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Lot 638
1946 Mercury Station Wagon


Selling on Saturday Evening

From The Tom Sharp Collection

CHASSIS NO: 99A1121109

• Comprehensively and meticulously restored with no expense spared
• Best in Class winner at the prestigious Kirkland Concours d'Elegance
• One of few remaining examples
• A Blue-Chip collector car in immaculate condition

239 cid V-8 engine, 100 HP, three-speed manual transmission with Columbia overdrive, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes, four-wheel leaf spring/shock absorber suspension; wheelbase: 118”

Ford Motor Company was not the first American automaker to offer a station wagon, but once it entered the market, Ford quickly became the nation's acknowledged wagon master. Ford’s wood-bodied wagons were the hands-down favorite, and by 1937, annual sales volume approached 10,000. It was natural, then, that when the upscale Mercury line was introduced for 1939, a Mercury wagon would be on the top of the list.

That all began in 1941, and although the basic wagon bodies were the same, the Mercury used higher grade finishes, color-coordinated top fabric, and all-leather interiors, and of course, it featured the more powerful Mercury engine. Accordingly, it sold at a higher price, $125 above a Super Deluxe Ford. Wood for the station wagons came from Henry Ford's forests in northern Michigan. Initially, it was sent down in rough form, then cut, shaped, and assembled into bodies by the Murray Corporation of America in Detroit, one of Ford's body suppliers. From 1940, however, the Ford operations at Iron Mountain took over all body operations, and the units were shipped complete to Dearborn for installation on chassis.

When automobile production resumed after World War II, virtually all manufacturers brought out slightly updated versions of their 1942 models, and Ford and Mercury were no exception. Mercury adopted a much bolder grille, with eight fine-tooth vertical "combs" flanking a vertical divider, four to a side. The twin-horizontal fender trim of the pre-war cars continued, but the lower of the two strips were now much bolder. The hood ornament, too, was revised, as were the hubcaps. Fords and Mercurys were now mechanically identical, but the makes still differed in wood finish and interiors. The price differential had risen to $200.

This wagon is well-equipped, with the desirable Columbia overdrive, AM radio, and factory heater all in fine working order. The Mercury dashboard is a work of art all by itself, and this one is clean, functional, and highly accurate. New leather upholstery throughout was installed by Paul Reichlin and his team from Mt. Vernon, Washington. Likewise, the body and paintwork were completed by Veley’s Restoration in Boring, Oregon, with final assembly of all the original and NOS parts being handled by our consignor. The results are spectacular, with the fresh black paint highlighting the quality prep work underneath. All of the chrome and trim remain in immaculate condition and let me tell you – there’s a lot of it on this stunning wagon. Your eyes, however, will naturally be drawn to the woodwork, which is finished impeccably and is visually stunning. All the doors fit properly, the joints are tight and clean, and it’s all highlighted by the glossy black paint. The Kline Brothers of Erie, Pennsylvania replaced wood as necessary in 2006, and their craftsmanship is readily evident both inside and out on this impressive wagon.

The years 1946-1948 were the heyday of the Ford Woodie, with more than 50,000 built. The Mercury model, however, today still remains a rarity. Just 2,797 were sold for the 1946 model year, barely a tenth the production of the corresponding Ford model. Outstandingly accurate and beautifully finished, owning this lovely “Woodie” will allow you to enjoy all aspects of the collector car hobby, whether that includes shows, tours, or simply filling up the seats with friends and cruising town. Don’t miss your chance to own one of the best examples of one of the rarest models of the universally admired American “Woodie”.

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