BF Exclusive: 1949 Mercury Sport Sedan

I’m pretty sure there isn’t a car nut here that hasn’t seen at least a couple hot rodded 1949 Mercurys. They were so popular in the customization community that even 4 doors were sought after either to customize or strip of parts. Finding an all original and untouched example is quite rare. Reader Kelly H has this ’49 Mercury Eight 4 door parked in their barn and it’s time to make some room, so they have decided to list their all original Merc right here on Barn Finds! They are asking $20k or best offer, so be sure to click here to email them to make an offer!

While this 4 door isn’t nearly as sought after as a coupe or convertible, it’s still quite the cool machine. Under the hood is the Mercury Flathead V8 with 110 horsepower. That might not seem like a lot, but for ’49 that wasn’t too bad. And remember, there is a lot of room for improvement with these bullet proof engines.

One distinct feature that makes the 4 door model stand out from just about everything else built in ’49 are those suicide rear doors. They might not be cool enough to increase values to coupe levels, but they sure make this one sweet sedan.

Since it’s still in the barn, it was hard to get really good photos of the interior, but from what I can see it looks to be in decent shape. It could definitely use a good cleaning, but that’s to be expected of any barn find. Oh and am I the only one that loves the steering wheel spinner?

I’m not sure what all this Mercury is going to need to be a driver again, but I’m going to guess it’s going to need all the usual things. Hopefully after a tuneup, a fuel system flush and some fresh brakes it will be ready to hit the road. So what do you think of Kelly’s Merc? Is this one 4 door that you’d enjoy having?

Special thanks to Kelly for giving us the opportunity to list their Mercury! If you happen to have a barn find that needs a new home, you can find out more about listing your vehicle here.


  1. Howard A Member

    Is that the crackle of a torch firing up? I’d be very surprised if this stays like this. I have seen some lead sleds that are 4 doors, probably because there are no more 2 doors. As far as the “Spinner”, “Brodie”, “Necker”, “Suicide” knob, they are illegal in some states.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Kustom Kemp 4 door sleds of recent usually have the rear door handles shaved or all of them, using stirrups or electric actuators. I personally, like 4 doors and would not cannibalize it by gnawing at it’s sheetmetal.


    Most of those steering wheel suicide knobs had mostly either a picture of a half naked pinup model or a car manufacturer logo in them magnified by the clear plastic, Those 15 inch steering wheels with no power and usually a 1 1/2 turn ration benefitted by those knobs.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      I used the chrome suicide knobs meant for marine use.


    these ford/ mercury flathead engines were very simple to work on. all the engine room back then, and you could practically do many repairs with an adjustable wrench, screwdriver, pliers, points gauge, spark plug gauge , and socket. i still have an old but good swivel head plugmaster rachet. i believe at the time i bought that and a husky brand socket set, ( s a e of course ) with green stamp books from pep boys, lol. the hot set up on these engines was 3 two barrel carbs, fenton headers, and a 3/4 isky raceing cam shaft.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Drop shackles in the rear, trip Stromberg 97’s, Offenhauser heads. Isky cam and Fenton headers piped into Smithy’s mufflers dumping out of 3″ echo cans. On to the exterior…….Fulton sunvisor with dash mount sightglass.
      Twin Baby Lorraine spotlights, skirts, wide whites with flipper wheel covers. Maybe some headlight visors or eyelids, or both.

  4. RicK

    Hard to believe a big bloated blimp-like car like this could be called a “Sport Sedan” especially when powered by a 110 hp flathead. And for the record, flatheads were bulletproof when compared to other engine back in the day, although they did have a weak link in that they were prone to overheating. Anyhow,different times for sure . . .

    • Jim Mc

      “Big, bloated, blimp-like”?!

      Disagree. Curves, my friend.

      She -is- a ‘Sport’ Sedan.

      • DrinkinGasoline

        Beautiful curves.

