change struck. 1987 must have been a good year for travel for David as he also attended the Hanging Dice Nationals in Fort Smith, Arkansas as well.
    I found lots of video on the car on the '86 and '87 videos, as well as great pictures from Rikster's site that were taken by Scott Pavey and our own @drdave.
    As far as magazine coverage goes, I couldn't find anything on the Mercury. I know I saw it featured once somewhere, but I couldn't find an article in my collection.
    Although my magazine collection came up short, I found a lot of great information on the car in the KKOA books. It was pictured on page 99 in the first book, and on page 34 in the second. According to both write ups in the books, the car belonged to Rick and Shelby Klibensky of Parma, Michigan. This means that sometime between the '87 show season and the printing of the first KKOA book in 1993 David sold the car. I can't say if the Klibenskys bought it directly from Guyman or not, but they had it. The one thing mentioned in the first book is that the car had a '57 Lincoln grille. It sounds like the '59 Caddy grill was no more. I wonder if Guyman kept it or the Klibenskys got it or what. That would be interesting to know. It was mentioned in the first book that the car belonged to Shelby and her husband had customs of his own. Not just any customs either. He was (and may still be) the current caretaker of not one, but two famous bubble top cars. He owned the 1960 Corvair known as the "Forcasta" built by Darryl Starbird in 1961, as well as the 1959 El Camino built by Tom Holden known as the "Ultimus".
    The Mercury was also pictured in the second KKOA book that was printed in 2003. So, as of the early 90s this car was living in Michigan. After that the information train stopped and I couldn't find anything else. I'm sure if there's more information around, you crazy leadheads out there will fill us in.
    Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Christmas is just around the corner! Wow, has this year gone by fast or what?
    Until next time, stay cool! E

    David Guymon 55 Merc a SPC.jpg

    David Guymon 55 Merc b DrD HDN Ark 87.jpg

    David Guymon 55 Merc c DrD HDN Ark 87.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2017
  6. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 12,661

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    see how high it is in the front in the pic above? that is because when it was on display at the gilmore it had no engine in it. Rick Klibensky was there picking it up as I was dropping the Futurian off to display in the same exhibit. One more famous car Rick has is the Crown coupe.....oh and also Dave Puhls startling starfire
     
  7. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 2,717

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    This car is cooool. I first saw it in Springfield Missouri in primer. When you saw the car, it was sitting next to his buddy, Johnnys primmered chopped Merc as well. If you were at that KKOA show. you would have remembered those two cars. They were stand outs. Then you would have to wonder when you would see them next and what colors would they be. More pic`s to come later. Like when I had to wait. Another great car to feature. I wish I would of got a pic of them together. It doesn't even look like the same car in primer, it has a different look to it. No bubble skirts. Scan0516.jpg
     
  8. Well, I searched for more photos or info but didn't find anything. For the record, it looks like it is spelled with an "I" on the end, Klibenski.
     
  9. Wow, it's amazing how some people have so many customs. I'm sure gathering a group of famous customs like that is an expensive labor of love! E

    Thanks for posting the picture of the Merc from 2013 @Sancho, it still looks very nice! E

    You're absolutely right! I had it written down right and I misspelled it anyway. Ooops..........sorry guys (lol). E
     
  10. I've been doing some searching, @Austinrod. Nothing so far. E
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  11. Austinrod
    Joined: Jun 14, 2012
    Posts: 1,430

    Austinrod
    Member
    from Austin

    Anthony White told me it was Harvey Bagshaw’s
    1956 Chevy custom has a also well known 55 Chevy too.
    Found a couple more pictures
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    Sent from KUSTOMS
     
  12. I like that '56. I have to say I don't mind it with the Supreme's on it but the other (appear to be larger diameter) 5-spokes don't do it any favors.

    Wonder what it would look like with chrome reverse wheels?
     
