Tag: 1950

1950 Mercury Eight Convertible Flaunts Bored and Stroked Flathead V8, Impeccable Looks –  Aurel Niculescu – @autoevolution

1950 Mercury Eight Convertible Flaunts Bored and Stroked Flathead V8, Impeccable Looks –  Aurel Niculescu – @autoevolution

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The Mercury Eight series holds the uncanny honor of being the debut line for the upscale Ford division. It was manufactured between 1939 and 1959 over a total of three generations and sat in between the Ford Deluxe (Custom) and Lincoln.

As such, it was produced both before – when it shared its body with the sibling Ford models and after World War II – when it became the first apparition of the new Lincoln-Mercury Division, thus sharing more traits with Lincoln from then on. As such, it is not just a car but also a statement of history.

Anyway, now is your chance to grab hold of it because New York-based Motorcar Classics says it has a classy 1950 Mercury Eight Convertible for sale, with low mileage and a potential craving for best-in-show accolades. Sitting proudly in the dealership’s inventory in classy dark green over tan and dark green attire, the two-door drop-top “has been lovingly refurbished by a late owner.”

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Pick of the Day: 1950 Mercury Monarch six-passenger coupe – Diego Rosenberg @ClassicCars.com

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Ford of Canada brands a Mercury mutant

A few days ago, our Pick of the Day was a Pontiac Parisienne, a Poncho unique to the Canadian market. This time, the Pick of the Day is another unique Canadian, a Monarch six-passenger coupe listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Pasadena, California. (Click the link to view the listing) 

As mentioned in the story of the Parisienne, Canada had tariffs on cars imported from the U.S., so several interesting vehicles developed that were only available to Canadians. Additionally, in the case of Monarch, Ford of Canada started a unique brand to give Ford dealerships more breadth of models, especially in a different price class. To you Yankees out there, Canada may seem an equivalent country today but, in the not-too-distant past, Canada was not as well developed as the U.S., and having one dealership with several brands was the norm because it could be miles and miles to the next dealership.

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Randy Breternitz right in his element – Dave Shane @MidlandDailyNews

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Randy Breternitz of Midland looks over a 1950 Ford flathead six industrial motor on the grounds of the Midland Antique Engine Association. Dave Shane/for the Daily News

At an early age, Randy Breternitz of Midland became interested in farm tractors and the engines that powered them.

“I grew up on a farm and I was around the stuff early on,” Breternitz said. “I was always working with my hands on stuff.”

Now, after spending 46 years as a truck driver, the now-retired Breternitz is getting all the mechanical challenge he can handle as the property manager at the 13 acres of the Midland Antique Engine Association at 3326 S. Meridian Road. The non-profit club has a mission to spread the history and mechanics of engines, tractors and other large equipment.

The group has about 90 families that are members. Breternitz noted that you don’t even have to own a tractor or engine to belong.

If you like antique engines, “this is the place for you,” he said. “All you have to do is have an interest.

Breternitz has a history of getting old things to work again. He has refurbished both a 1949 Allis-Chalmers Model C and a 1962 Oliver 550. He and his 17-year-old grandson are now tackling a 1953 Ford Jubilee.

He said there are two ways to tackle an old tractor. Some like to make it look almost as nice as it looked the day it was sold. Others like to make it operate, but keep the rust and age just the way they were before it was fixed.

And other club members are more into tractor pulls and competitions.

Breternitz said the club has a refurbished sawmill, a couple of old threshers, a 1913 engine from the Porter Oil Field, a blacksmith shop, a museum and a general store among the many things on its grounds.

