Presentable Drop Top for $15K: 1948 Mercury Convertible

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Earlier this week word came down that inflation was, once again, rearing its ugly head.  From cars to eggs and everything in between, we are in a pitched battle with rising prices.  However, there is some good news.  The prices of some very desirable classic cars are starting to deflate.  For example, this 1948 Mercury convertible for sale on Facebook Marketplace in Sherman, Connecticut looks to be an incredible example of price deflation.  This pretty yellow Mercury could use a fresh paint job.  However, it is presentable as it sits and, as the seller so eloquently informs us, it “runs, drives, and stops.”  What more could you want for $15,000?  Is this the type of convertible bargain that will make you forget all about the financial trials and tribulations we are suffering from?  Thanks to T.J. for this inflation-busting tip!

In the days of old, a convertible was the prime car to have if you were in the old car hobby.  Prices for convertibles (made by the top ten automobile brands in sales-classics are a whole other ball game) were usually double that of coupe prices, and those were double what you would pay for a comparable four-door sedan.  When you stop to think about it, the whole thing is kind of silly if you want a car to drive.  Almost without exception all of the vehicles from a given brand were built on the same chassis.  Coupes and sedans are also a lot easier to live with.  Restorers with means still wanted convertibles, leaving the scraps to everyone else.

Part of the allure was that convertibles always had production numbers that paled in comparison to most other body styles.  Another factor would be survivability.  Convertibles were fair game for rust, rot, and decay once the canvas top had a few holes in it.  Yet the biggest factor was looks.  Convertibles, especially ones in bright colors, just look sportier and classier than their hard-top brothers and sisters.

Which brings us to this 1948 Mercury convertible.  The seller doesn’t tell us a lot about this car but deserves credit for keeping up the Craigslist seller tradition of being unnecessarily reticent with information.  We are told is that it runs, drives, and stops.  The car has also been converted to 12 volts, and the motorized power top works.  It comes with additional parts such as an original stereo (perhaps they mean radio, as stereo wasn’t around yet) and a replacement windshield.  The car is said in the ad to have a column shift manual transmission.  This kind of states the obvious for an unmolested car of this era.  Few cars in 1948 left the factory without a column shift.  The good news is that it is the most effective anti-theft device in existence today.

Using the pictures as clues yields a few more details.  The interior has been replaced with a cloth and vinyl combination that doesn’t look too old.  Seat belts have also been added along with the hula girl attached to the dash for the appropriate amount of political incorrectness.  If the color charts are any indication, the car left the factory in Maize Yellow.  The color looks very good on this Mercury despite the chips and imperfections that are distracting but not overwhelmingly so.

While it would be nice to hear more about the car from the seller and have a picture of the undercarriage and engine, it has the appearance of a driver-level car that can be enjoyed rather than worried about.  It would be easy to see yourself running errands on a Saturday morning with the top down in such a car.  While it is fun in some ways to perfectly restore a car and trailer it to shows, just driving a car like this for fun when the mood strikes you has an appeal all its own.  That is especially true for a car that you don’t have to keep in your sight constantly.  The fact that the $15,000 asking price is roughly half of what this car would have sold for thirty years ago (and at the value of a dollar 30 years ago) is just icing on the cake.

Do you think this Mercury is a bargain at $15,000?  Would you restore it or drive the wheels off of it?  Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Merc Karate version

    Its not Mistrer Miagi karate kid 47 Ford but verrrry cooool


    Like 0
  2. Louie

    Reminds me of the 47 Ford from the Karate Kid

    Like 8
    • Eric_13cars Eric_13carsMember

      Yes, but also of the Ford version that Phil Silvers drove in “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”…the one that ended up in the creek and I believe that Jonathan Winters tore the door off of.

      If all is as claimed, this would appear to be an awesome deal.

      Like 7
      • Richard

        Yes, yes it was Otto Meyer’s (Phil Silvers’) car!

        Like 1
    • John P Hylant

      Not enough to make that decision. If I hop in and drive with not much work, I’ll even include replacing the top when needed, I keep as is. If the engine requires major work and transmission as well as brakes and electrical then I restore.

