Stalled Project Bargain: 1953 Mercury Hardtop

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“Stalled project bargain week” continues here at Barn Finds. Available for sale in Foristell, Missouri, and listed here on craigslist in St. Louis, is this 1953 Mercury two door hardtop. The seller doesn’t say whether it’s a Custom, or a Monterey, but I’m sure our readers can tell us right away. I was at first reluctant to share this one, because like so many vehicles offered on craigslist, it doesn’t have any good photos. But looking a little harder reveals a great bargain on what will be a nice car.

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This one being already apart, is exactly the way we don’t like to find them. That too may be worth overlooking, because the quality of the work already done appears to be good, and the “before” version of this car might have been fairly nice to start with as well.

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The owner says the frame has been sandblasted and powder coated, and has new brakes and lines, and presumably those parts are already installed. In keeping with current classified advertising industry standards, the description is a lot short on details, but does say the body has nice floors, and that the fenders have been blasted and primed. The quarter panels and body shell appear to have had the same treatment as well, although this is not specifically mentioned.

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There is no drive train, which seems odd for this type of car and one that’s already had so much work completed on it, but a correct original engine and transmission wouldn’t be difficult or expensive to locate, but at least to me, this car calls out for a late-model drive train. I’m thinking all-Ford, probably a 5.0 with an overdrive automatic, for a smooth and reliable fifties cruiser. With air conditioning.

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The later model drive train wouldn’t have to break the bank. A 5.0 Mustang-supplied setup would be great of course, but a decent, low-mileage wrecked Marquis or Crown Victoria could also do the job.

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The seller says plenty of extra parts are included and these must be some of them hidden away in the boxes shown above. He also wants us to know that he wouldn’t be selling the car if he didn’t need the room, but says he will finish it himself if it doesn’t sell. Famous last words, as they say.

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The asking price is $2,800, which I think is a steal for a car that looks as good as this one does, and already has this much work completed on it, but what do you think? In December, Robert wrote up these two 1954 Mercury Sun Valley coupes, with very desirable glass tops. Compare the price tag on those with this one and decide if you can live without the glass roof.

Some may feel the light turquoise color may be a little bit overplayed at this point, but now is the obvious time to change it. The passenger door shown in the photo above may reveal the car’s actual original color, which could be light yellow. But the possibilities with at this stage are practically unlimited. Some of the color choices that occur to me might be endless possible two-tone combinations involving coral, or pink, mint green, black or charcoal, white, and so on. What colors would you choose for this car?

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Comments

  1. DENIS

    I think it would make a fun ride at a decent price…appears to be very solid..great start…

  2. JW

    Not only is his pictures not the best but I’ve seen worse, he needs spell check bad.

  3. bob prince

    I recently built a 1952 Merc. convertible old style cruiser with a 351 Cleveland and a C6 tranny. The car is heavy and needs a high torque motor. Added front discs and a power steering conversion to be able to use the stock steering column. The most difficult part was modifying the oil pan to provide clearance for the stock Merc steering draglink. An after market rack and pinion conversion and steering column might be a better way to go but I wanted it to be an old style rod.

  4. patrol

    As expected gone in 60 seconds !

  5. piper62j

    This is how I acquired my current project.. The previous owner just couldn’t follow thru to the finish.. He had already invested a lot of $$ and the deal was perfect for me..

    I firmly believe we go into this hobby with full intent to end up with a dream come true, but life gets in the way and we give it up.

    This car is well worth finishing…

  6. Jason Houston

    If it were a ’54, I’d be on it like white on rice…

  7. Jesse Staff

    Test comment. Please disregard. Thanks!

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