Ford Pickup By Another Name: 1949 Mercury M68

Those fellows from Canada have done it again.  For those of you who are not familiar, there is a seller on eBay that specializes in finding old pickups in Canada, mainly Mercury badged Fords, and offering them to buyers in the United States.  The appeal is that Mercury trucks were only offered in Canada, and they are quite the novelty here.  The latest is this 1949 Mercury M68 pickup being offered for sale on eBay out of their stateside location in Pembina, North Dakota.  While heavily used on the farm, this F-3 equivalent (3/4 ton) Mercury is remarkably free of rust through and is fairly complete.  At a current bid of $1,500, is this the right economical project truck for you?  Thanks go to Ikey H. for the cool find!

To give you a quick rundown on the Mercury truck story, Canadian Mercury and Lincoln dealers were clamoring for the ability to sell trucks at their dealerships.  Ford granted their wish, and gave them the opportunity to sell Mercury badged trucks that were nearly identical to the equivalent Ford truck with a few styling differences.  A lion’s share of these trucks went to work on the farm and lived less than pampered lives.  The interesting part of this story is that most of the trucks the seller has offered to date may have copious amounts of surface rust, the relatively dry climate they come from makes areas where rust has eaten completely through the metal unusual.  These haulers are usually quite solid.

This truck is a good example of that phenomenon.  You can see that this truck was not a pampered garage queen.  There are various dents, dings, and scratches all over its panels.  Where a rear bumper should have been, we see that the lower panel has been bent and battered by hard work and the likely back until you bump habits of hired help.  The bed wood has all but disappeared, and a heavy chain and bent bed runners hint that the truck’s last job involved heavy hauling.  Still, there is nary a spot where rust has eaten through the metal.

With the tailgate up, we can see that the Mercury stamping is intact and that the tailgate is in good condition.  This should enhance the value of the truck considering that some trucks somehow lose their tailgates after retirement.  Tailgates are even turning up as the backs of benches these days.  Combined with the distinctive Mercury only trim pieces that are still present, there is added incentive for someone to restore this truck properly.

Inside, it is a bit of a surprise to find a white interior.  While most of the paint has long since eroded off this hauler, it did look like green was the color it left the factory with.  At any rate, the interior parts and pieces seem all there and in restorable condition.  What is not evident is a heater.  It may just be hiding in the shadows.  Not having a heater, which was an option for many vehicles of this time period, just doesn’t seem right on a Canadian truck.

Under the hood is a venerable Ford Flathead V-8 with a very unique fixture.  Look carefully on the cylinder head and you will see an electrical plug.  Chances are that is for a block heater of some sort.  When was the last time you saw a Flathead with a block heater?  A closer look at the provided pictures makes one think that there was a problem and repairs were started and abandoned.  The cylinder head on the passenger side looks to have been removed at some time.  The only clue is the statement that the truck hasn’t run in many years.  Parts for Flatheads are plentiful, and a never ending stream of used engines are provided by hot rodders performing engine transplants.

Overall, this is a solid truck that will likely sell for a reasonable price.  The seller’s vehicles have been profiled many times on the site, and they have all generated plenty of interest and sold at prices that make you want to start counting your loose change.  With easy shipping, plentiful parts, and a distinctive look, these trucks are a great project for the price.

What are you waiting for?  Are you going to bid on this Mercury?

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Comments

  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    I’ll bet a dollar to a donut this could easily sell in the middle 4 figure level, but it’s a dream any of us with a love or old trucks can dream. Does it need help? Yes, but so do most of US that are anywhere close to the age of this truck…

    Like 2
  2. Jack Hammer

    I don’t know if I can post links, but here goes: https://www.songfacts.com/facts/alan-jackson/mercury-blues

    Have fun.

    Like 1
  3. Jack Hammer

    Actually, this is much better, IMHO.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsTfCITzISM

    Like 1
  4. Joe

    This is a different seller, it is not the usual gentlemen out of Sweet Grass MT that were formally based in Cavalier ND. This is an elderly fella named Lyle that occasionally sells these trucks out of Pembina. He mostly deals in parts.

  5. Bob S

    No matter how it gets restored, I hope it finds a good home. I have owned more Mercury branded trucks in my life than Fords, and still own a 1967 Merc, the last year they were produced.
    That was a fairly common type of block heater for flatheads of the time. I had one on my 1953 Mercury pickup, that I purchased in Saskatchewan. Not only was the climate dry, but they were still not using salt on the roads when I left there in 1970. The joke was, if you got stuck in a rut on the road in the winter, you could end up in another province before you could climb out.
    Good, solid trucks like that were common in the prairies until the farmers started buying larger trucks to haul the grain in the late 60s.
    Bob

    Like 3
    • Guardstang

      I think 1968 was the last year for Mercury pickups, we had a 68 M100 when I was a kid.

      Like 1
      • Bob S

        I knew someone was going to bring that up, but I was busy enough that I didn’t have the time to add the rest of the story.
        The auto pact went into effect in 1967, and even though they changed the design of the grill slightly, they were just selling off old stock.
        Bob

  6. KSwheatfarmer

    I like almost all things Mercury and this would be a perfect fit in our collection,just not enough difference between it and our 50 F-1. Now if time and money were not in short supply I would make a run for this one just for the nostalgia of those Mercury badges.

    Like 2
  7. geomechs geomechs Member

    Back in the day, these were very common in the western prairies. When I was a kid they were almost as numerous as 1/2 tons. On some farms this was the gopher truck as well as the one with the wooden sides to haul grain in. They were used and abused, and yet a lot of them survived. Fully deserving of a complete restoration, this should make an enthusiast very happy. Latch onto it and take care of it; that bright trim on the fenders is hard to come by. I would have to say that this entire truck was white at one time; that’s a color that wasn’t very common out west. I saw blue, black, red, gray, and that ever present green but white wasn’t common at all. I’d be tempted to paint it white but paint the fenders black. Good project…

    Like 3
  8. TimM

    Awesome truck!!! I like the fact it’s a Mercury instead of a Ford makes it seem more rare!!!

  9. canadainmarkseh Member

    To bad someone in Canada didn’t get it. To many of these are going south across the border. Back in high school a friend had a 1/2 ton Merc that was fully restored. Light grey with black fenders coolest truck in the school parking. Nice find.

    Like 2
  10. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Are they all green up there or what ?

    • Bob S

      My Merc is a 67, and it is red, so no, but green was a very common colour.
      Bob

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