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Lot 151

1948 Mercury Station Wagon

  • Chassis no. 899A2147090

Sold for $143,000

Model 89M. 100 bhp, 239.4 cu. in. Flathead V8 engine, three-speed manual transmission with Columbia rear end, solid front axle and live rear axle with transverse semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 118"

Some of the most sought-after Ford station wagons are those with bodies framed from birdseye maple. Particularly prized for fine furniture and wooden accessories, birdseye maple has a fine swirling grain that resembles the eye of a bird, hence the name. It was prevalent in Ford’s Iron Mountain forests, which had the fortunate climatic conditions for the growing of “birdseye trees,” the biological process of which is not completely understood. Occasionally, it is said, Henry Ford would order a body framed entirely in birdseye, for a friend or special customer. More often, the beautiful components were simply incorporated randomly into bodies as they were built.

One of the highly desirable “random birdseye” station wagons, this 1948 Mercury is a nicely freshened original car. It has been repainted in the original Tucson Tan color, and displays a nice, deep shine. The body contours are excellent, and the wood is totally original – Henry’s finest maple. All doors shut well, and door gaps are good. There are several pieces of the coveted birdseye maple in the body, particularly on the tailgate. All of the wood is highly varnished, and a delight to the eye. The top is newly covered in brown artificial leather.

The glass is mostly original Ford script panes, and shows only minimal separation on the vent windows and sliding rear quarter glass. Most of the brightwork is excellent, although the detail on the grille is a bit worn. The original rubber running boards and gravel shields are all in good condition.

The seats all retain their original red leather and show some wear, as one would expect of 61 year-old leather, but remain entirely serviceable. Black rubber floor mats, front and rear, are new. The dashboard has very nice original mahogany woodgrain, with only a few scratches, and the instruments and dashboard plastic are excellent, as is the original steering wheel and horn ring. Features include a radio, electric clock and fresh-air heater a new accessory that ducted outside air from behind the grille though a heater core located on the engine side of the firewall.

The 59AB engine is painted correct blue, but shows some use with minor surface rust on the fasteners. The chassis and underbody are painted black and the tires are Firestone 7.10-15 blackwalls, new in 1998. The spare is mounted on the tailgate under a body color metal cover. Finally, the car has a custom dual exhaust system that sings with marvelous lyric baritone notes.

Acquired by Nick Alexander in May 1996, this Mercury received a Rouge Award for its beautiful original interior from the Early Ford V8 Club at Temecula, California, in 2006. Registered with California year-of-manufacture plates 6M6304, it was built in November of 1947. Like all cars in the collection, it runs and drives well. With just over 70,000 miles showing, it is ready to go anywhere, its Columbia rear axle making easy work of any highway.


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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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