      Like 0
    • Smokey Smokerson

      Wax on whacks off Danielson.

      Like 5
    • Phipps

      Was literally about to post that. Sand a floor! haha

      Like 1
  3. james sartor

    Minor nit to pick: Look at original ads and 46 Fords and Mercs have park lights above grill like this one. 47 and 48s were moved lower and changed to round.

    Like 6
    • Rick

      That’s correct.

      Like 1
    • Craig Olson

      The round park lights were used on the 114 model, Canadian built. The US 118 models in ’47 and ’48 used the upper mounted units.
      My ’47 coupe and a friend’s ’48 two door both are upper mounted.

      Like 3
    • Doug

      Ford lights moved but not Mercs

      Like 3
  4. bobhess bobhessMember

    The late ’40s Mercs were a bit gaudy but still one of the best looking cars built in the era. Price not too far off, just needs new paint to hit the road in style.

    Like 10
    • Chinga-Trailer

      This car may be a good example of why one should personally inspect. It’s what the seller doesn’t show in detail that’s important.

      Like 0
    • Patr

      Looking at 10 grand for a new paint job. Not worth it. Not worth to restore either. Would never get your money back. Just drive it the way it is.

      Like 4
  5. Kenneth Carney

    Agreed. Just hope I can get my girls
    (Niece and SIL) on board with the idea. Would have to teach them how
    to shift a 3 on the tree though. That’s
    gonna be a tough act since I’m legally
    blind and can’t drive myself even though I know how everything works.
    And boy, that really bites!

    Like 11
  6. Fred

    I’d drive the wheels off it
    Reminds me of a similar Ford convertible that an old lady customer of my dad’s had in the 70’s. I can still hear Dad say ,oh no, here comes Mrs Gordon, I wonder what’s wrong now?

    Like 6
  7. Russ Ashley

    I think something is wrong here. Even though it’s not perfect $15K is much too cheap for this car. That 12V conversion seems to trigger my memory that this car was advertised a while back for about three times this asking price. If I’m wrong someone will get a bargain, but buyer beware, and don’t send any money without seeing it in person first.

    Like 8
    • al

      if my memory is correct and all the flat head Ford v8 I owned i believe they where all positive ground systems

      Like 3
      • Rick

        Ford went to a negative ground 12 volt system with the 1956 models.

        Like 3
      • Bunky

        Rick- ‘56 was first year of 12v for Ford- but they retained positive ground for ‘56 only. My ‘56 pickup came that way- and still is.

        Like 2
  8. Nevada1/2rack Nevada1/2rackMember

    A reminder as to why everyone thinks the 1959-66 Volvo 544 was designed similar to these-nice lines for the times.

    If this is the real deal it should be gone very soon if not already.

    Like 5

    The whole underneath could be rotted considering where it comes from and wouldn’t be worth doing any work on and driving a rust bucket would bother me even if it looked half way decent.

    Like 3
    • Bob Engdahl

      I was thinking about exact same thing especially being a convertible

      Like 2
  10. Joe Busch

    Drive it

    Like 1
  11. HCMember

    I’d love to have and drive this Mercury. $15k isn’t crazy money, but it’s a shame and questionable why there are no engine pics. Doing a 6V to 12V conversion alters many things, like starter and generator/alternator. And all lighting, including headlamps, turn signals and taillights. Before I’d part with any cash, I would have the car inspected. Especially, the electricals.

    Like 4
    • TIM HAHN

      Actually the electrical rebuild shop I used told me the starter is the same(actually better) than a 12 volt. He said if you wanted me to build a really good 12 volt starter I’d build it like a 6 volt. But yes, everything else is different.

      Like 5
      • HCMember

        Tim Hahn, this Mercury drop top is nice. I have been bring back a 48 Chrysler New Yorker business copue for the last year, and decided to leave it all 6Volt since it was working well. As opposed to the headaches of doing it 12 V conversion. After replacing coil, points and rotor and plugs, she came to life just fine. Oh, and rebuilding carb and fuel pump. You’re asking a fair price for Mercury and sure shell sell quickly.

