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1951 Mercury Woody Wagon Project


Seeing as its Wagon Wednesday, reader Jim S. thought this 1951 Mercury Woody would make an interesting feature. The seller doesn’t offer much information in their listing here on eBay, but it looks in need of a full restoration. Jim thinks the seller’s asking price seems a bit steep, but you can take a look and decide for yourself.


This wagon is powered by a 255 Flathead V8, which the seller claims is running. This engine was rated at 112 horsepower in 1951, but it didn’t take long for speed shops to release hop-up parts to squeeze out a little more.


While woody wagons look great, they can be extremely expensive and difficult to restore. It appears that much of the wood on this one is solid and just needs to be refinished, but there are a few pieces that need replaced. The asking price seems high considering what the restoration is going to cost. On the other hand, this is one rare wagon which will be worth some serious money.


  1. shawnmcgill

    Seems just a bit pricey to me, too…

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  2. Dolphin Member

    The look of overall weathering tells me that this wagon has sat outside in the sun a lot and will probably need everything if you want it to be right, maybe including replacement of the wood.

    I just noticed….it’s a blue-plate California car (probably explains all that sun-weathering).
    No pics of the interior (probably sun-baked) or underside (may not be a rust bucket), but the price tells me….Move on.

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    • scot

      ~ Bring a Millwright with sewing skills……. and a huge mountain of cash.

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      • kelley

        What the hell is a millwright ?

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      • Scot Carr

        ~ kelley, wiki says;
        . A millwright is a craftsman or tradesman who installs, dismantles, repairs, reassembles, and moves machinery in factories, power plants, and construction sites.

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    • Jim

      I’m the reader who sent this in. It may be a blue-plate Cali car but it’s in Springfield MO which is the area where I live. I can tell you that if it’s been here for very long and sat outside it’s going to r–u–s–t and the wood will r–o–t. This is a high humidity area so I would recommend caution if bidding.

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  3. Andrew S Mace Member

    Yet another reason why e Bay is so fascinating. You’ll see a listing for a $4k “driver” with 24 photos and a link to dozens more on a Photobucket account. Then you’ll see a car like this: $37k and four mediocre photos. eBay ought to have a rule of, say, minimum 2 pictures per $1k asking (or reserve) price.

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  4. DanaPointJohn

    Maybe this is a $80k car when completely rebuilt. If you give this guy anywhere near the $40k he is asking and easily put that much into it…what’s the point?

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    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I’m inclined to agree with you. I’m thinking $50K-$60K to restore it, and that’s on top of the asking price. It would still be a great project because it’s such a great car but if a person wants to restore it and flip it, I’d say that it would be good luck to break even.

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  5. Sunbeamdon

    Come-on guys, nostalgia comes at every price level; having grown-up with a ’49 sedan version of this car, into which my bro and I stuffed a 312cid tri-carbed ’66 Ford t’bird motor, there is a certain charm to this rare one.

    OK – charm doesn’t cost as much as this one!

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    • scot

      ~ 312cid tri-carbed ’66 Ford t’bird motor?? production of Y block ended in ’64.

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      • Steve Davis

        In this country.

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  6. paul

    Granted the car can be a 6 figure deal but to get it to that point could be 60 +, so whats the point. I would say 20 to 25.

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  7. rancho bella

    Demographics are not on the side of woodies. Youngin’s ain’t interested. So like so many cars sitting on the bubble, these are not going to escape the danger zone.

    I like the fact it is a Merc but as other have mentioned………bring a millwright and fat wallet.

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  8. TrickieDickie Member

    Through the years I have helped restore friends woodies of various kinds, even fine Chris Craft Woodie motor boats. They all took a LOT of money and work, and none were as in bad a shape as this Mercury. ALL of this wood would have to be replaced and there are no kits made for this car. Stay away……

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  9. SurferDude
  10. Dave H


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  11. twwokc

    The price is high and I am guessing he’s just fishing a little. This car will hit a nerve with someone with lots of cash. Think it will sell pretty quick.

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  12. sunbeamdon

    Woops – thanks Scot for the jog – age and a politcal campaign got in the way of my memory – I visualized the wreck we pulled the motor from – it was in fact a ’56; I bot the tripower with progessive linkage from Cal-Van in Vancouver, BC, we terrorized Burnaby and the RCMP until our insurance ran out!

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    • scot

      ~ an admirable motor, quite overlooked in some circles.
      you swiped the Y block out of a ’56 Tbird? OMG! well, as long as it was wrecked.

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  13. Sunbeamdon

    Yeah Scot – it was a roll-over, not a good panel left. Fitting it in the Merc was a challenge – tilting the motor to clear the steering box, fabricating dual exhaust system creating clutch system, fabricating a firewall, fabricating a suitable shifter – early version of a spring loaded in-line shifter. And to top it off, I reversed the spindles and chopped two rounds of the front springs – so low it wouldn’t clear a 2X4 laid flat (unsafe at any speed!) I told my twin bro we should go after the ’51 upgrade the mecahicals, interior, clean-up the rust but leave it a sleeper. I can still hear him laughing even tho he’s 150 miles away.

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  14. paul

    So the 56 Pontiac station wagon with the “patina” sold for 4,300 & this one they want 37,000, I’ll take the Pontiac, have just as much fun, hell of a lot easier resto!

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  15. ConswervatiivesDefeated

    OK……..heres from a Woodie guy….

    Demographics aside……….this has early 1970 Cal plates. Its a metal roofed late model…..less desireable than a reall woodie.,,,Mercury notwithstanding……..wood completely shot. Since the roof doesnt need to be there is no wooden roof………Im guessing 10 K for the complete replacement of the wood. I cant remember if these wooden panels on the ’51 are laid over a netal body……I’m almost sure the ’51 Ford Shoebox is.

    Then figure in the body and metal work……….then rebuild the flattie. Out here on the Left Coast this would be a donor body for those of a certain demographic who cant hack the real deal………..and want a Boyd Coddington like modern drivetrian etc

    The owner is delusional

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  16. greg

    I’m the one selling this car. All the comments are very helpful, thank you. If the price is too high then someone can make an offer. Need more pics, just ask and I can e-mail them to you. Need more info just ask. I have seen these cars ( which are not very many) sell completely restored from $100,000 to $150,000. Need a closer look, I can pick anyone up at the airport anytime just ask. I’m easy to deal with just ask. This is just a starting point for advertising this car, after some of your comments I believe I may change my ad when I get a chance, Thank You.

    Like 2
    • DanaPointJohn

      You might consider contacting John Siragusa at Woodies USA for an idea what your car is worth. He is one of the largest sellers of woodies in the country and even without looking at it in-person will have a price range. He is at 949-922-7707 or Good luck!

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      • scot

        ~ great site—!

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    • scot

      ~ always good to hear from the sellers of the Barn Finds, Greg. but i agree with Don, many of the readers (me included, sometimes) are only shaking their cage. either they’re not really interested or unable to buy/afford the found gem, but their opinions are worth something, too. (about what they cost you-lol)

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  17. Sunbeamdon

    Hi Greg:

    As a reader and user of Barn Finds and BAT, I appreciate your comments and points, Many Ebay sellers/advertisers who respond to these Barn Find comments take great umbrage with them. For the most part, I believe the commentators are genuine, al-be-it with an agenda to see a lower price, plus sometimes sellers ar just “fishin”

    Best of luck with the woody (I did resist saying your woody, didn’t I???)

    Like 0
  18. Keith

    Pete, Linc & Julie.. The Mod Squad-mobile

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