EXCLUSIVE: 1949 Mercury Survivor

From Jeff G – I purchased this Mercury a while back from a family that owns several ford dealerships. I have known this family for about 15 years. It had been sitting in their warehouse since 1975! I was told it was a showroom car that they had and that the son (who is now 60) drove it in the late 50s to early 60’s.

This is a hard to find numbers matching flathead V8 car. I had a mechanic change the oil, water pump, thermostat, plugs, wires, points, battery, etc. Also put new carburetor on it and a new factory fuel pump. It’s all original and still has the 6-volt setup.

I bought this one for my wife. She wanted an antique can to drive, but she can’t drive a standard, let alone a three-on-the-tree. I have two other cars I’m working on and don’t have time to start another project. Plus I could use the space in my garage.

The way you see it is the way I received it. There is a mild dent on passenger door, but there aren’t any rust holes. This is the deluxe model and it came with the undercoating. I’m asking what I have in it (purchase price, parts, and labor = $11,000), but I’m open to all REASONABLE offers. I have a clear title in my name.

Thank for listing this with us Jeff! If any of you are interested, please use the form below to contact Jeff directly. If any of you have a survivor like this tucked away in the garage, please consider listing it here on Barn Finds!

Location: Lake Charles, Louisiana

Contact The Seller

Fast Finds


  1. jpvogl

    Cool car! What’s even more impressive is that the son who is now 60 was driving the thing when he was what, 3 or 4? Long-legged little bugger to reach that clutch pedal

    • Steve R

      No kidding. Bad math casts doubt on the story, thus the sellers description of the car is called into question.

      Steve R

    • RoselandPete

      I also did the math and if the son is 60, then he must have been born in 1957. And if he was driving this car from the late 50’s to the early 60’s, let’s say from 1958 to 1963, he started driving this car when he was 1 year old up until 6 years old. Truly a wunderkind. I didn’t get my first tricycle until I was about 4. After this, I take everything else in the description with a grain of salt.

      • .

        He is in his late 60′ s
        I think he just turned 70
        So your math is little bad the ad was suppose to say he is in his late 60’s turning 70

      • JRATT1956

        Even if he is turning 70, that means he was born in 1947, he would be 10 in 57. I doubt he was driving before age 15 in 1962. It is more likely he was driving the car in the late 1960’s early 1970’s. That would match up perfectly with 1975, the year the car was put in storage. My first car, a high school graduation gift, was a 1951 Ford Custom Tudor. V8 flathead with 3 on the tree, great basic transportation. I drove it all over Southern, CA.

  2. 86 Vette Convertible

    Sweet! I like.

  3. J.Raley

    I think ill jus keep riding my 3 wheeler on this one,,,,

    • Kevin


  4. Jay M

    Why would you buy this car just to flip it?
    Why would you buy your wife a car she can’t drive?
    Why would you pay a mechanic to perform routine maintenance?
    Finally, why would you list this “Exclusive”
    Barn Find on Ebay, too?

    • Jesse Staff

      Thanks for catching that Jay. Wish the seller had let us know first though.

    • .

      Bought it for wife cause she wanted it
      Didn’t buy it to flip
      Paid mechanic to do get it running
      And it’s not on eBay anymore and just here
      Any other ?

  5. erikj

    Hey, J.R, Careful with that Big Red. I had a blast with one I got years ago. Fun until I found out the hard way- They roll over easy!!! FYI Still a lot of fun.
    This merc. looks cool, but the dude drove at 3-4 or whatever????????

  6. Todd Zuercher

    So we have 2 cars listed as “exclusives” today on Barn Finds that are listed elsewhere for sale.

    This just sounds like a flipper with poor math skills.

  7. Gear Head Engineer

    Exactly 60,000 miles showing on the odometer?

    – John

    • .

      There is another number behind the needle .
      I would think u would know that ??
      Being that the last number rolls 10 before flipping to the mile number

    • mike d

      was getting ready to call you on that , gearhead, … but then I looked… kindda odd that the owner stopped driving it at EXACTLY 60k.. and when in normal driving it does take a couple of miles for the ” hundreds” to line up

      • .

        Not sure but it’s been parked since 1975
        It’s must be a conspiracy

  8. jcs

    The alignment of the 60,000 on the odometer makes me wonder. Could it be a rollback?

