16-17 August 2013

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Lot 107

1949 Mercury Station Wagon

  • Chassis no. 9CM-140988
  • Body no. 5697

Sold for $96,250

Model 9CM. 110 bhp, 255.4 cu. in. L-head V-8 engine, three-speed manual transmission with overdrive, coil-spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 118 in.

  • Born and raised as a California surfer
  • Recent restoration to show quality
  • Prepared by famed “Wagon Master” Nick Alexander

The 1949 Mercury was originally intended as a Ford. Designed in Ford’s in-house studio by E.T. “Bob” Gregorie, it was to be the entry-level model of a trio, the senior members of which were Mercury and Lincoln. Before plans were finalized, a competing Ford proposal from George Walker was chosen by management, and Gregorie’s Ford was “promoted” to a Mercury. His other two models became Lincoln and Lincoln Cosmopolitan, respectively. A smaller version of the Mercury went into production at Ford France as the Vedette.

Although it is a much larger looking car than the new Ford, the 1949 Mercury actually preserved its former 118-inch wheelbase. A stepped sculpture line ran from the front fenders, across the doors, back along the rear quarter, and dipped down to the bumper. A version of the new Ford station wagon body was married to the Mercury front clip, which required heat bending, not just of the laminated birch or maple trim, but also of the mahogany panels.

As in the past, there was but a single series of Mercurys; thus, the new wagon was simply called the “Mercury Station Wagon.” Although the basic body was identical to the Ford’s, Mercury received several upmarket features, like an all-leather interior (Ford had genuine leather only on the seat cushions), twin taillights, and directional signals. While Mercury shared Ford’s new independent front suspension and open drive line, it departed from the common engine program from 1946–1948 and received a larger 255-cubic inch version of the flathead V-8. The new car, introduced in April 1948, was well received. Model year sales expanded six-fold from 1948, aided in part by a longer model year. In all, more than 300,000 were sold, with just over 8,000 of them being station wagons.

A surfer all its life, this 1949 Mercury woodie was built in Los Angeles and was found in Huntington Beach, California. It has recently been restored and is painted in its original Bermuda Cream. Equipped with the desirable overdrive transmission, it has a period sun visor, wheel trim rings, spotlight, radio, and fresh-air heater.

The restoration was completed to show standards. The seats and headliner, in red, were done in the shops of “Wagon Master” Nick Alexander. Mechanical and engine work was also performed there. The paint is very good, with no chips, scratches, or orange peel. The brightwork is also very good, except for some pits on the visor brackets. The interior is all in good order, with a few nice touches, like the original oil and tire pressure sticker in the glove box.

The alignment of the doors is not perfect, nor is the fit of the wood at the left rear, but the entire effect is nice. The engine bay appears as new, and when driven by an RM specialist, the car started with ease and drove smoothly. The steering is easy and smooth, the brakes are strong, and the acceleration is flawless. A great car for concours or touring, it will transport eight adults without strain and in comfort. Try and find a car that will do that today.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more