Although probably not as many as rival GM, carmaker Ford has its share of skeletons in the closet. One of them is Mercury, a brand that has been around for about seven decades before being sacrificed to the altar of money-saving
During its time on the market, Mercury was responsible for making vehicles that, in some cases, are still sought after by collectors today. One such vehicle is the iconic Eight, a mid-range machine that came with that irreplaceable feel of classic design, seen on the cars made in the 1940s and 1950s.
The Eight was one of the brand’s heavy hitters and was made in a variety of body styles and rather large numbers. It’s unclear how many of them survive to this day, but if you’re lucky enough to stumble upon one in great condition, expect to pay a fortune for the privilege of owning it.
Lucky or not, we found one, sitting on the lot of cars of a dealer called MaxMotive. It’s a 1947 example, meaning a second generation, and it’s offered, in exchange for $60,750, complete with a very rare and collectible Operator’s Manual.
The car is a convertible, sporting a power-operated burgundy canvas that falls over a gray body and burgundy leather interior with a woodgrain dash.
Craig Jackson, Chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson, announces the sale of two wagons once owned by Edsel Ford II. Both are to be sold at no reserve by the grandson of the brand’s namesake during the Scottsdale Auction at WestWorld in Scottsdale, Arizona, on March 20-27.
The 1958 Edsel Bermuda wagon features recent restoration work and a transmission swap (from manual to period-correct automatic) carried out by Roush. The rear axle has new seals, bushings, and brakes, while the interior was updated with heat shielding, new carpeting, and seals to make the car more comfortable and inviting. Roush also replaced the original column-shift assembly, while keeping the stock steering column. The proper two-pedal system for automatics of that time was installed, and new control linkage was built.
Gregory was a hardcore front-wheel- drive enthusiast. In fact, he was such a fan of front-wheel drive that when he designed a rear-engine small car for the post-World War II market, he made sure it featured front drive.
You read that right, the 1947 Gregory has a rear-mounted engine driving the front wheels, making it the most bass-ackwards automobile ever to hit the road.And yet its story is compelling. Gregory was an engineer with a passion for automobiles. Between 1918 and 1922, the Kansas City, Missouri, native built a reported 10 automobiles, all utilizing frontwheel drive.
Some were produced as touring cars, some as race cars, and reportedly all of them used a variation of the de Dion suspension. They were usually fitted with conventional engines mounted longitudinally in the frame, but with the flywheel end and transmission up front.Gregory barnstormed dirt tracks and county fairs for a few years, sometimes performing as a stunt driver.
His favorite car was one of his front-drivers powered by a Hispano-Suiza aircraft engine. He was that sort of guy.After WWII ended, Gregory, probably sensing greater opportunity in a car-starved market, returned to designing and building automobiles. In 1947, he unveiled a new small car with the engine—reportedly a horizontally opposed, air-cooled Continental four-cylinder producing 40 horsepower—mounted out back.
From that mill, a long driveshaft ran to the front of the car, where the three-speed Borg-Warner manual transmission and differential resided. Why Gregory chose this particularly unusual chassis layout is unknown, although it was noted that the rear-engine layout placed noise and fumes behind the passengers. The car was designed for easy servicing; in fact, it was claimed that the engine could be removed from the chassis by one man in less than an hour.
Digging into my Hershey memory bank led me to the discovery of another series of photos my father took of the AACA Eastern Fall Meet in October 1971.
Veteran Hershey-goers will quickly point out that the car show was still held within its original location inside what is now Hersheypark Stadium, which not only hosts summer concerts today, but remains the home of the town’s high school football team.
It’s also where the vintage race cars are now paraded in front of their class judges, and where the entertaining high-wheeler race is held during Meet Week (weather pending).A closer look at the pictures, however, reveals that some of the subjects captured on Kodak were not only rare examples, but also vehicles for sale on the east side of the stadium’s exterior.
Regardless of whether these images were cars on display or up for grabs, I couldn’t help but wonder where each of them ended up in the ensuing years. Enjoy this entertaining albeit brief look back in time.
A pair of 1947 models from the extreme ends of Cadillac’s immediate postwar lineup
Cadillac’s 1947 lineup was the end of a chapter – one that began in the prewar era. Starting in the 1940s, Cadillac focused its energies. Gone after 1940 were the successful junior-division LaSalles nibbling away at the bottom end of Cadillac’s market share; so, too, the mighty range-topping, if slow-selling, V-16-powered models that were banished to the used-car lots of history.
As those of you who are kind enough to reads this blog will know I’m an early Ford history buff, so of course this article from Daniel Strohl as Hemmings was right in my wheelhouse!
The punch bowl that formed the winning prize in the famous Detroit Driving Club hosted race won by Henry Ford in 1901 has been missing since around 1951 after the death of Clara Ford in 1950 when it sold for $70.