CHASSIS NO: 51ME52474M
• Last year of production for a structural wood station wagon
• Comprehensive frame-off restoration
• Unique and eye-catching Coventry Green Gray
• Embodies the surf culture of the ‘50s - ‘60s
This lot is available for online bidding at Proxibid.com, LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com
255.4 cid flathead V-8 engine, 112 HP, three-speed automatic transmission, hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 118”
Henry Ford II became the president of Ford Motor Company in 1945 and quickly grew tired of taking care of and giving attention to the Iron Mountain plant where the wood panels had been produced for their woodie wagons. When a 30-day strike at the plant broke out in 1949, Ford knew it was finally time to shut the plant down. In August of 1951, the Iron Mountain facility was officially placed for sale; the plant was later acquired by the Kingsford Chemical Company, one of today’s most popular barbeque fuels. Saying goodbye to the plant was more than just getting rid of more management stress, it also meant saying goodbye to using real wood on the station wagons. 1951 marked the last year that Fords and Mercurys were sold as structural wood station wagons and the last year a Ford vehicle came from the historic Iron Mountain plant.
Like Ford and Lincoln, the 1951 Mercury was in its final year of a three-year styling cycle. A new nose was introduced, and the grille was enlarged, extending around the sides of the front fenders. This also marked the first year Mercury offered an automatic option with its station wagons, which was marketed as the “Merc-O-Matic” automatic transmission. Even with the new improvements to the model, Mercury only produced 3,812 station wagons for 1951, a low number compared to most.
This 1951 Mercury Series 1CM Station Wagon is one of the more eye-catching woodies in the Steelewood Collection, due to its brilliant frame-off restoration and factory eye-catching Coventry Green Gray paint. The ‘50s and ‘60s saw a new rise in the surf culture, and woodie wagons were the vehicle of choice. Mercury was aware of this trend and offered colors like Coventry Green Gray, Luxor Maroon Metallic, and Tomah Ivory to suit the surfers’ taste. These eye-catching colors were only offered for a few years before being discontinued.
The original maple and mahogany wood were restored and matched to perfectly complement the exterior paint. All the brightwork features have been restored and shine evenly. Like the rest of the car, the inside is just as beautiful. The three-two-three bench seating is upholstered in a Golden Tan and Chestnut Brown vinyl, which matches the newly upholstered headliner. The woodgrain dashboard features the period-correct radio, gauges, and knobs, which are all in functioning form. Under the hood lies the original flathead V-8 engine that has been mechanically gone through and runs smoothly. The block has been painted in an appealing green that complements the Coventry Green Gray fenders to create a show-winning appearance. Backing the engine is the new-for-the-year column shift “Merc-O-Matic” automatic transmission.
After the restoration was completed, it was driven to one of the largest woodie gatherings in the world, The Wavecrest Woodie Wagon Nationals in California. Very well taken care of its whole life and currently residing in one of the largest woodie collections in the country, the new owner will be buying more than just a car; they will be buying a lifelong passion that is ready for its next caring curator.