- Generation III LS1 V8 that produces in excess of 300 horsepower
- 4L60E 4-speed automatic transmission
- GM 10 bolt rear end that's equipped with both an Auburn center section and stout 3.50 gears
- Fat Man Mustang II front and four link rear suspension that's equipped with a full set of Air Ride Tech shocks
- Power rack and pinion steering
- Power front disc and rear drum brake system that's complete with a Camaro master cylinder and Cardone drums
- 15 inch wire wheels
- Factory correct, all-steel body that's covered in Nissan Platinum Silver Metallic paint
- Custom black and white leather interior that's complete with Vintage Air conditioning
- Pioneer sound system that features MP3 compatibility, Bluetooth capability and a full set of Pioneer Premier speakers
There's nothing like assuming the helm of a lights-out lead sled; a car like this world class '51 Mercury sedan, that drove straight out of an era where Detroit was at the tip top of its game in both style and comfort. EVERYBODY loves these cars! In fact, they've reached such a high level of popularity that it's becoming increasingly difficult to find clean, uncut examples which are nice enough to drive, much less show. It seems all the factory-perfect show queens are locked in padded garages, only allowed to see daylight during concours level events, and the field-dwelling project cars are aging almost as fast as the cost of restoring them is rising. Fortunately, a nice, solid road-ready cruiser like this award winning Merc will occasionally pull into our RK Motors Charlotte showroom and remind us that dream cars do still exist. And if you're the kind of buyer who's searching for a stunning all-steel custom that features a whole roster of top notch equipment, I can't think of any hot rod that offers more class or more style for the money!
The beneficiary of an exceptionally detailed frame-off restoration, this slick custom sled was completely disassembled, carefully finessed and expertly rebuilt to the absolute highest standards. As you can tell from our pictures the car retains all of its original proportions and trim; and that dedication to a factory correct form resulted in a slick fuselage which features the kind of show-worthy gaps and showroom fresh solidity that's exclusive to unaltered Detroit steel. Take a close look at the body's contoured panels and you'll find buttery surfaces that have maintained a solid façade for close to 62 years. Those smooth surfaces make for a super clean profile that's been laboriously block-sanded and covered in a stunning coat of Nissan code Q45 Platinum Silver Metallic. That glossy paint stays vibrant thanks to a tough layer of clearcoat that was thoroughly dried and carefully buffed to a trophy winning shine. And today, the car sits as one excellent looking custom with no filler, no questionable seams, no bulges, and nothing else that would be any kind of demerit to its otherwise spectacular restoration.
Initially released in 1949, the styling of this all-steel Mercury Eight was successful in both ending the monotony of warmed-over pre-war designs and differentiating the brand from its comparable Ford cousin; a trick that spelled sales success. Those newfound sales made the car immensely popular with customizers, and in 1949 the first lead sled, built by Sam Barris, pioneered what would become hot rodding's definitive early 50s custom. At the front of the car, a wraparound bumper props large chrome bullets in front of a convex, wraparound grille which hangs clear parking lights below chrome-trimmed halogen headlights. At the sides of that grille, straight, “MERCURY” branded trim spears parallel dent-free rocker moldings, small front fender emblems and optional rear fender skirts. Above those emblems a domed hood, which props a graceful chrome ornament above a red-detailed Mercury crest, flows to pristine tinted glass that's framed by a small chrome mirror, standard stainless wipers, traditional chrome door handles and well-maintained stainless trim. And behind that glass, a second red Mercury crest and bright Mercury tail lights hang over a second wraparound bumper, two more chrome bullets, textured stainless rock guards and a pair of pristine chrome exhaust tips.
This spectacular silver Merc is powered by a 5.7 liter LS1 V8 which combines roughly 300 horsepower with the kind of performance and reliability that most lead sled owners can only dream about. Straight from GM, this fully-sorted package combines a sturdy aluminum block with lightweight aluminum heads, coil-near-plug ignition and aluminum flat top pistons to create razor-sharp throttle response and a torque band that's as wide as Texas. At the front of the engine a modern serpentine system, which is complete with a full set of chrome pulleys, spins a fresh alternator and a Vintage Air AC compressor at the sides of a polished, “LS1” branded air cleaner that's equipped with a familiar re-usable filter element. Once air enters that filter, it flows through a factory LS1 throttle body into a factory LS1 intake which is bolted down over completely stock internals. High octane fossils are provided by a GM electronic fuel injection system. Sparks are sequenced through high performance Taylor plug wires. Spent gases are whisked away by a slick pair of ceramic coated shorty headers. And cooling comes courtesy of a heavy duty Griffin aluminum radiator that's complete with a chrome cap, a chrome overflow tank and two quick-spinning electric pusher fans. Aesthetically, the glossy engine compartment combines with the LS1's clean silver casting to provide a natural contrast that oozes performance appeal. Niceties such as a body-matched radiator support, chrome fuel rail covers, chrome “MERCURY” brandings and high quality braided hoses add just the right amount of flash and detail to make people stop and take notice. And the net result is a buttery smooth, muscle-bound V8 that, through its distinctive rumble, foretells the car's true hot rod nature.