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Seeing really is believing – a Tucker did indeed race in NASCAR, and we found the photo to prove it – Jim Donnelly @Hemmings

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Joe Merola of Braddock, PA entered the Tucker in the 1951 Memorial Day race
One of the things you learn very quickly here is that there’s never any telling what the Hemmings Nation can uncover, especially on this blog. In that spirit, we present this photo, furnished by Ron Pollock of Niles, Ohio. If the name’s familiar, that’s because we recently posted a photo from Ron’s sold-out 50-year history of Sharon Speedway in northeastern Ohio, which depicted a 1961 Chevrolet bubbletop turned into an uncommonly good-looking pavement Late Model.
Ron checked in again this week. The photo above depicts what may be the only Tucker Torpedo ever used in a racing event. He used the image in another book he authored, a history of Canfield Speedway, a half-mile dirt track that operated between 1946 and 1973 at the Mahoning County Fairgrounds, outside Youngstown. Ron was trying to respond to an earlier question on the Hemmings blog about whether a Tucker had ever been raced in NASCAR. The date on the photo suggests it ran at Canfield over Memorial Day in 1951.

Rudy Makela’s 1950 WOW Cadillac – One of America’s Earliest Custom Cadillacs – @UndiscoveredClassics

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Hi Gang…

The story below was written by my good friend Rik Hoving who runs the Custom Car Chronicle.  Rik and I share a great appreciation for both custom cars and sport customs.  Those of you interested in these kinds of cars should visit his website via the link below:

Click Here To Visit Rik Hoving’s Custom Car Chronicle


For me this story goes back to 2010 when I was well into my research into Sport Custom Cars in America.  As I dug into this subject, I was surprised and impressed to see a wider variety of designs being built in the late 1940s and early 1950s than I had ever seen before.  What I was witnessing during my readings was a consolidation of designs – agreements in styling methods and other types of convergence on “what” would be a “custom car” and “what” would be a “sports car.”  Rudy Makella’s WOW Cadillac jumped out from the pages of magazines when I first saw it.

As you’ll learn in Rik’s story below, Rudy’s and his family owned a power hammer company – what we know call a metal shaping company.  They were located in Indianapolis, Indiana and built custom ordered/modified ambulances, hearses, limousines and more.  Rudy was a young man at the time working for his father’s company when he decided he wanted to create a custom car of his own design.  Starting with an early 1940s Cadillac convertible, Rudy created an entirely new body for it – one in which the entire front clip rolled forward to reveal the engine when needed.  A unique design and a unique car.  Worthy of attention the first time I saw it in the magazines.  Then I found the real deal.

In 2010, Stephen Lisak had posted photos of the car he had found nearly two decades before and saved from a junkyard.  With a bit of research, I confirmed what the car was and shared it Stephen and his wife Mary – the nicest folks you’d ever hope to meet.  Over the years we became fast friends and late in 2018 I bought the car.

Back in 2014, Rik Hoving worked with Stephen Lisak to create a story about Stephen’s car – the WOW Cadillac.  Recently I asked Rik if we could share his story of this car with our readers here at Undiscovered Classics and today’s story is the result of Rik saying “yes.”  Thanks Rik!  So away we go.

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Fox Body Mustang Land Speed Record Car with Turbo 1950 Mercury Flathead V-8 Power – Taylor Kempkes @HotRod

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If the title of this Readers’ Rides feature didn’t already give it away, the 1984 Ford Mustang you see here is not your average Fox Body Mustang. Owner Phillip Landry of Lafayette, Louisiana took his 1980s Mustang build in a very unique direction—the car was put together for land speed racing and is powered by a 1950 Mercury flathead V-8 engine that Phillip can switch between a roots-style supercharger and a turbo depending on the event.

“We race this car at Bonneville where we hold the XF/BFALT record at 142.822,” Phillip told us. He also races with the East Coast Timing Association (ECTA) at Wilmington, Ohio, and Blytheville. With help from his friend Damon Braus and brother John Landry, the trio has the car dialed. So much so, Phillip said, “At Wilmington we would change over from a single four barrel to the supercharger setup while waiting in line.” He also added, “Of course I couldn’t do all this without my wonderful, supportive wife Mary.

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Harry Truman’s 1950 Lincoln limo for sale – Larry Edsall @ClassicCars.com

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Pick of the Day is a former presidential limousine

Harry Truman’s 1950 Lincoln Limo

The White House ordered up nine specially built 1950 Lincoln limousines and one of them, a 7-passenger Cosmopolitan with coachwork by Henney, is being offered for sale by a private owner on ClassicCars.com.

