HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1950 Mercury custom, an evocative ‘lead sled’ cruiser

Pick of the Day: 1950 Mercury custom, an evocative ‘lead sled’ cruiser

The gleaming black coupe epitomizes the old-school urban curb crawlers


Low and slow, that was how the cruising was done back when “lead sleds” like this Mercury custom prowled urban streets, sometimes with plaques in their rear windows showing their club (or gang) affiliations.

The term “lead sled” has nothing to do with the mass of these cars, by the way, but because customizers would smooth the body details using molten lead.  Nowadays, and because we now know that lead exposure is not so good for you, most such smoothing is done with epoxy-based filler.  But “Bondo sled” doesn’t sound nearly as cool.

The Pick of the Day is a 1950 Mercury Monterey custom coupe that pretty much defines what a lead sled should be.  Menacing in a gleaming black paint job, you could definitely picture a bunch of “juvenile delinquents” with slicked-back hair on board as the Merc cruises close to the curb. Evocative stuff in the 1950s, and this black beauty captures it beautifully. 

“This lead sled was restored 12 years ago leaving no nut or bolt left untouched, and more recently, the Merc got a new powerplant and transmission about 600 miles ago,” according to the Kentwood, Michigan, dealer advertising the Mercury on ClassicCars.com.

That new drivetrain is “a Mopar 440ci V8 paired with a 727 automatic transmission,” the seller says. The power upgrade is just part of what sets the custom Mercury apart.

“This Merc features power steering, power brakes, full custom interior, front disc brakes, Edelbrock carb and intake, custom steering wheel, 3-core radiator, aftermarket stereo system, and many more custom touches,” the ad says. “This cool custom fires right up and drives down the road smoothly.”

Contrasting with the all-black exterior is a stark white interior, which is made up of pleated leather or vinyl – the ad doesn’t say which and it’s hard to tell from the gallery of photos that accompany the listing.

This Mercury has a great period custom look, including such touchstones as a chopped top, rear fender skirts, shaved door handles and trim, frenched headlights, custom grille, dummy lake pipes and spinner hubcaps, with a wide spear of chrome across its flanks.  The dashboard has been set up with classic Moon gauges.


The custom Mercury would be a showstopper at any street rod gathering.  The asking price is $67,900.

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

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
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.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent Posts