Bad Decisions: 1939 Mercury Convertible

left front copy

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Where do I begin? This is not a barn find, though many might wish it had been left where ever it came from. What do you get when you cross a 1939 Mercury coupe with a 1990s Chevy Lumina? This is the result. You could call the design “ill-uminating”. The workmanship appears impeccable but not so much the result. The phrase “What was he thinking?” comes to mind. Read on if your eyes and your heart can bear it.

Untitled 6 copy

The interior looks comfortable and vintage 1990s. It reminds me of the rental cars from my days on the road, but this would be much easier to find in a parking lot.

left rear copy

From the rear it looks just like, well, a Chevy Lumina with a Mercury badge. I guess one could call this a modern update of the design. I wouldn’t.

left rear ivory

I much prefer the looks of the original. This one sold for $60k at Scottsdale in 2014, see it here on Barrett-Jackson.

left copy 2

The phrase “smooth flowing lines” comes to mind, but not to describe this. You don’t have to look too hard to dissemble this in your mind, to imagine the original lines hiding under the purple. This is for sale on Hemmings for only $47,999. It is located in Sarnia, Ontario. That’s right across the river from Detroit. Perhaps this was influenced by toxic fumes drifting across the river? For more innovative design ideas, have a look at these. I really look forward to seeing the comments on this beauty!

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  1. Phil

    Ya can’t polish a turd.

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    • Mike

      Phil, You can polish a turd and this is what you will get!!!!!!

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  2. SanityFactor

    That has got to be the most hideous thing ive ever seen….burn it and bury it….

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  3. Dan h

    It’s creative,I’ll give it that. Otherwise, it looks like a capsized boat.

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  4. Chris

    Meh. Looks like a PT Loser.

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  5. Johnr1311

    It’s about $40,000 too high.

    I think it should be called PT Bruiser….the Luminati….or The HHR-Userious……..the No-Cure… I’m done;)

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    • Bobsmyuncle


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  6. Leon

    Could be worse. He could have put faux wood and a conti tire kit and gawdy spoke wheels on it

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    • JohnM

      Shhh! Don’t give them any ideas!

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  7. JACKinNWPA Jack NWPAMember

    I have gathered many photos of similar creations and the folder is titled “Drinkin’ and Weldin” this will be added.

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    • William H

      Jack, you have that batch of photos online anywhere? I would love to look through it. It’s awesome to find cars that have unbelievable craftsmanship only to have the finished product make you go, “Wait, what?!?!”. As someone mentioned, the workmanship on this car is pretty amazing. Usually, when you find a car hodge-podged together like this, it looks like someone used a chainsaw and JB Weld to do the bodywork. This one is actually quite smooth. I’d really like to see the during photos to see what bits he used from each car.

      I have an HHR that I used to drive for work and that is what came to mind when I first saw this car. The HHR is not a bad little car for what it is. It’s a 4-cylinder car that I (6’5″ and 250 pounds) can comfortably drive and has a ton of space to carry equipment. It’s never given me any trouble.

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  8. BradL

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

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  9. steve

    I just thought i got a belly ache when someone put a 88-98 chevy stepside bed on a 67-72 chevy truck! Til i saw this… kill it before it multiplies!

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  10. Charles H.

    PT Bruiser, The PT standing for Portable Toilet, Wow!…..Hideous, Hideous, Hideous!!!!

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  11. Charles H.

    Something else that’s weird, it has a Buick Regal dash, and 3800 V6, which to my knowledge, was not available in the Lumina in those years……and it looks like it would be really difficult to see over that dash!

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  12. Thibeault

    Not really that bad, well done at least.

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  13. redwagon

    geography lesson: sarnia is across the river from port huron. windsor is across the river from detroit.

    points for creativity and technical skill. would love to hear the story behind why?

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    • Bobsmyuncle

      You beat me to the geography!

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  14. Dairymen

    Something about a pig and lipstick…

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    • cyclemikey

      No, we’re dealing here with the other end of the pig………….

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  15. JW

    Creative yes but my kind of car no, that being said whoever built this was using his artistic skills to create what he saw as could be whether cool or not. No different than the telephone booth thingie from the 70’s. Artist create what they see in a vision whether anyone else likes it is not the reasoning for the outcome. Actually I give the builder credit for the workmanship involved in building such a car.

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  16. Dave at OldSchool Restorations

    I guess none of the above commenters were around in the 50’s, when this would have been a crowd-stopping ride at the burger joint.

    Back then, we all went to the junk yards to find panels , trim, and parts to customize our meager stock looking cars…

    Pictured, my ‘fat fender’ 47 Chevy fast back I built in 1956 with a 3/4 race Jimmy, color is ’56 Lincoln Wisteria

    ( there were NO Rat Rods back then, every custom car was clean and neat, and none of us would be seen in a rolling pile of junk )…not saying todays Rat Rods are ‘junk’, just that they would have been in the 50’s and 60’s

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  17. Mike

    All it needs is a set of 20″ with spinners on them and it would be even, well even, look even more stupid!!!!!!

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    • St. Ramone de V8

      Maybe the next owner will “Donk” it.

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  18. Rando

    If you click on the hemmings link, then the Sleeman’s link, you can get this car for 37,900 obo. I would love to see this thing up close to look at how it is put together. If the designer had spent just a little more time working on the design, it might have been a contender…it just doesn’t quite work for most people. Which is the problem when you go to sell.

    Soooo…. just imagine if the builder used their power for good instead of evil?

