Pick of the Day: 1950 Mercury custom that’s fully inflamed

The sedan is named ‘The Rebel’ in honor of the car driven by James Dean in ‘Rebel Without a Cause’

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The custom Merc is a colorful rendition of a period classic

The Pick of the Day is a genuine icon of post-war custom style, a 1950 Mercury Eight, sporting a dramatic flame job, nosed and lowered, and with fender skirts, spinner hubcaps and spotlights.  It’s the kind of thing a ‘50s rocker might have dreamt about cruising down to the malt shop.

The 1949-51 Mercury was a landmark Detroit design, and remains an enduring favorite among customizers.  In pop culture, the 1949 Mercury was famously driven by James Dean in the 1955 film Rebel Without a Cause, which helped define an era of teen angst. 

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In tribute to that Hollywood fame, this custom Merc is named ‘The Rebel,” which is festooned on its fenders in script that colorfully matches the flames.

The 2-door sedan has been thoroughly modernized mechanically, with a GM 350cid V8, automatic transmission, power steering and brakes, and a fresh AC system, according to the private seller in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, advertising the car on ClassicCars.com

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“I bought this 1950 Merc from a man in Fort Meyers, Fla., 3 years ago; this was his baby for quite a while,” the seller says in the ad. The previous owner had a body shop where he did the bodywork and paint on the Mercury, the seller notes.

“The previous owner liked the art deco style of the 1949 (Mercury) dash, so he obtained one and installed it, and put in a Painless wiring harness along with all new gauges,” the seller adds. “He also liked the 1949 parking lights over the 1950’s so he refitted to the car.

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“He had the interior redone in the original style. The undercarriage of this Merc looks as good as the top side. The ‘Rebel’ is a fine example of this iconic ‘50 Merc.”

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The current owner added the power steering and a set of heavy-duty sway bars “for better handling,” as well as updating the AC and putting on a set of Coker whitewall tires “that are radial but they look bias old-school style.”

“The two spotlights are from the factory with the original Mercury tags on them,” the seller says, adding that the car also has new instruments, electric fuel pump, new original-style upholstery, electric windshield wipers and air-ride suspension.


The next owner would need to be an extroverted type who would enjoy all the attention this period-piece would garner.  The modern drivetrain and gear should make the  Mercury reliable and easy to drive.

The asking price of $49,900 probably would not cover the cost of the build.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

1 COMMENT

  1. The attention to the interior is exceptional and blends the original with modern day. The car customizers of the 50’s would have been stunned! The Old Merc’s were a unique platform.

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