Classic Car Auction of Toronto - Spring

Lot : SP99
1953 Mercury Monterey Custom "Phantom of the Opera"

Auctioned on Saturday, April 4, 2009

Not Sold at a High Bid of $40,000

    Little did Ford Motor Company product planners realize that their 1949-1953 Mercury models would, seemingly overnight, become an all-time favorite of customizers. California’s Sam Barris was one of the first, when he took a nearly new ’49 Mercury and transformed it into a legend. In 1955’s Rebel Without a Cause, James Dean drove into history in a nosed, decked, and lowered 1949 Mercury, and ever since, generations of enthusiasts have recognized the Mercury models of the era as a bold symbol of the 1950s.

    This outstanding example displays a “Phantom of the Opera” motif, and features a smooth black finish that highlights flawless bodywork, complemented by a custom convertible top with blind rear quarters, reminiscent of Ford’s formal Victoria models of the 1930s. Other touches include excellent brightwork, tasteful pin stripe accents, “tri-bar” headlamps, a de-chromed and louvered hood, late-model Lincoln wire wheel covers, chrome lakes pipes, a “Continental” spare tire kit, and chromed dual exhaust outlets. Of course, the Mercury also features shaved door handles, and a “cowboy rake”, accenting its clean and distinctive bodylines. The interior is trimmed in red upholstery and carpeting, and equipped with a GM tilt steering column, a late-model Camaro steering wheel, and aftermarket air conditioning. Mechanically, a small-block Chevrolet V8 engine provides the power, mated to a GM Turbo Hydra-Matic automatic transmission. This 1953 Mercury Monterey Custom convertible is the epitome of a custom 1950s car, with subtle modern upgrades. Superb for show or go, it will be a great addition to any enthusiast’s garage.