Bill’s “OG” thinking was also carried on through into the interior. Ruling out over a traditional pearl white or even black and white, he chose to go a classier route by having Dan Miller (Westlake Village, California) do the upholstery in oxblood and cream—with a few unique touches, I might add. If you’ll notice, the door panels have literally been sculpted to achieve the look Bill was after. From paper sketch to computer rendering, full-scale blueprints were used for Townsend to fabricate the intricate paneling trim, while Miller carved the shapely armrests from foam. And speaking of foam, Miller also worked with surfboard material to create the headliner filler panels above the door and quarter-window moldings. The gauges in the stock dash are from Red Line, steering wheel is restored stock, and the stock-looking bench seat is actually out of a ’60 Cadillac.
Beneath Bill’s Merc is a mildly modified chassis (Fatman Fabrications spindle/disc brake conversion, four-linked 9-inch rearend, Firestone airbag system) with a small-block Chevy 350/Turbo 350 automatic. Nothing fancy—aside from the detailing, that is—but everything does just what it’s intended to do … regularly and reliably.
Maybe one day, when Merriam-Webster finally decides to really update its dictionary, they’ll consider Bill Springer’s ’49 Merc as its basis for our definition of “custom”?!