    • jpvogl

      I would tend to think that it’s actually 60K. Most of the time he was probably just driving it back and forth to pre-school, with the occasional trip to the candy store on the weekends.

      • Gary Merly


  9. Rock On

    Maybe cheaper to teach the wife how to drive a three on the tree.

  10. Joeinthousandoaks

    I lost faith when he said he bought a 49 Mercury for his wife. Fat chance. Too many doors anyway for the money.

    • .

      Way to use your heads !!!
      He drove it in the 70’s and he is in his late 60’s . Go back to school
      Rolling back the oddemeter ? Really? (Against the law )
      We buy things for our wives if we have a little money and can afford it , she liked it so she got it. Changed her mind later after trying to drive it .
      ask questions instead of assuming. The list was place by my wife who doesn’t know The whole story.

      It’s a titled Merc , which traceable history.
      Miles are correct and the story .
      It’s not on eBay anymore and it is only here

  11. Jay M

    And here it is again…

    Also, it’s a poor husband that blames his wife.

  12. cyclemikey

    It’s beyond me why anyone would list a car for sale here, and subject himself/herself to accusations of fraud based on the flimsiest of “evidence”. Seizing on somebody’s careless arithmetic or typos in the listing in order to slander them or publicly call them out as a crook is despicable.

    Why not look at the photos provided, and ask reasonable questions? What gives with the need to make every seller out to be dishonest?

    A G. B. Shaw quote comes to mind: ” A cynic is a man who thinks everyone else is as nasty as he is, and hates them for it”

    • BMW4RunninTundra

      Thank you!!! You put my exact thoughts into words!!! Listening to this crew rip apart a fellow Barn Find friend, I would hate hear how they talk about their “real” friends!!!!
      Why can’t you guys look past the mistakes, I’m not perfect but obviously many of you are, and engage in discussion based on the CAR?!? I thought that that is what this site was about – AUTOMOBILES not people bashing!!!
      Put the shoe on the other foot. How would YOU feel to see something you listed and made a mistake or two in the listing, get ripped apart by people you thought were like minded?!?!
      (if I made any grammatical mistakes in my response, please be consistent and rip me apart)
      Extremely disappointed!!!!

      • jpvogl

        Please, no offense intended; I can laugh at my own foibles and absurdities as well as those of others, and really don’t take myself that seriously. Many of us have been the victims of scammers; certainly not accusing you of being one, but sometimes things don’t quite pass the sniff test, and we are called to be accountable to each other. I have a dry sense of humor and would have said the same things to your face. We’ll get to your grammar another time, ok? As I said originally, cool car!

    • RoselandPete

      LOL I don’t know how many old cars GB Shaw has looked at or bought but my guess is not too many. As unbelievable as it might seem, there are some less than scrupulous people out there who sell used cars (and new cars too) and will tell you damn near anything to make a sale. I’ve looked at quite a few old cars over the years and I’ve caught people with “alternative facts” (as lies are now called), less than accurate descriptions, and clever photos to hide the truth. If I come across a seller whose story just doesn’t make sense or I know to be untrue, their credibility with me goes down the tubes but fast. As I told one seller who said I could send him the money and he’d ship the car to Chicago, “I wouldn’t buy a new car without seeing it first much less a 30 year old car.” After I told him that I’d fly out to California to look at the car, his story suddenly changed and the car was no longer “completely original” and in “showroom condition.” Yes, I’m a cynic and damn proud of it especially when it comes to buying old cars.

      • jpvogl

        V well stated, esp the GB Shaw and ‘alternative facts’ remarks! Anyone who has purchased a used car (and I’ve bought a few in 60 years), knows that you have to size up the seller as well as the vehicle. Call it cynicism, call it common sense, but it always pays to do one’s homework. Buyer beware!

  13. mike d

    when I first learned to drive, I learned on a 3 spd on the tree, AND on an automatic ( mostly automatics) I mastered the manual, and, even after I got my license, ( I eventually bought the car I learned on) I had my friend take me on a hilly ride in the village I live near, and had him tell me when to stop, and when to go on a hill , so, I wouldn’t back up traffic on a busy road , with my mistakes . and cyclemikey, if he is lying about his wife not liking the standard shift ( and unable to learn at that) what else is he lying about?

