Live Auctions

A Few Custom Touches? 1949 Mercury Coupe

When I first spied this ’49 Mercury, I thought “Oh Boy!” a lead sled and a custom too. But on further review, it appears to be neither, it’s just a ’49 Mercury coupe finished in an eye-catching color. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not worthy of a review, so let’s look this Merc over and see what makes it tick. It’s located in Lutz, Florida and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $6,600 with twenty-six bids tendered so far.

The listing references this Mercury as a Monterey model and that’s not correct, it’s just a Mercury Coupe as the Monterey model was still a few years off. Mis-matched model names sometimes occur due to a website’s picklist options or requirements. Not running since 2014, the seller suggests that the previous owner performed some custom touches such as the grille, wheel covers, fender skirts, and badge/emblem removal but that’s about it – there appear to be no body modifications. That said, it looks like it’s gonna need some modifications soon as the lower body extremities show as having been poorly patched in various different places. As for the paint, this old Merc won’t make it as a thirty-footer – the finish is in bad shape with lots of flaking, cracking, and peeling. It’s tough to be objective about body panel condition when so much is obscured by the challenged paint job and the underlying whatever.

If the engine were the original ’49 flathead, it would be a 110 HP, 255 CI V8 but its provenance is unknown as it is stated to be a newer motor. The seller was able to get it started and adds, “I know it will need at least a accelerated (sic) pump, carb clean or rebuild, and a battery to start back up, but I am sure other things will be needed as well specially (sic) to go down the road, so it will be listed as a non-running project“. The flatty is joined to a three-speed manual gearbox. Here’s a video of this Mercury starting and moving around a bit – it sounds like Christine after she returns from flambeing her punk antagonizers.

Speaking of custom touches, the interior is one gigantic one as it possesses an Anaconda vibe – and that’s all I have to say about that. The dashboard has been finished in a curious hue but the gauges look like newer white-faced Autometer style instruments, and if that’s the case, that is a nice custom touch. Power windows? That too! The seller adds that the horn works but not the lights.

So what does this Merc need post-haste? A blast back to bare metal but then there’s no telling what might surface and that’s the crux of the issue, what’s lurking beneath all of that flaking paint? I wouldn’t be venturesome enough to find out, but how about you?


  1. nlpnt

    I would suggest extensive and skilled use of a towel-wrapped magnet before purchase.

    That vintage reupholstery is one of the best parts of this whole car. Gauges look to be stock, those generic olde-timey replacements would be far inferior to getting original Fomoco working. I’d want to source some green shag carpeting to complete the look inside.

    Like 3
  2. Camaro Joe

    nlpnt, I’d bet that there are parts of this car that a 10 pound magnet won’t stick to. Almost every picture shows paint that likely cracked because what’s under it is either rust or bondo. The bottoms of the doors and the lower fenders behind the front wheels show what appear to be lots of rust. Even the underside of the hood looks bad.

    The car is in the Tampa Bay area, so my guess is it spent its’ life near a lot of salt water air. My advice to any bidder is . . . find out if Dynacorn makes a replacement body for a 49 Merc or run away from it really fast.

    Like 2
  3. bobhess bobhess Member

    It would be nice to know the underside condition of the car but either way this is a double clutching, e-flat beautiful car. In the ’60s I was so enamored with the instrument cluster I put one in my ’32 Ford 5 window.

    Like 3
  4. moosie moosie

    Since it already needs a paint job I’d chop the top a scosch, french the headlights, round the hood & deck lid corners, flame it after a matte black paint job & just enjoy driving it.

    Like 2
  5. Gary

    Great deal if the rust isn’t bad. 4″ chop in front, 6-8″ in the rear, frenched headlights, taillights and rounded good and trunk lid corners.

    Like 1
  6. Dudley Price

    What’s wrong with just sanding and doing a refresh on the bondo job, some flat blue or whatever, then driving it (with new rubber and maybe check the job done on those new brake lines)? That looks better than some I drove 40 years ago and not everyone needs or wants Barrett-Jackson quality. Would be a fun old beast.

    Like 6
  7. Rw

    Flat dark grey,like the Cobra movie car.

  8. Robert White

    Given that it’s all original still I’d be inclined to pass on this buy because it would be a travesty to chop this up given it can still be maintained in this condition indefinately.


    Like 1
  9. Stu

    Great to see a Merc that isn’t chopped.

    Like 2
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      Stu.. Agree completely. The car already looks chopped from the factory. I’ve see these cars with four inch chops and you can barley see outside. By the way, the ’50 Mercs had completely different dashes, taillights, etc.. Do like what I think is a De Soto (sp?) grill.

      Like 1
  10. RKS

    The backlight tells me this is a ’50.

    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      The attached image of the data tag shows this Merc to have a “9CM” designation which means that it’s a ’49.


  11. Joe Machado

    I took a 49 Red Mercury coupe, mild custom to Barrett Jackson to go thru Thursday late afternoon.
    We shall see

  12. JIm

    The rear window is not a 49. 49 had a rear split window. Could be a 50 or a 51.

    Like 1

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