Classic Auto Mall
6180 Morgantown Road
1951 Mercury Eight Sedan
Mighty Beautiful, a perfect tagline for this car. Fresh from storage and into our hallowed halls here at the Classic Auto Mall we are proud to offer on consignment this 1951 Mercury Eight Sedan. The slab-sided era envelope styling is upon us with no protruding fenders or running boards. A cruiser in need of some TLC and restoration, its assets include a fine running engine, recovered front seat, and a body style that just begs for customization.
An amateur respray in a Metallic Maroon covers the all steel body of this beautiful suicide doored sedan. While the shine is there, some chipping has occurred on the driver's side rocker panel. An imposing chrome front bumper is slung low on the body and has a large and in charge optional bumperette that protects the toothy grille. On to that grille, a big toothy smile that wraps down to meet the bumper and up fading into the opening under the hood. Twin marker lights in their respective chrome trim housing flank the grille and present with pitting and fading. Down the side runs a single stainless trim spear, of which the front fender section is missing on both sides and giving a nice break up to the sea of maroon. A split windshield gives the driver ample viewing along with an almost greenhouse like amount of glass to check for obstacles on the sides and rear. The rear quarter panel lines cascade downward and end with tombstone shaped bezels and taillights. Fender skirts cover half of the rear wheels and start to give a bit of the Kustom look. A rear bumper, complete with the optional rear bumperette hangs beneath the cavernous trunk. Said bumper, while complete, has crazing, delamination, pitting, and tarnish but still remains presentable. The advertisement was correct, Mighty Beautiful Indeed!
Swinging open the suicide style doors we are greeting with well-worn door panels that are merely the shells of their former selves. Upholstery is gone but window cranks, door handles and arm rests that have lost their padding are present. A sprawling front bench seat recovered in a marbled brown vinyl seating surface with eggshell sides and backing stretches door to door. The rear bench has lost its upper broadcloth and padding, showing its inner skeleton of springs and framing. The lower rear bench, while having its upholstery, is stained and torn. This rear seating area begs for a redux in a matching pattern of the front. The original black steering wheel with minor cracking still holds its original chromed horn button and is attached to a fixed column that has the shifter arm growing from it. All of this is fronted by a black steel dashboard with a 2/3 inlay of instruments to monitor engine vitals, speed, a clock, and an optional AM radio. A waterfall of chrome flows down the dash and encompasses the heater controls, lights, ignition and cigar lighter. Peering skyward we see surface rusted steel where the headliner used to reside. Down below a black vinyl mat covers the floors and is presenting with dirt and tears.
A pull of the interior release and doing our best olympic weightlifter impression we open the massive steel hood and feast our eyes upon a green painted engine of the 255ci flathead V8 variety. Producing 112 horsepower and topped with a 2-barrel carburetor all is well here. Backed by a 3-speed manual transmission and putting power to the ground via a 3.91 geared rear axle this lead sled should be able to move nicely. We note that the electrical system has been converted to the modern 12-volt system for easier starting.
A sturdy and strong frame greeted us when this car was hoisted in the air showing merely surface corrosion. The floor pans are solid with the exception of the area in front of the rear axle where invasive rust has formed and has allowed the interior materials to show thru. Body hangers and supports are unremarkable with only surface rust. The one area of concern are the inner rockers, which are showing invasive corrosion and should be repaired. Independent coil spring suspension is up front and leaf springs are in the rear. Drum brakes all around bring the 3700lbs of steel to a stop. A new muffler and tail pipe have been installed to keep the spent gasses flowing out the back of the car.
Vital fluids were checked and all within spec, our test battery was installed, and a coin was tossed between myself and my cohort to see who would be the one to see if life could be breathed back into the old flathead. My cohort won, (I'm starting to think his coin is the same on both sides), and with a turn of the key and a push of the starter button the old Mercury started turning over. A few solid seconds of cranking, a shot of starting fluid and the Merc roared to life. After a brief bit the engine settled into a nice smooth idle. Further driving was prohibited due to a
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