Like most other automobile manufacturers, when Mercury converted from wartime production back to civilian automobiles, they just picked up where they left off in 1942. There was certainly no time for restyling and new tooling. In fact, the only changes made were relatively minor revisions to the grille and parking lamp configuration. Not that it mattered – the demand for new cars far outstripped the industry’s capacity. However, Mercury remained in tenth place in the industry, perhaps because it was equipped with the drivetrain from the less expensive Ford.
Mercury’s first all new design after the Second World War was introduced on April 29, 1948. This car featured only traces of the earlier Mercury styling, as for the first time Mercury did not style their cars to look like upscale Fords. These new cars were sleeker, lower, and shared the basic body shell with Lincoln.
An interesting anecdote is that when designer Bob Gregorie originally did the ’49 Mercury, it was intended as the new Ford. However, when Edsel Ford saw it, he liked it so much that he chose the design as the new Mercury and ordered a new Ford designed. It is also interesting that the Mercury Convertibles were actually built in the Lincoln plant, perhaps accounting for the longstanding opinion that the quality of the convertibles seemed higher than the other body styles.
Like all Ford Motor Company vehicles, the entire Mercury lineup was completely restyled in 1952, making the 1951 models the last Mercury cars to feature the racy streamline styling. Ever since James Dean drove a black 1949 Mercury Coupe in the 1955 film Rebel Without A Cause, the 1949 to 1951 Mercurys have become a favorite among hot rod and custom car builders, making highly original, unmolested examples a very rare commodity.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2010 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona and in June of 2012 at the Dingman Collection, Hampton, New Hampshire.
112 bhp, 255.4 cu. in. Flathead V8, two-barrel Holley carburetor, three-speed manual transmission with overdrive, independent coil spring front with rear leaf spring suspension and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 118"
Source: RM Auctions