Last updated on November 16, 2023
Today’s car is a 1951 Mercury 2 door Sport Coupe owned by Fred and Jocelyn Mather. I photographed this car at the Caffeine Cruisers get together located in Torrance, CA. It is finished in Black Cherry that has been tweaked a little with a maroon and black inlayed leather interior. It is powered by a 230 hp, 5.o liter, Small Block Chevy (SBC) V8, with a FiTech Go Street EFI. Mated to a GM 200R4 4-speed automatic overdrive transmission with a Ford 9″rear end with 3.73:1 gear ratio. Slowing this beauty down is a power assisted with a dual master cylinder setup with Ford disc brakes all around. The suspension has upgraded with an air ride suspension.
Fred bought the car on eBay in 2019 and got exactly what he was looking for, a clean car that he could transform into a mild custom with just a bit of originality peeking through. Fred and Jack Fields of Kraftsman Auto Works, in Torrance, CA, collaborated on Fred’s vision. They nailed it. An example of retaining some of the originality is with the top being chopped 4 inches while allowing front vent windows and the rear windows open as the originals. Another is that they used the original grille with the directional lights and bumper guards extensions removed with the help of pieces from a third grille to fill-in the missing gaps. The original side trim and bumpers are used with subtle modifications. I like the look of the 1959 Corvette taillights and what would a lead sled look like without Frenched headlights. Check out the very subtle touch of how they modified the 1957 Cadillac Eldorado hubcaps and the steering wheel center using the custom molded vintage head of the Roman God Mercury. The pair of original Appleton spotlights or simply Appletons are a great find.
The total 0f 1951 Mercury’s produced were 310,387 units with 142,168 of them being 2 door Sport Coupes and Monterey Coupes. The MSRP for a Sport Coupe was $1,947.00. The theoretical top speed of 83 mph with a 0-60 mph time of 16.7 seconds.
To add just a little frosting on the cake! On the car’s first outing it came in with a 2nd place trophy. in the category of Radical Early Custom 1949 -1954, at the 2023 Grand National Roadster Show. Those of you who know this show know it is a very tough show to get an award especially when competing against 500 other amazing cars. This is a Beautiful Lead Sled. Great car for Custom Car Shows and a favorite at Cars and Coffee events. Fred and Jocelyn love talking about and cruising in their car, so do not be surprised to see them on your travels in Southern California. Thanks for traveling along. Franks