        Like 2
    • Drew

      Is this car available to look at

      Like 1
  12. HCMember

    Damn, autospell and not being able to edit your comments on this site!. 1948 New Yorker Business Coupe!

    Like 3
    • William Casey

      I am the guy who bought that car. Meet the nicest owner and entire family. Car is better than advertised, came from Texas. Very Happy with the experiance.

      Like 1
  13. Al Dee

    Back then, Mercury went to too-much effort to ugly-up their cars from the same Ford model they started with. Let’s put two strips of chrome on the fenders – that’s twice the chance of it rusting out there, and that front end with its knob-nose hood – only a Ford designer could love. — The front seat of the 40’s cars was about the same width as two bucket seats, which they should have gone with instead, with a ground-breaking console in between, because the steering wheel took up half the width of the front seat, so anyone sitting in the middle would get pummeled with a right elbow whenever the driver made a turn. The back seat was just as small in the cars of the day, so the cars back then were basically a big hulk for carrying it’s over-bulky body a motor/tranny and a week’s worth of groceries in the trunk. IMO – you have to be a super-fan of 40’s cars to even come close to tackling what this Merc probably needs to be useful as a car instead of a driveway trophy to show off how much throw-away cash you have.

    Like 1
  14. JimZMember

    Cool looking ride, but….
    A minimal number of pictures, nothing underneath or under-hood causes me hesitation. Seller also lists condition as “fair” which IMHO translates to “lots of issues, too many to discuss”. I could be totally wrong, but having bought/sold a lot of vehicles in 7 decades, my spidy-sense is tingling!

    Like 3
  15. Lion

    I converted my 1949 Monarch to 12v. Not hard to do except when standing on my head under the dash with legs up over the back of the front seat. Retained 6 volt starter and installed 12 volt fuel pump near gas tank.. It started better, lights were brighter, and all that. But my 1952 Ford pickup remained 6 volt and operated just fine, so anyone want to argue?

    Like 3
    • Bill

      This is a lot better deal than the basket case 69 Camaro that was on here earlier for $15,000.

      Like 0
  16. HCMember

    Lion, I say , if the cars 6Volt system still works, don’t screw around with it. Unless you want to run an AC and stereo system, you don’t need the 12Volt system. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    Like 7
    • Lion

      Your right HC. But before the conversion to 12v, I installed a cassette player under the dash, powered by a 12v in the trunk with speakers on the rear package shelf. Worked like a charm and you could play tunes all day without worrying about draining the battery that started the car.

      Like 2
      • HCMember

        Lion, there is such a snowball effect of everything 6V and positive ground needing to be replaced. Such as distributor, coil, voltage regulator, starter button, wiper motor,alternator/generator and all lighting Some here say they used their 6V starter, maybe that works maybe it doesn’t, for long. After looking at all those modifications, I decided to leave my 48 Chrysler as a 6 Volt system. I’ve got an Icy Breeze for cooling and a portable stereo if I have to have them.

        Like 3
  17. Frank Barrett

    My first car was a black ’46 two-door sedan, bought from a fellow high-schooler. The back seat was HUGE, not that did me much good. The darned distributor was way down front below the water pumps, and I recall (perhaps wrongly) that the engine was a tad larger than that of the period Fords. The bumpers of this ’48 look a bit stouter than the ’46 models. I’ll never forget the sound of that starter motor!

    Like 1
  18. Kenn

    Maybe what’s wrong with this offering are the problems developed when the 6 volt to 12 was performed. I had a 1948 Cadillac with the 6 volt battery in the trunk. After researching the changes need to go to 12 volt, I decided to keep the 6 volt fully charged, engine tuned and drive as-is. Always started with no problems. Wish I still had the car, 4 door sedan notwithstanding!

    Like 0
  19. Tom

    I own a beautiful ’48 Merc tudor coup and would LOVE to add this to my collection! The asking price is well below what I would expect to pay for a convertible. Especially one in this condition AND running to boot! If I had the cash, I’d have it shipped sight unseen to my garage in Washington. Just another case of bad timing.

    Like 0

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