Rock Solid: 1950 Mercury Eight Coupe

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For the person who is looking for a solid restoration project, or who is looking for a car that they could return to the road with the minimum of effort, then this 1950 Mercury Eight Coupe might be just the car. Rust appears to be minimal, and the car runs and drives. It will need a few items addressed before it returns to the road on a regular basis, but the photos paint a fairly positive picture. The Mercury is located in Santa Rosa, California, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $1,075 at the time of writing, and while the reserve hasn’t been met, the owner says that the reserve is fair.

These old post-war models have some of the nicest styling in automotive history, and the Mercury is no exception. The exterior of the car looks like it is complete, with all of the chrome and trim in quite nice condition. We do get a look at the floors, and the photos of them back the owners claim about how solid they are. There is some rust present in the bottom of the spare wheel well, but a replacement is included in the sale. The paint is pretty tired, and some of the photos cause some confusion. It is hard to tell whether there is some rust appearing in the bottom of the passenger side fender, or whether some of the defects are illusions caused by the crusty old paint. I’ve tried magnifying the photos to get a better look, but this just makes it worse. Still, a personal inspection will certainly reveal the truth.

The interior of the Mercury has been largely stripped out, and of all the missing items, the only items that will come with the car are the seat frames with no upholstery. This is one of the areas that I was talking about addressing before the car can hit the road. This shot does reveal how solid the floors are, and you can also see that the dash is complete and unmodified. One of the few options available on the Mercury Eight at this point was an 8-valve radio, and this car has one of these fitted to the dash, which is a bit of a bonus.

The news under the hood is pretty good, with the 255ci flathead V8 running, and the car is a driver. The owner says that everything works as it should, although the shifter is a little bit stiff. Speaking of transmission related matters, the car is fitted with a manual transmission. I’ve had a careful look at the interior shots, and while the owner doesn’t mention it, I think that I can see the activating handle for the optional overdrive under the dash. If it is fitted with the factory overdrive, then this is a real bonus. The owner has completed a fair amount of work to get this old girl up and running but suggests that there are few tasks that should be tackled before the car can be considered to be a daily driver. The wiring harness should be replaced, and the suspension and steering box could use some attention or a rebuild. Once again, these aren’t major jobs, which is pretty good.

I’m in two minds with the Mercury. Part of me would love to see it restored to its former glory because it must have been a wonderful car when it was new. Part of me wants to get it reliable mechanically, fix the interior, and drive it as it stands. That sounds quite tempting. Which way would you go?

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  1. kevin carter

    I’d fix and drive as is

    Like 4
    • Chris

      Damn right!!! She’s ready to roll with little effort.

      Like 2
  2. IkeyHeyman

    Get it running reliably and drive as is….and don’t forget to roll up a pack of cigarettes in your shirt sleeve.

    Like 5
  3. Devin

    Love that patina!

    Like 0
  4. Fred W

    Patina looks pretty good on a lot of trucks and a few cars. This is one of them!

    Like 3
  5. Don Page

    That has to be one of the few that haven’t been customized.

    Like 3
    • glen

      These things look like they already are customized, no need to modify!

      Like 5
  6. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Patina is one thing, a 50 Merc 2 door is another. I’d rather see it all cleaned up and redone in black. Add some fender skirts to it, a nice interior and you have a cruiser to be admired. I would not lower it or alter the top, just make it look and drive pretty.

    Like 12
  7. Bill Mickere

    Who wouldn’t want this just the way it is, parked in their front yard for all the world to admire.

    Like 0
  8. IkeyHeyman

    Don’t chop it, keep the flattie and drive as is with a pack of cigarettes rolled up in your shirtsleeve.

    Like 8
  9. AZD

    Wow, super cool! This is why I love California. Cars like this are still hiding out.

    While black is my favorite color for these, this has got to be a close second. I really would just clean it up and drive the wheels off. I know the p-word is controversial, but dang this one nails that look. A light scotch brite and oil would make it glow. Hardest part would be finding fender skirts to match. Better call up your favorite faux-patina artist.