    • .

      It’s my wife cause I by her things she wants , it’s called money
      Just bought here a 55 Cadillac
      Sorry sorry

    • cyclemikey

      Whoa, whoa, whoa, Mike. Where has it been established that he’s “lying” about anything? See, you’re doing it again.

      Let me give you an example. My better half and I have both been driving stick shifts our whole lives. But now that we’re getting older, medical issues have cropped up and we wound up trading off one of the Corvettes for an automatic one instead. (I’m doing OK so far, and I kept my stick shift C5). The C6 we traded off was pristine, low mileage and hardly used. It just suddenly didn’t fill our needs. So does that make me a flipper, or a liar, when I passed it on to the next owner? Or does life just sometimes take unanticipated turns requiring a change of plans?

      And that could very easily be what happened here with this Merc. She tried it, didn’t like it – bingo, change of plans. Don’t be so quick to call someone a liar.

  14. Slick51

    I for one don’t mind the tough questions or scrutiny. Many of us depend on the peanut gallery that have more knowledge to question or scrutinize these cars. It’s the best way to learn about a car that you are interested in, but may not have the wealth of knowledge that others do.

    So if you are going to list here, you better have tough skin, and bring your A game.

  15. Ralph Robichaud

    This is a tough crowd!This vehicle is nearly 70 years old (check the math), looks damn decent, and relatively original… A great lot of these Mercs were converted to lead sleds.. they had to be fabulous cars to begin with, for as many to still be around.
    Side on, I think they look a lot like the “bathtub” Packards..
    Good luck to the seller…the buyer will have high quality old American iron to spruce up in a fine collectible car.
    and , oh fellow “barnfinders” show a little kindness, please.

  16. Jay M

    When a seller makes a conscious decision to include a vehicles history and reason(s) for selling, it is to get top dollar and a quick sale.
    Such comments are subject to verification, just as much as the vehicle.
    Would you buy a 1 of 1, original owner car without documentation? Of course not.
    It’s the sellers choice to offer a history and description, but without proof it’s just a story and open to debate.
    An honest seller will be able to corroborate his claims, and not be offended by scepticism.
    And if you are willing to buy a story along with a car without reasonable proof of claims, then you are probably very familiar with a famous saying by PT Barnum…

  17. Roy

    Nice car, regardless of its history.
    You blokes are familiar with the saying about people living in glass houses, right?
    Not a nice crowd, not a good place to advertise a car.

  18. DrinkinGasoline

    If a tree falls in the forest and nobody was there to hear the noise it made falling, did it make a noise ? Of course it did.
    Sorry that the wife couldn’t make a go of it. My wife can drive a manual but she wouldn’t drive my ’51 four door either. Mine had right front door damage also (i wonder if it was a garage scrape thing back then ?)
    This is a 68 year old vehicle that should be looked over carefully, as with any vehicle, regardless of the mileage. I love this car as a four door. If I were in a better position i would grab this one and invest my time into putting it back together regardless of being upside down in it. I would enjoy both the resto and driving it. Good luck to the seller.

  19. JRATT1956

    This one is just not worth what the guy is asking. A quick search and I found this great looking 49. For $22,500 you get a great car, done. You will have thousands more invested, if you buy this one for $11,000, by the time you get it finished. Who knows you might be able to talk this owner down a few thousand, but even at $22,500, I would be very happy with this one.


  20. Lion

    Wow, that was a lot of reading without much discussion on the car. I would like it better if the seller would tell us where it is located so I would know if it is close enough to go have a look. I think it would make a great garage companion to mine.

  21. joeinthousandoaks

    Yep. too much gossip and not enough car talk. unfortunately , I contributed to some of that earlier on here. I wish the seller well. It is a good car. I have seen them customized and even shortened with 4 doors. There was a Van Halen video in the eighties that featured Michael Anthony’s Merc with 4 doors and no roof. Hopefully the car is worth what the seller has in it. I hate to see anyone lose on a collector car. After all it is the James Dean year and the correct color.

    • RoselandPete

      Nobody likes to come up short on what they put into a car they restored but I think it’s all too common for a restorer to have a hard time recouping his investment. As Jay Leno once said (and I’m paraphrasing here), We put $25k into a car that’s worth only $5k.

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