Take a look under this solid custom and you'll find a fully sorted chassis that, despite its road-ready mechanicals, is exceptionally clean and displays very few signs of wear. While its body was off and being refinished, this Mercury's factory bones were treated to an equally comprehensive makeover, and given their railroad trestle level of engineering, are probably one of the main reasons the sled rides so smoothly. At the front of those bones, a Fat Man Mustang II suspension makes excellent use of modern tubular control arms, long tube Air Ride Tech shocks and a thick Heidts sway bar. At the back of those bones, a triangulated four link suspension is fitted with a second Heidts sway bar and two more long tube Air Ride Tech shocks. That entire set up is guided by an ultra-proficient power rack and pinion steering system. And the car's original four wheel drum brake system has been freshened to as-new condition with the help of modern front discs, a 1982 Camaro master cylinder and new Cardone rear drums. At the center of the floors, a proven 4L60E 4-speed automatic transmission makes good use of a 10 bolt posi-traction rear end that's equipped with an Auburn center section and stout 3.50 gears. At the sides of that awesome driveline, ceramic coated headers dump spent gases into a fresh stainless steel exhaust system that's complete with welded mufflers and chrome tips. And at the corners of the car, 15 inch wire wheels spin wide white wall Coker Classics around matching chrome center caps. Naturally, new stainless lines, hoses, and a custom 16 gallon stainless fuel tank were installed during this Mercury's re-assembly, and everything from its fresh shocks to its new wiring looks set to provide years of trouble free ownership.
Inside this awesome sedan a custom black and white interior manages to appear both sporty and upscale at the same time. Pleated leather seats, which are both soft and supportive, ride on pristine black carpet that's framed by attractive stainless sill plates. At the sides of those seats, custom door panels hang modern Pioneer Premier speakers between beaded door lock knobs, traditional Mercury badges, spotless stainless trim and correct chrome handles. In front of those seats, a bright silver dash hangs clear Auto Meter gauges and custom Wabbit's Wood Works panels above a custom leather consolette that houses a remote controlled, MP3 compatible Pioneer CD player, a lighted Firestone air gauge, buttons for the car's air suspension and power windows, and more Pioneer speakers. Above those seats, a fade-free headliner is stretched tight around a modern dome light. In front of the driver an artful Mercury steering wheel spins around stainless foot pedals, a modern GM tilt steering column and a small microphone for the car's Bluetooth connectivity. And behind the passenger's, a cleanly covered package tray hangs two large Pioneer Premier speakers above a paneled and carpeted trunk that's equipped with a small spare tire and a fresh Optima battery.
This Mercury's show history is extensive, and its list of awards extremely impressive:
* Best in Class at the 2001 World of Wheels show in Chattanooga, Tennessee
* Best in Group at the 2001 World of Wheels show in Chattanooga, Tennessee
* Bill Croft Memorial Award at the 2001 World of Wheels show in Chattanooga, Tennessee
* Best First Time Shown at the 2001 World of Wheels show in Chattanooga, Tennessee
* GM Performance Parts Outstanding Engineered at the 2001 World of Wheels show in Chattanooga, Tennessee
* Top 50 award at the 2004 NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion in Bowling Green, Kentucky
* Best in Class at the 2005 World of Wheels show in Chattanooga, Tennessee
* Pick of the Show at the 2005 World of Wheels show in Chattanooga, Tennessee
The sale of this super cool custom includes an old school dealer brochure, a build book of restoration photos, a small binder of restoration receipts and paperwork, a nice looking show board, and the aforementioned Outstanding Engineered award from the 2001 World of Wheels show.
This exceptionally clean Merc is one of the coolest cruisers on the planet! At just $69,900, it offers the best of both worlds: a fully restored car at a fraction of the cost of doing it yourself, and a unique hot rod that sets itself apart from the sea of chopped, diced, smothered and covered lead sleds at your local Goodguys event. Solid, well-done early 50s metal like this doesn't come along too often, and given the attention it draws in our showroom, it won't last long either!