    I guarantee that if you rolled into a show with this car, the flatty rumbling through dual glasspacks, there’s not a shiny billet cruiser within a mile that would get any attention.

    Like 5
  10. bobhess bobhessMember

    49s and 50s as good looking as it gets. Never did understand the reason for the big parking light bezel for the small light. Put the ’49 parking lights on, good coat of paint, nice interior, and like the man said… take it to some shows. Also, never understood why you’d chop the lowest top on the market except for the Hudsons of the era.

    Like 0
  11. JP

    Restore this Merc,put skirts on it & paint it black.Then you will have a great looking car like James Dean had in Rebel Without A Cause!

    Like 1
  12. Peter Atherton

    No Overdrive;that’s the parking brake handle(see the detents)

    Like 0
    • JimmyinTEXAS

      And the small handle to the left of the parking brake is the hood release. I didn’t find the overdrive either.

      Like 0
  13. KurtMember

    I might lower it a little, and drive it up and down the road.

    Like 2
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      You’ve been listening to Alan Jackson again, haven’t you? ;-)

      Like 0
  14. TortMember

    Paint it black, add some speed goodies to the flathead, redo the seats , no buckets, personally I would remove the visor which I know many like, steel wheels with small hubcaps, no spinners or side pipes. Leave it simple and classy!

    Like 1
    • Bing

      If I had money, tell you what I’d do.
      Buy a mercury or two and drive it up and down the road.

      Very, very cool car.

      Like 1
      • KurtMember

        Glad somebody remembered the song!

        Like 1
  15. Jerry D Williams

    Leave her as she stands, put some seats in her , make her very safe to drive, I agree on the glasspacks, then she would be a very mild “Rattie”! Drive her like that for a while and you can always take her back to her early glorious styling!
    All it takes is time and money.

    Like 0
  16. Bill Hall

    My dad bought a 49 Merc new and was a POS. It sounds like he went to the dealer to tell what junk it was and came home with a new 50 which we kept until the early 60s when it went out back of my Dad’s service station and as a little kid I helped cut it up. These were sedans.

    Like 0
    • 427Turbojet 427TurbojetMember

      In about 1962, my brother bought an uncle’s 49 Mercury 4 door. I, as a 6 year old, rode the 20 miles home with him drinking in the somewhat musty slightly oil/gas smells. After a couple of days of just “bombing” around, he drove it out to the local dump, pulled the 15″ wheels/tires and the steering wheel to put on his 40 Ford standard 2 door sedan hot rod. We just left it out in the dump along with another half dozen thrown away cars. If you could only turn back time!

      Like 4
      • Wrh

        I recall a couple of cars that got cut up that really shouldn’t one was a 52 Lincoln with Motor Issues that should and could have been fixed. Another was a 52 Merc that was cut up my Dad bought for a parts car for one of his other old Mercs. This was a half decent coupe that would be worth a fortune now.

        Like 1
  17. PatrickM

    Here is a car icon not to be beaten! restore as stock as possible, make good safety upgrades (no more than necessary) black paint, clean engine, good interior. Hide a new sound system behind existing radio…not to expensive. I would like to have three of these: one to clean up and drive as is, second, restore to original glory and third to customize. Take all three to shows and park them side-by-side. Sit back and watch the crowd drool.

    Like 2
  18. Joe Haska

    Bid near 5K and reserve not met, suspect it could easily double. This Merc is to customizer’s what a 32 Ford is to Hot Rodders. If’s conditionis close to what the seller says,someone is going to get a very nice project.

    Like 1
  19. Hector

    Leave as is , just do the upkeep and getting Rolling. ♤

    Like 1
  20. Robert Espinosa

    Is this car still for sale?

    Like 0
    • JimmyinTEXAS

      Click the “here on eBay” link at the top of the article. It has only been a year, so…

      Like 0

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