Rod & Custom Feature Car
Mark & Evonne Morton
San Juan Capistrano, California
1954 Mercury Monterey

One of the most important elements involved in a perfect custom is the stance, and Morty knew exactly what he wanted, achieving it with a selection of pieces from Jamco. the nose was pulled down the proper amount with a pair of dropped spindles and cut coils, and while he was working with the front suspension, Morty upgraded with disc brakes, gas shocks, and a sway bar. a pair of new leaf springs and notched framerails bring the back bumper down to the perfect tail-dragging height.

since this was a recently restored car and the original Y-block ran perfectly, Morty dressed it up with a pair of t-bird valve covers and left the rest alone, although he said it's still possible that a healthy 312ci mill might find its way into the engine bay someday. the stock three-speed manual transmission backs the dual-pipe- equipped 256ci Mercury motivation.

Wheels & Tires
Despite his affi nity to rack up tons of highway miles, Morty just can't do radials on his rides, so a set of 7.10x15 Firestone Deluxe Champion wide whites was mounted on a set of stock Mercury steelies dressed in a set of '53 Cadillac hubcaps.

Body & Paint
a great roster of talent came together to make Morty's vision a reality, and it all started with sam Rambo removing 3 inches of roof height from the Monterey hardtop. tim goodbar handled the balance of the custom tricks, which include frenched headlights and a hood scoop, shaved door handles and badges, and the removal of the rear backup lights. With all the body mods in order, Jason smith of the Hot Rod garage in sand springs, Oklahoma, laid on the multiple coats of custom-mixed Yellow Pearl on the body, accented by a Pure White (straight, no pearl) top. all the brightwork took a fresh trip through the plate and polish process by Jon Wright at Custom Chrome in grafton, Ohio.

there's no lengthy story on the interior other than Dan Kirkpatrick of Chouteau, Oklahoma, stitching up a period-perfect set of rolls 'n' pleats in a tasteful off-white vinyl. as Morty said, "Just bitchin' stichin' by Dan," and everything else on the inside is the way it left the factory in 1954.