  5. DrinkinGasoline

    My ’51 “house of doors” was not hard to steer at all as long as proper tire inflation was maintained. When these were new or newish, folks were used to driving vehicles with manual steering and brakes.
    I’d be more concerned with vapor lock in hot weather rather than steering. We used the aluminum foil trick around the fuel line. Keep the sediment bowl clean. Just before i sold it a FoMoCo retiree, i installed a 6v, low PSI fuel pump on the inside of the frame rail.

  6. curt

    Is that a ’51 hood ornament?

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Curt, as an option, it was available 1949 to 1951. Most FLM dealers spec ordered their inventory with them.
      My Father’s 1949 4 door’s window sheet details it.
      I didn’t have a window sheet for my ’51.
      Outside rearview mirrors were dealer option also.

  7. geomechs geomechs Member

    Nope! Too many of them got turned into lead sleds. This one should be for the non-conformist and fixed up original. Maybe tweak the flathead with some finned aluminum heads and three deuces. But hang onto the old parts. As far as lead sleds go, there ARE some nice ones out there. I do have to admit that I like the one driven by the ‘Pharohs’ in American Graffiti.

  8. Bob Hess

    Still one of the best looking cars Ford ever produced. Started to garbage them up after this one. This car was the first new car my dad ever bought. Navy blue with radio and backup light. Used the ’49 instruments in the center panel of my ’32 Ford street rod in high school. Pretty stuff!

  9. Ikey Heyman

    I had one of these in the mid-70’s, one of the best cars I ever owned. I used to have dreams where I still own it (have it stashed in a garage somewhere) or I am driving it down the road. 20K is optimistic for this in its present condition.

  10. Rustytech Member

    It would be a shame if someone cut this up. There aren’t many of these left, and especially this original, they have been used as customized canvas almost since they left the dealership.

  11. angliagt

    My Dad bought a ’49 Mercury 2 door new,
    in dark Blue.One of the cleanest old cars ever.He sold it,
    & bought a ’53 Buick,new,at the factory,in Flint.
    He told me that he sold the Merc when it had
    about 60,000 miles,because he was afraid that it would
    start breaking down.

  12. John Dobson

    Sport coupe, or sport sedan is usually a hardtop; no B pillar between the windows. This example is a run of the mill 4 door sedan

    • Lion

      John, this is a Sport Sedan. Merc had no hardtops until 1952. The one in my garage is a restored 1949 Monarch sport sedan and the only changes I have made are duel exhaust, floor shift, electric fuel pump….just to fill the carb after sitting….and 12 volts. Oh yes, and I finally put radials on it this year. I bought two of them in 1977 and restored the better one and it has been on the road since 1983. I went through 3 1951s in high school (2 mercs and a Monarch) and they were great cars. The only air lock I ever had was driving in a parade on a very hot day. It was the flatheads from the 30s and 40s that suffered that problem. People at the shows I attend love the suicide rear doors. I would post a pic but don’t know how.

  13. Jim Reinhardt

    This brings back a lot of memories my first car was a black 49 Merc 4 door as a senior in H.S. in 1964 learned a lot about mechanics with it i still have a scare on my arm from cutting hole in the floor to install a Sparkomatic floor shift and as one gentleman said i always had problems with vapor lock in summer until i installed an elec.fuel pump ahh the good old days at least you could pile a lot of girls in the back seat lol

  14. Mark S

    Take a look at google images not as many of these are chopped as you would think. A lot of them have just been lowered and custom painted. Chopping a top is not an easy task and to have a custom shop do it for you will cost you a ton of money. After looking at the pic’s on this car I’d say that there is some thing off with that front seat, it doesn’t look original and since when do 49’s have seat belts. Also the colour doesn’t match the door panels. Very cool car though very timeless lines. Every once in a while a car will come along that their styling stands the test of time this is one of those historic styles that will. I’ll bet in time the seller will regret moving this car along.

  15. Gene B

    I see it’s been a while since yall were talking about this car. Hopefully someone from the above conversation can help me out. My father had one, same make and model but in a lot better condition, matter of fact still got factory plastic over a couple door panels. I tried a couple of online web sites to try and sell it, with no luck. Can any of yall point me in the right direction or suggestions on how to sell this car.

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