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Home : Scrapbook : Roamin Angel Corner Index : 1949 Mercury

1949 MercuryA guy loves buying nice things for the woman he loves. When Norm D. bought his ‘49 Merc, he really did plan on giving it to his wife Leslie and told her so. Norm has long been a “car guy” and owned a ‘56 Nomad. Leslie had a special fondness for “fat-fendered” (1941-1948) or “shoebox” (1949-1951) Fords, so when a friend told him of a good one for sale, Norm jumped at it. Well, maybe not a fat-fendered Ford, but a fat-fendered Mercury and that was close enough. It was a totally original and basically rust-free car, even having the flathead V-8 engine. Unfortunately, it had a cracked block and would not run. Still, the friend knew Norm was looking for a car like this and called him. Norm bought it, sight unseen. So Norm st about to fix it up for Leslie. Then began the monetary hemorrhage. Since the engine was not running and the Merc would need more power to go over the Grapevine in SoCal where they lived, Norm dropped in a new 350 CID Chevy with a 700R overdrive auto trans. Obviously, it would need a new rear end to handle the power, so he chose a nine-inch Currie. For handling he changed to a Fatman front end, completely rebuilding the undercarriage and powdercoating the frame at the same timel. He wanted to keep it looking as stock as possible, so he repainted it in the original Alberta Blue, albeit with higher quality paint. He converted the electrics and stock gauges to 12 volt and added power steering and brakes as well as air conditioning. He even found a new, original clock at a swap meet. Unfortunately, the seller knew what it was worth and that Norm wanted it, so more cash went into the “money pit,” as Norm has come to call it. For the upholstery, Norm found some original 1949 interior fabric. Sadly, when it arrived it was rotted. So Norm opted for a leather and fabric interior. When they moved up to NorCal, it sat in storage for three years. During that time, nothing was done except some electrical work by Billy Bob Electric (Roamin Angels Bill Brothen and Bob Duncan) and some body alignment. Then Norm pulled it out of storage and set to work to finish it. Now it is so close to being done that Norm can truly see the light at the end of the tunnel. He took it to a birthday party for Roamin Angel Joe Saso on April 18th and to the Grass Valley Car Show. The only problem is that it has cost so much that Norm feels he must sell it and recoup a little of his investment. Although Leslie has never even driven “her” car, Norm has repossessed it. But for those of you who remember old TV ads, maybe he should just give her Arpège.

Keeping a car looking stock while giving it the dependability, comfort and power of a new car is called making it a “Resto-Rod.” That’s what this Merc is.

1949 Mercury
Norm had custom-embossed valve covers made and painted them and a vintage Cadillac air cleaner painted Alberta Blue. The Chevy engine is painted Ford blue.

Norm’s Merc int.jpg
Leaving the dash stock, Norm added a console to house A/C controls and a modern sound system. He plans to cut and original radio in half to fit int the dash. For looks only, of course.

©2010 Ron Cherry

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