One of 8,341: 1950 Mercury Convertible

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As summer gently wraps its tendrils around us, the desire for a convertible grows stronger in each of us.  While a drop top is impractical for nearly every application, the ability to put the top down and see the world as you motor down the highway is a feeling that is unmitigated fun.  Convertibles are one of the few toys we can buy that will make us feel like a kid again.  However, not all convertibles are equal.  Some are little runabouts while others are the modern-day carriages of the rich and famous.  Somewhere in between lies the classic American convertibles of the fifties.  Cars like this 1950 Mercury convertible take us back to when America was king.

It was also a time when American automakers were putting out their best work.  When you look at a car like this 1950 Mercury, you can’t help but think these were some of the best times for car lovers.  In every showroom, cars were getting lower, wider, and faster.  Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury came out with spectacular new designs in 1949.  For 1950, it was a time to make minor revisions and to start cranking out these classics.  The convertible you see in the ad is one of the 8,341 convertibles Mercury produced in that year.

This Mercury is a unique combination of old and new.  The exterior is finished in a coat of still shiny black paint.  We do not know if it is the original paint or a respray from long ago.  In documenting the car for the ad, the seller has worked hard to take pictures of the imperfections.  There are scratches, cracking, and a minor dent in the passenger side quarter panel.  Some of the trim has pitting, and the chrome is okay.  Would a new paint job and an expensive trip to the chrome shop for the trim make the car much nicer?  Of course.  However, it has a certain charm to it as the car sits.  This is patina done correctly.

The new of this car is in the form of the interior and the convertible top.  The seller tells us that these have been replaced.  While the pictures show a sharp contrast between the new material and the obviously aged dash and door trim, the effect is not as startling as you would expect.  It would probably be nice to ride on and under new material that doesn’t smell and feel like remnants from an Egyptian mummy’s tomb.  Regardless of your feelings on the contrast of the new upholstery, there is a problem with the electrical accessories.  The power top, power seats, and power windows are not currently working.  The fact that all three have quit simultaneously may suggest a simple problem in the wiring from the fuse box forward.  There is also the issue of a crack in the windshield on the passenger side.

As you would expect, this Mercury is powered by a Flathead V-8 with 110 horsepower.  The ad simply states that it “runs and drives.”  We also were unfortunately not provided with pictures of the engine in the ad.  That power is routed through a three-speed manual transmission, but there is no mention in the ad if the car is equipped with overdrive.  The car has recently been the recipient of a new battery, a new set of tires, and a new gas tank with all of the fuel lines being replaced as well.  The engine has been treated to new plugs and points, belts, hoses, and a thermostat.  This Mercury has also received some mechanical attention recently.  The brakes and transmission have been repaired and the radiator has been flushed out.

In all, this car is very impressively original in all of the right places.  It also looks very appealing from a driver’s point of view as far as the interior and top go.  Perhaps if the electrical maladies can be repaired, the new owner might want to drive this stunning Mercury home.  This is the kind of car to have adventures in.  Why not start having them after you write the check?

If you are looking for a drop-top with a vintage look on the outside and a new interior to make the drive pleasurable, then check out this 1950 Mercury convertible for sale on Craigslist in Eagle, Idaho.  This black cruiser is being offered at $40,000.  Thanks go to T.J. for another great find!

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  1. HoA HoAMember

    Hell’s Chariot. While the original, a ’49, was estimated to sell for between $600-$750,000, signed by Olivia herself, went at auction for a paltry $180,000. The convertibles never seemed to have the zing the hardtops had. Kind of tough to chop a ragtop, but in the proper climate, I bet a Merc ragtop was the car to have. Overdrive was very common on a Mercury, as most bought a Mercury to travel. This looks like a “T” handle under the dash typically for OD, and again, do you have any idea how many younger people in warm climates would love to have a car like this, but stick, much less the OD,,, they won’t get it out the driveway. Regardless, I still think for today, there’s plenty of folks willing to shift a car like this, or willing to learn, anyway. This is one car, get it rolling down the PCH, top down in OD, it’s what a Mercury was all about.

    Like 11
    • al

      very true a 3 on the tree nowadays is good protection against thief most can’t drive one also t handle may be hood release and new thermostat should be new thermostats there where 2 each side of Ford flat heads has its own cooling system dual radiator hoses I owned a few of them also they where positive ground had to be carefully jump starting using a GM car but they where great cars and sounds great with dual glasspacks

      Like 3
  2. bobhess bobhessMember

    Nice clean design from any angle. Sure don’t see a lot of these in any form anymore. Mercury kept making good looking and good running cars through ’57 until entering into the massive chrome era.

    Like 3
  3. Harvey HarveyMember

    A real beauty! For $40,000 I would expect the power seat, top and windows to work.

    Like 9
  4. Joe Haska

    I love the car, but I think 40 K is on the high side depending on what you want to do with, a full restoration will be very costly. If you just fix the major issues immediately and then drive it.

    Like 3
  5. Fairhopepete

    Re: ‘50 Mercury
    The first post war Ford products used hydraulics for top and power windows. My fathers Ford Sportsman had them as did my uncle and aunts Lincolns (one a convertible Continental the other a sedan)
    The Ford had constant problems with the windows and/or the top locking up when operated. Recall nothing going wrong with the Lincolns but do recall the faint, sometimes heavy, background aroma of hydraulic fluid when riding with the cars closed up.

    Like 1
    • al

      wow ford sportsman now that was a car a convertible Woody

      Like 0
  6. Mtech

    The 1949 to 51 Mercury’s and Lincoln’s used a hydraulic system to power the power rooftop , power windows, and power seats , most likely the hydraulic system has failed as they were common to have leaks and hoses would rot and bleed out the system and rust out the floors and the bottom of the doors.

    Like 0

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