Not So Lost in the ’50s Tonight

Paul and I at the side of the gorgeous ’50 Merc.

Margie and my sister, Becky, in the back seat. They love the car.

This Mercury Custom is one of several my younger brother, Paul, has owned and it’s one of the best. Paul buys and sells collectible cars, some quite valuable, others more aesthetically pleasing than expensive and still others simply head-turning in every respect.

Paul says this car used to be known as “Solid Gold” on the antique car circuit and was well regarded nationally. At this moment it is pretty much pristine but does not sell for as much as some other equivalent collectibles. “At a car show [recently], I got out of the car and talked to people for two hours about it, but nobody wanted to buy. They really seem to love it, but when it comes time to put up money, it’s, “Oh, no!’:

It’s about the details.

The Merc is chopped and channeled, meaning the top has been lowered abut five inches from its original height. I was surprised at how good the views from inside. Margie actually flipped over the car.

It will probably sell for around $30,000 or so I, about a tenth of what the best have sold for. Its original price was about $2,500.

This custom car has automatic transmission (a C4 transmission, and a nine-inch Ford rear end–Paul explains to me, who has no clue what he’s talking about). It would have come equipped with a flathead engine. It has power steering, windows and brakes, air conditioning and electric doors, none of that original. At night, you can turn on the neon lights around the bottom of the frame and “wow all the downtown drug addicts,” says Paul.

Paul giving a seminar on collectibles.

Me, pretending the Merc is mine. (For 35Gs, it could be.)

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