“Leased to the Government by Ford Motor Co., the 1950 Lincoln Presidential Limousines replaced the aging pre-World War II White House fleet Truman inherited when he ascended to the presidency after Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death in 1944,” the seller notes in the car’s advertisement.

“Truman chose Lincoln over Cadillac after GM had snubbed his requests for vehicles during his presidential campaign, which he had been expected to lose. The 1950 Lincolns remained in Presidential use well into the Eisenhower administration.”

Harry Truman’s 1950 Lincoln Limo

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Related – THE LINCOLN CONTINENTAL 80TH ANNIVERSARY

1950 Studebaker Pickup Truck Custom

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1950 Studebaker Pickup Truck Custom Front Grill Photo 1.

Every once in a while some lucky soul stumbles upon a piece of classic truck history, it’s never me, but hey somebody has to luck out. In this case the lucky one was Dave Pareso out of Fountain, Colorado. The story actually started back in 1972 when Dave saw the truck for the first time in the parking lot of a local Denver swap meet. It was a pretty radical custom ’50 Stude pickup and it really made an impression on Dave but unfortunately at the time he wasn’t in the position to do much more than admire it and file it away in his mind as one cool custom. (By the way, in the way of a bit of background, these days Dave owns Back Street Kustoms in Colorado Springs, Colorado, one of the area’s premier custom shops, so he knows a historic piece when he sees one.) Then, years later, while taking care of a bit of business at a local shop (Barnes Upholstery) he happened to notice a picture of a pickup hanging on the wall that looked familiar. Well, the closer he looked the more familiar it seemed, and come to find out it was the very same Studebaker custom he’d admired 10 years earlier. When Dave questioned Ed Barnes (the proprietor of the upholstery shop) about the pickup Ed said it was his, and as a matter of fact it was stored in a shed out back where it’d been sitting on and off for 20 years or so. Well, Dave chalked it up to destiny and scrambled to figure out a way to get his hands on it. After a checking it out, and with a bit of back and forth he ended up talking Ed into a trade-his S-10 Chevy shop truck straight across for the Stude-and as far as Dave is concerned he got the best of the deal, and so do we. There’s nothin’ like the proverbial barn find, especially a custom with a bit of history attached.

Speaking of history, it looks as though the truck was originally created in the late ’50s at Dick’s Auto Body in Fort Collins, Colorado, featured in a magazine (not sure which one) in ’63, and ended up in a Denver junkyard (less its Buick V-8) in the end of the ’60s where Ed Barnes found it. The Stude had been modified originally by chopping the top 41/2 inches, the A-pillars slanted, the hood corners rounded. The rest of the body had been shaved and the fenders pulled in 21/2 inches in the front. A pair of ’61 Chrysler taillights were grafted to the bed, and the license plate was frenched. The grille was handmade, utilizing components donated by a ’58 Ford, ’61 Chrysler headlights added, and a Chevy Nomad cargo doorskin used on its tailgate.

Barnes made a few minor changes to it mechanically and added fresh paint (by Tom Turnquist of Denver in early 1971 as well as some pinstriping by “Rody” soon after) but left the custom bodywork as it was. Dave decided to pretty much do the same and has no interest in changing the body in any way keeping it as close to what it was in ’63 as possible. Dave did make some mechanical and safety upgrades since it has become a “driver” over the last few years.

Kudos to Dave for not using his customizing talents to make unneeded changes. He’s proud of this truck and says, “It’s truly one of a kind! There has been a few done up close to it but not quite the same.” Dave drives the Stude just about everywhere! It’s definitely not a trailer queen or a Sunday cruiser and in the 10 years he’s owned it he’s driven it to Utah, Kansas, Nevada, and all over Colorado-pretty much anywhere and everywhere there’s a show or cruise he wants to attend. Just what we like to see-a survivor that gets driven rather than babied.