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Lot 52
1939 Mercury Sport Convertible


Selling on Wednesday

From the Ron Thorne Collection

CHASSIS NO: 99A766198

• First year of Mercury production
• Professional body-off restoration
• Nicely optioned with heater, radio, clock, and defroster
• 1 of 7,818 built worldwide

239 cid V-8 engine, 95 HP, three-speed manual transmission, live axle suspension with front and rear transverse leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 116”

Looking to bridge the gap between the Deluxe Ford V-8s and Lincoln-Zephyr models of the day, Ford introduced the Mercury brand to the world in 1939. Marketed as a free-standing make, rather than a “high-level” Ford, the Mercury brand was a major success offered in four different body styles in its first year. It was built in a joint effort between Edsel Ford and company sales chief Jack Davis, the new Mercury's overall appearance was transformed into more of an elegant look and feel and the V-8 engine was upgraded to a near 100 horsepower. The move proved to be fruitful selling over 65,000 models in its debut year. Within that number, only 7,818 customers checked the box for the Sport Convertible, making the one offered here quite rare due to its low production numbers.

This 1939 Mercury Sport Convertible is an excellent example from the first year of production and is the only ’39 Mercury in Mr. Thorne's collection. It has been treated to a professional body-off restoration and been in Ron’s possession since 2001 when he purchased it at the annual Hershey, Pennsylvania swap meet. The first year Sport Convertible was finished in a Ford promotional spring color of Claret Maroon, which was only offered to the public from the end of March to mid-May. The top was fitted with a black convertible top with red piping that matches the elegant red accents. The front end is flanked with headlights mounted into the fenders, as well as optional fog lights. It sits on matching Claret Maroon artillery wheels with trim rings and whitewall tires. The rumble seat was never offered as an option for Mercury, rather they were equipped with large trunks that contained the spare tire. Even though Mercury was its own brand, it still featured many Ford parts, like the Ford Script safety glass that can be seen on this model.

Separating themselves from the Ford models with more than just the outward appearance, the interior was also designed with elegance and class in mind. It features new red genuine leather from the front to the rear of the cabin, a color option that was only offered in the Sport Convertible model. The dash is done in a gray finish and features square gauges instead of the common circular Ford gauges. This convertible is well optioned with a heater/defroster, radio, and a locking glove box with clock.

Many of the mechanical parts were shared between the Fords and Mercurys and like the Ford models for the year, hydraulic brakes were standard. The V-8 engine, however, saw an overall boost to 95 horsepower helping to propel the Mercury's longer wheelbase. Overall appearance and performance were upgraded, and Edsel did what he had set out to do which was create a mid-level vehicle that could fill the gap for people that couldn't afford a Lincoln. Beautifully brought back to life with its limited-edition paint scheme, this ’39 Mercury proudly presents itself as the first-year styling of a highly desirable and collectible brand that that is no longer in production.

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