Albuquerque, New Mexico
"In the fall of 1961, while in the Navy attending school at the Presidio of Monterey, I purchased my cherry red '50 Merc for $375. Already nosed and decked, with two full coils cut from the front springs and 6-inch lowering blocks in the rear, it still had the California rake stance and that cool bounce. The sweet sound came from 36-inch glasspacks. Miles were unknown, and the old Flathead was burning some oil and finally developed a slight rod knock. I bought a '53 Merc Flathead with a mild buildup from a civilian friend and during my two-week spring break in 1962, I used the auto hobby shop at the U.S. Naval Air Facility to change the engine. The old pistons had no ring grooves; they were perfectly smooth! No wonder it was burning oil. While I was at it, I traded a few things, spent a little money, and added a 2-deuce manifold with a pair of 97s, a twin-point distributor, headers (for an even sweeter sound), some used chrome dress-up stuff, and converted to a floor shift-all with a lot of help from the guys who ran the hobby shop. The night before these photos were taken, the Dodge Lancer four-blade spinner hubcaps were stolen, and a buddy lent me the "cone" caps for the pictures (that's me in the white jacket). After graduation, I drove it to my hometown in Michigan. It sat in storage at my folks' until I came back from overseas in 1963. I sold the Merc and bought a Pontiac Super Chief. The Pontiac was a real beauty, but to this day I regret that decision and remember that Merc with the fondest of memories."
1931 Plymouth Coupe
This might be one of the longest project buildups we've ever heard about. David's Plymouth was first started in 1964. Mike McCloud at Hot Heads Hemi Parts contributed the top chop, chassis build, and Funny Car torsion bar frontend. Mike sold the car, unfinished, in 1988. Over the next few years, it received an Olds rearend, lots of sheetmetal work, and some original Halibrand mag wheels (16x11 rears and 15x4 front spindle-mounts) from an A/Gasser, among other things, but remained unfinished. When David bought the coupe in 2005, it was still in pieces and hadn't been on the road. That changed in October 2006. It's now powered by a blown '56 Chrysler 354, backed by a 727 TorqueFlite. This year at the Sacramento Autorama, the finally finished coupe received an award in the Pre-1935 Altered Street Coupe class.
1939 Mercury Sedan
The '39s were first-year Mercs and James reports that, of the 12,000 two-door sedans built that year, very few remain. This specimen was pulled out of a Montana field and hauled to Washington, where James found it buried under boxes in a garage. Now it rolls in style with a shaved and smoothed body rolling on a powdercoated frame. The 4-inch drop axle provides the ready-to-go stance, and PPG Midnight Black provides the attitude. The Hercules wide-white radials are set off by chrome rims and '50 Merc caps with bullets. The four-barrel 350 is detailed in Daytona yellow and chrome with inverted '50 Merc hubcaps as an air cleaner. Ivory and chrome handles, knobs, and gauges complement the ivory tuck 'n' roll leather seats-the steering wheel is a leather-wrapped '37 banjo wheel. The trunk houses a 10-CD disc changer and a Blauplunkt receiver.
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