- 468 cubic inch Chevrolet V8 / Roughly 600 horsepower
- 700R4 4-speed automatic transmission
- Ford 9-inch rear axle / 3.70 gears
- Custom suspension
- Power rack-and-pinion steering
- 4-wheel power disc brakes
- 15-inch steel wheels
- Modified body / Corvette burgundy paint
- Custom leather interior / Modern sound system
- Vintage Air conditioning
There's nothing like assuming the helm of a lights-out lead sled. Whether it's the fault of James Dean, Sam Barris or just stellar design, 49-51 Mercurys seem gifted with universal appeal that few classics possess. This first class Mercury Kustom is the recipient of a complete, frame-off restoration that combines excellent paint with epic metalwork, a potent Chevy big block and a clean custom interior. With fully-sorted mechanicals, the car easily navigates the line between awesome weekend warrior and show-stopping crowd pleaser. And if you're the kind of buyer who's searching for a stunning, all-steel masterpiece that features a roster of top notch equipment, no hot rod offers more style for less money!
Officially baptized in to the Kustom world a little over thirty years ago, this slick sled was carefully finessed and expertly freshened to the absolute highest standards in the summer of 2011. At that point in its life, the car was a tired, small block resto-mod that had, fortunately, found its way to well-known car enthusiast Ron Meis. Meis began by working the body's contoured panels into buttery planes that'll maintain a solid façade for years to come. Those smooth surfaces make for a super clean profile that's been laboriously block-sanded and covered in a stunning coat of Corvette burgundy. That glossy paint stays vibrant thanks to a tough layer of clearcoat, which 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 superior restoration.
The styling of Mercury's second generation 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 BIG 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 '50s custom. At the front of this clean coupe, a short grille hangs clear parking lamps between frenched headlights, a wraparound bumper and a nosed hood. Behind that hood, tinted, chrome-trimmed glass rides inside stainless wipers, traditional spotlights and a professionally chopped roof. At the sides of that roof, a shaved profile floats requisite fender skirts between small mirrors and faux side pipes. And behind those skirts, a second wraparound bumper reflects a shaved decklid and pure Mercury tail lights.
Like it or not, sometimes it's good to break tradition. And breaking tradition is one thing that makes this Merc so impressive. Lift the car's domed hood and you'll find 468 cubic inches of big block Chevrolet muscle that, thanks to A&A Restoration in Rapid City, South Dakota, creates roughly 600 horsepower! At the top of that monster mill, air flows from a K&N X-Stream-style filter element in to a big Holley 4-barrel that's piped with braided fluid lines and a simple Holley pressure gauge. The resulting air/fuel mixture makes its way from a Weiand aluminum intake to Dart Pro1 heads that are topped with chrome, “CHEVROLET” branded valve covers. When those heads flood the cylinders, a quality MSD distributor sequences fire between an MSD Blaster 2 coil and tube-loomed Taylor plug wires. Resultant gases are jettisoned through ceramic-coated Sanderson block hugger headers. The black block's cooling is provided by a beefy radiator that's fitted with a shrouded Cooling Components puller fan. Charging comes courtesy of a polished alternator that, along with a polished AC compressor, spins on an aesthetically pleasing Zoops pulley system. And overall, the smooth, body-matched engine compartment is exceptionally clean, featuring details such as polished breathers, a polished overflow tank, polished water tubes and a prominent MQQN Equipment temperature gauge.
Take a look under this all-steel custom and you'll find a traditional Ford skeleton that's been augmented with a series of excellent upgrades. At the front of that skeleton, a nice mix of Fat Man and Heidts suspension components makes good use of power rack-and-pinion steering. At the back of that skeleton, simple traction bars and proven lowering blocks combine strength with stance. At the center of that chassis, a line locking 700R4 4-speed spins a familiar Ford 9-inch around 3.70 gears and Moser 31-spline axles. At the sides of that awesome driveline, the aforementioned headers roll spent gases through large stainless pipes and throaty Flowmaster mufflers. At the corners of that exhaust system, power disc brakes provide solid, predictable stops. On the outside of those discs, painted and stainless-capped steelies spin 215/75R15 Coker Classic wide whitewalls. Naturally, items like fresh hoses, clean lines and a dual-reservoir master cylinder round out a sound cast of supporting ancillaries. And, in case you like to play with pressure, most of the car's original air ride system is present and fully wired.
Like its engine, the car's supple leather interior was fitted during its 2011 freshening. Modern, power seats, which are both soft and supportive, ride on clean tan carpet that's protected by piped and color-keyed floor mats. In front of those seats, a tan dash anchors rebuilt gauges above hardware for modern climate control. At the base of that dash, a custom console centers an MP3-compatible VBA head unit and Vintage Air twist knobs between small courtesy lamps and VBA speakers. Opposite that console, custom side panels hang subtle trim and broad armrests between seamless quarter speakers and billet door hardware. Above those panels, a custom headliner flows through a billet Center High Mount Stop Lamp to an intricately detailed package tray. In front of the driver, an Ididit tilt steering column spins a Lecarra-branded wheel around a stylish billet shifter. And behind the passengers, a fully finished trunk features ample room for luggage.
The sale of this exclusive Merc includes restoration receipts and component manuals.
This razor-sharp sled is one of the coolest cruisers on the planet! And at only $79,900, it isn't just a fully restored classic that's attainable for a fraction of its build cost; it's a unique hot rod that sets itself apart from a virtual sea of chopped, diced, smothered and covered street rods. If you're ready to own the very definition of American cool, don't miss out on this incredible Mercury Kustom!