  13. Austinrod
    Joined: Jun 14, 2012
    Posts: 1,430

    Austinrod
    Member
    from Austin

    I’m wondering too


    Sent from KUSTOMS
     
    chryslerfan55, 54delray and Sancho like this.
  14. For the sake of completeness, here are the rest of my pics. The interior shots were taken at Ft Smith in '87 same as the ones Ed already posted. The other pic was taken at Ft Smith again in '88....last time I have pics of it there.

    00000296.jpg 00000297.jpg 00000593.jpg

    Also, for grins, here is Johnny's Merc that Jim posted in primer painted yellow at Ft Smith '87 parked next to Dave.

    00000298.jpg 00000299.jpg
     
  15. The wheels are the give-away. ;)
     
  16. The crown coupe is the former "Lil Beaver" isn't it? I saw that when I was wee lad. Never saw a prettier blue. That car made me a custom lover for life!
     
  17. Cincinnati Slim
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 294

    Cincinnati Slim
    Member
    from Cincy, OH

    In the background, that should be Jim Wilkens' hammered '53 Stude coupe. Jim is the current caretaker of Wes Guance's Oriental
     
  18. 40 & 61 Fords
    Joined: May 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,982

    40 & 61 Fords
    Member

    That's one of the cars first customs I also remember seeing from feature in an old 60's Car Craft magazine I found in my Dad's old room at my Grandparents when I was a kid. That original car was soooo cool!
    Such a shame what it looks like now!
     
    chryslerfan55, 54delray and OG lil E like this.
  19. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 2,717

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    Not really, just look at Alley OOp. It ended up being white. All the jambs where done in red. Hood and trunk. Scan0085.jpg
     
    OneBad56, chryslerfan55 and OG lil E like this.
  20. Yeah I know, I was just being funny. In the case of the 2 you had posted, the wheels were painted the final color.
    Although at one point (after it was painted) it had red wheels.....
     
  21. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 2,717

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    Jim owned Lil Miss Vicky before the Stude. I took these in 82 in Des Moines. It`s good to see and talk to Jim in Indy every year. I know a guy that winters in Florida where Jim does. Here`s a pic of his Stude. It`s now in Kansas with Scan0522.jpg Scan0521.jpg wild scallops. See you in Indy in 2018.
     
  22. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 2,717

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    You notice everything @Sancho. So I better correct my post. This is the interior from 82. The other one has the Classic and Custom magazine with it`s feature sitting on the Floorboard. Which came later. Scan0523.jpg
     
  23. Cincinnati Slim
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 294

    Cincinnati Slim
    Member
    from Cincy, OH

    Yep, didn't think to mention Lil' Miss Vicky. Jim could have his own thread for all his cars. He is one of those guys that has known me since before I could see over the fenders.
    Matter of fact, most of these cars that I remember (or might have pictures of) are from that height. Need to get to my parents and get those pictures dug out.
     
  24. Wonder why they flipped the pattern in the carpet insert? Or are they some type of mat?
     
  25. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 2,717

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    You have to much time on your hands. I bet they are removeable and were flipped from driver`s side to passengers side. Would get dirty easily being white. Ask @Moriarity I think he knows the current owner. And two more pictures that are almost identical.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
  26. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 12,661

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member



    they look like floor mats. I don't think they are in there currently...
     
  27. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 2,717

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    When standing tall, looking at this Merc. It looks all out of proportion. But when you squat down and look at it. It looks cooool. And in proportion. So I had to wait a year to see it in paint. These were taken in Springfield Illinois. Johnnys Merc was also there painted in yellow sitting right next to it. Why the color it is. Maybe Blaine Kaufman`s Merc was his inspiration. Sancho, the wheels aren`t red yet. The bubble skirts are added with a different grille. More pic`s tomorrow. Sorry my pic`s are mutilated. Scan0524.jpg Scan0348.jpg
     
  28. Jim, you are in the same club with @Sancho as you two never cease to amaze me with what you guys come up with and your custom knowledge.
    If I read your post right, the Jim Wilkins Studebaker is the same Stude that Kris Harness owns? That's a new one on me. E

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    3-5-1%255B1%255D.jpg

    kat011.jpg
     

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