A chopped ’50 Merc is the iconic American Custom. These cars were the blank slate used by a number of big-name customizers like Barris, Ayala, and Winfield in the 1950s and 1960s. Although they weren’t the first customs built, they were undoubtedly some of the most attractive, and their appearance in movies like “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Running Wild” helped spawn a huge custom movement that we still see at car shows and cruise-ins today.
This Merc doesn’t have the pedigree of a Barris car, but it does have the right look, with an older professional chop job dropping the roof several inches. Other custom touches include 132 louvers cut into the hood, a 5-inch shortened steering column (to make driving more comfortable under that chopped top), and one-piece door glass replacing the original wing windows. The paint shows a lot of patina, but it looks great, especially with yellow pinstriping set off by powdercoated yellow rims.
The seller says the car came out of Iowa and had only minimal rust, which was fixed with new metal and no Bondo. It features its original Flathead V8 with NOS Fenton cast iron headers and a new exhaust system. The tires are new Coker Classic wide whites, and a new battery was recently fitted as well. Inside, the front seat, rear seats, and sun visors were recovered, but the rest of the interior is bare and ready for your own custom work.
A total of 521 1949-1951 Mercurys have sold on eBay Motors over the past few years, with prices ranging from $15k to nearly $40k depending on condition and history. Obviously, a car built in period by one of the big-name customizers will bring much more – sometimes six-digit prices - but even though this wasn’t one of them, it still has a pretty high cool factor. See the listing here.