Rod & Custom Feature Car
Owner contact info: kohansen@sbcglobal.net
Ki Hansen
Hollister, California
1956 Mercury Medalist

Chassis
There's not much to report here, as the chassis and suspension are stock FoMoCo pieces, with the addition of 4-inch lowering blocks at the rear and cut coils bringing the front down to match. Monroe shocks keep unwanted bounce in check. Even the stock drum brakes are present all round.

Drivetrain
When the "billion-mile" original Y-block finally decided to quit, Ki had Aldape's Automotive in Salinas install a 350 Chevy crate motor and TH350 trans. The motor wears rams horn manifolds feeding 18-inch glasspacks, finned valve covers, and an Edelbrock 600-cfm carburetor on a Performer manifold. The air cleaner is an original '57 Cadillac item that was Ki's first attempt at painting metalflake and his second pinstriping job. Even the stock Merc radiator was retained.

Wheels & Tires
Fifteen-inch steels support each corner of the Merc, wrapped in BFGoodrich 6.40/15 rubber with a 3-inch whitewall. Bullet centers were added to the '57 Caddy hubcaps.

Body & Paint
PPG Copper basecoat, sprayed by Spectrum Auto Touch in Castroville, now covers the old sheetmetal, which was nosed, decked, and shaved. The rear bumper was moved closer to the body, the mounting bolts on the bumpers filled, and one-piece taillight lenses from Night Prowlers fitted, but other than that this mild custom wears stock trim and grille. Ki mentioned to us that a roof chop may be next on the agenda.

Interior
Memo's Upholstery in Salinas was responsible for the black carpet and fresh white tuck 'n' roll on the seats and side panels, while the super-long 33-inch shifter arm on the Gennie shifter was fabricated by Jessie Dornan Fabrication, topped with a Von Chase skull knob. Ki scored the '54 Merc wheel for just $15 on eBay, sprayed white to match the timeless interior. The dash was relieved of the radio, clock, ashtray, and all knobs. Open the glovebox and you'll find a modern Pioneer CD player; the speakers are hidden under the package tray.