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  19. Duffy

    You are right Rat Rods are junk. they remind me of someone who has not got the money to finish the vehicle. What’s the reason for a Rat Rod? We did not have them in the 50’s and 60’s. I know, I was there. Every thing we drove back then had to be smooth, slick and shinny. We did not have flat black paint to try and hide every little imperfection. As far as this here 39 Mercury, the workmanship is great. He must have been disillusioned some how, some place. Maybe to much medical marijuana. He absolutely destroyed the vehicle. Why would you take and antique vehicle and make it look like a modern vehicle? Why not just go out and buy the modern vehicle, probably be less money. Nice workmanship, lousy ideas.

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    • Aaron

      In the 50s and 60s, most of the cars that were being customized were only 20 or 30 years old. You’d have to have seriously abused a car to make it ratty in that amount of time. Now when you make a rat rod out of a car from the 30s 40s or 50s, first, you’re picking through what’s left of 70 and 80 year old cars after the nice ones were customized or restored, and second, it’s the “holy crap this thing still runs” aspect, after being drug out of a field where it’s sat since the 60s. There also wasn’t a preservationist idea that there is today. Think about all the wonderful architecture that was bulldozed in the 50s – 70s. Even though most rat rods are also customs, it’s born out of an appreciation for leaving things they way you found them.

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  20. rustylink

    to be fair he started with a worse could he have made it…apparently a lot worse.

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  21. Fred

    Trying to see the artistic value here… to me, it’s not a complete mess…the 3/4 angle from the front has some redeeming value, but I hate the headlights, lack of grill and goofy front bumper. I also hate the dash and rear view. Nothing that 50K couldn’t fix.

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  22. Ty

    I don’t think that the vehicle started as a Lumina. It has a Mercury dash and the doors are certainly not Lumina. I’m confused as I am amazed. Lot of work for something so hideous.

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    • Richard McAllister

      It definitely started out as a Lumina. Basically someone took the center (and hood) of the Mercury and installed it in the middle of a Lumina. There are engine pics that confirm this.

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  23. Richard McAllister

    What really bugs me about this advertisement is that they advertise it as a custom 1939 Mercury convertible. It seems to me it’s more Lumina that Mercury, so it should be a custom Lumina, of course no one would even look at it then.

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  24. erikj

    What a waste of a cool old classic, money,work that appears good. The worst is wasting a good Lumina LOL

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  25. Eric Dashman

    I hope that all of the comments are meant in good humor. Someone put a lot of hard work, and good work, into this. No, the design is not to my taste either, but let’s give this person a break and stop trolling so hard.

    I’d like to be able to do such good technical work myself, even if I would apply it differently.

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  26. Kem Jones

    I still like my stock 39 Merc convertible better ( 94th Mercury off the Canadian line)

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  27. That Guy

    I dislike it much less, knowing that it’s actually a customized Lumina rather than a customized ’39 Mercury. The under-hood and under-body pictures confirm its true origins. It’s still a really weird-looking machine, but apparently a well-built really-weird-looking machine.

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  28. rustylink

    I’m thinking it was the other ungodly portion of this steaming pile is a Mercury Tracer – by taking a Lumina and a Tracer and jamming them together somehow equals a 39′ Merc..

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  29. The Chucker

    Looks like the incestual offspring of a Luimna and SSR.

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  30. Wayne Thomas

    So many wanna-be kit-car/shop build designers have passion but lack an eye for true beauty and proportion. This is a case example.

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  31. Gerald

    It reminds me of a body kit that was available several years ago. It was a ’49 or ’50 Ford style front clip for ’89 to ’97 T-birds.

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    • Keith

      They still make those, along with a kit for a 57 Chevy.

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  32. ebt

    too many non barn finds for me
    kind of hoping the site goes back to its roots

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    • Jesse JesseStaff

      And what roots would those be ebt? We have been featuring the occasional oddball for years.

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      • ebt

        i guess its not the oddballs i like them too its more the amount of non barn finds i love the dust and stories i frequent many sites that sell cars and i like barn finds for the true barn finds sorry too offend

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  33. 57Wayne

    I wonder if the front fenders pointed in the right direction and the axle were moved forward if it could have looked better. To me it looks like the front fenders were reversed to clear the doors and line up with the nose.

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  34. junrai

    I would give him $49.99 just to do it a favor and put it outof its misery in a crusher.
    someone would be doing it a favor by wrecking it or crushing it. its a shame that the oldschool had to be wasted on something like a lumina. might as well have matched it with a chevy celebrity BOTH HORRIBLE CARS

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  35. Spankymcfairlane

    The rules say no profanity, I guess that means even if it’s appropriate. Next to the Hindenburg crashing these are the most horrible pictures I have ever seen. What was this guy thinking. I hope the original Merc was such a basket case that there was just no hope at all for saving it. If this guy butchered a good car to do this he ought to have his tools and drivers license taken away forever, some jail time might be in order too. I will never complain again about a sbc being hidden under the hood of an old Ford. Henry is rolling in his grave as we speak, probably at 39 hundred rpm.

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  36. Tom S.

    I thought this car looked familiar, and then remembered seeing it on The Simpsons.

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  37. ron h

    Guys, at least he is out there doing something. I agree it seems to be more a customized lumina than the other way around. Maybe there wasn’t enough mercury to do anything else. Look at a the skills to build it and quit knocking his effort.

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  38. kenzo

    this car puts the “F” in fugly

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  39. Ralph Terhune

    It’s clumsy looking. Nothing flows. Excellent workmanship, just no eye for design. It’s like…WTF!!!

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  40. Gnrdude

    Ohhh dear GOD All it needs is a SHE-Male Modeling it and the Weirdness would be Complete, Cause if a Tranny ever made a Car this is what you would get cause it’s Got so many Different parts it Don’t know what it is….

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  41. Tom McNally

    Yet another fine example of: “just because you know have the means or skills to do something, does not mean you should do it”

    Yuck x 1000

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  42. Dustin

    It kind of has cool looks.

    Like 0

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