Bob Hope Special: 1948 Mercury Custom

Bob Hope Special 1948 Mercury

It’s not a barn find, but we had to feature this car because it is so unique. This custom creation was built by Lloyd Templeton back in the 50s. It won many awards in it’s day and Bob Hope even liked it so much that he asked for permission to use it while in California. Lloyd eventually donated it his church after which it passed through a few hands, got restored, and is now available here on eBay. Bidding is at $10k with an incredible buy it now price of $225k!

Bob Hope Special 1948 Mercury Interior

Lloyd nicknamed this car the “Templeton Saturn” because he thought it could run circles around the competition. The car did win many awards including “Best all Around” at the 1951 and 1952 Minneapolis Motorama. It was also featured in a few TV shows and has been used by many companies, politicians, and celebrities for promotional purposes.

Bob Hope Special 1948 Mercury Profile

This beauty is a conglomeration of many different cars. It started life as a 1948 Mercury sedan, but then Lloyd built a custom body using body panels from many different cars. The fenders are from a 1949 Chevy. A hood from a 1936 Ford was used to create the boat tail rear and the seven foot long hood was from a 1936 Chrysler.

Bob Hope Special 1948 Mercury Engine

Power came from a flathead V8 which was modified to create 200 horsepower. The engine features dual Strombergs, aluminum heads, and a three speed manual gearbox with an additional two speeds in the rear end. The seller claims that this car could reach speeds of 105mph! This is an amazing part of hotrod history which deserves to be preserved. The asking price makes us a little queasy, especially considering that the last time it changed hands in 2009 it sold for $148,500. Thats a nice little return on investment!


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  1. Charles Hixon

    lol Bob Hope was such a tightwad he was always asking to borrow anything you had.

  2. fw hunt


  3. erik hawkins

    Love the reading the barn finds! I have a 1976 pontiac grand prix, all original but the tires [2nd set of tires on the car and the ac comp.has been replaced] the car has 77000 miles on it a few dings but all original, my grandpa gave it to me 8 yrs ago. Not for sale but will put some pics of her soon, she is a true surviver. She came from south bend indiana but never saw snow let alone rain. The color is called big four blue, awesome color with hand painted gold pinstriping. It was a demo car. It has a 350 but it is a pontiac 350

  4. fw hunt

    Put it in Leno’s site erik

  5. Ron

    Maybe if they had spent a quarter million on design classes, it wouldn’t be so stomach turning ugly.

  6. Richard Cosse'

    Beautiful color but it looks like a car-toon.

  7. Gary C

    I can see its worth as a historical piece, but it is a study in awkward styling. I actually would be embarrassed to be seen in this. (But not as much as I would be in an Aztec)

  8. Jose

    Loved the car. What was the final price? Where did the car go? Would love to see up close and personal.

  9. George

    I love it.

  10. Dustin

    This is so cool and the color compliments it perfectly!

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