Some folks are taught while others just seem to be born with the knowledge of the difference between owning a Ford or a Chevy. It's as if there are no other car manufacturers in the world when you get a couple of these guys in a room to discuss the merits of one over the other.
Paul Agin bought his first Ford before he was legally able to drive it back in 1951. It was a '48 sedan, and the beginning of a life-long admiration of the marque. He owned a '40 coupe through the late '60s, '70s, and early '80s, and, after a couple of decades, can safely say he drove the wheels off of it.
Mercurys have always been considered a notch above the entry-level Fords (but below the Lincolns), but the design differences in the '40s were a lot more obvious between the lines, unlike today's homogenized efforts.
A Ford in a Ford! How 'bout that? Paul picked up his GT-40 302 from Ford Racing Performanc
Back in the late '90s, Paul began looking for a car that would replace the '40 coupe he'd sold, and heard about a '47 Mercury in Angola, Indiana, about 200 miles from his home in Hebron, Ohio. He went to check out the car and found the maroon paint was checked and not in great shape. What might be best described as a resto rod, the Merc already had a Ford 302 in the engine bay and Mustang II front suspension, but it had no interior to speak of, unless you count that blanket thrown over the original bench that Paul remembers.
He bought the car, brought it home, and then looked closely at what he'd bought. There was some rust damage to the rockers, plus more where the fenders met the body, and, as with many 50-year-old Midwestern cars, a hole in the driver's floor from years of abuse from the snow and salt.
In his sixties when he bought the car, Paul decided on a bodyman who would help him get it back into shape, but the car languished at the shop for two years without any progress being made. Finally, he pulled it from the location and took it to a friend who was a good bodyman, but had been diagnosed with a health problem from his years of exposure to painting materials. He was able to do the main bodywork needed, but, understandably, didn't want to paint it, so it went to a third bodyman: Rob Bingaman.
The interior in Paul's ride is clean and simple, highlighted by cream leather installed by
Rob not only completed the required bodywork-which in the end would include shaved door handles, trunk, and hood, and the '39 Ford trim-he also covered the Merc in PPG B/C Evergreen paint, a hue that looks like it rolled off the Ford factory line 60 years ago.
The upholstery team at Appleman Interiors carried on the clean and simple look. They stitched up a pattern that had a vintage approach, but updated it to today's standards with cream-colored leather. The simple pleated design was carried onto the recovered Oldsmobile bucket seats too.
The dash features a glovebox and radio grille, but a set of five Auto Meter gauges set into an aluminum insert lets Paul know what is going on up in the engine compartment. An underdash panel houses the controls for the Vintage Air A/C system as well as its vents, and a wooden Grant steering wheel complements the interior's cream color.
With the coupe completed in 2006 just before the Goodguys Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, Paul debuted the car there, but he has also taken other trips with it too. In fact, he's traveled all over the Midwest, taking in shows in Knoxville, York, Louisville, Kalamazoo, and a handful of local gatherings.
Paul is happy with the way the car turned out, and, judging by the folks who stop and check out his car at the shows, they're happy with the way it turned out too! He's now looking for a '49-53 pickup project (that would be a Ford truck, if you haven't been paying attention), as he feels he still has another one in him. If it turns out half as nice as the Merc parked in his garage, then they'll make an awesome pair!
The steelies (and a cream contrast to the PPG Evergreen paint), caps, and rings add a bit
Facts & Figures
1947 Mercury coupe
|Frame / Manufacturer ||stock / FoMoCo |
|Wheelbase ||119" |
|Rearend ||8" Ford |
|Rear suspension ||Chassis Engineering (Riviera Beach, FL) |
|Rear brakes ||drum |
|Front suspension ||Fatman Fabrications (Charlotte, NC) Mustang II |
|Front brakes ||11" disc |
|Steering box ||GM |
|Wheel make, size ||steelie, 15" |
|Front tire make, size ||Michelin XGT, P215-70-R15 |
|Rear tire make, size ||Defender Sport SR, P275-60-15 |
|Make ||Ford Racing Performance Parts GT-40 |
|Displacement ||302 |
|Machining / Assembly ||factory |
|Camshaft ||Ford roller |
|Water pump ||short '94 Mustang |
|Radiator ||'47 Mercury |
|Alternator ||GM one-wire |
|Heads ||aluminum GT-40 |
|Induction ||Edelbrock (Torrance, CA) 600-cfm carb |
|Air cleaner ||billet aluminum |
|Ignition / Wires ||Mallory |
|Headers ||FRPP |
|Exhaust / Mufflers ||Flowmaster (Santa Rosa, CA) |
|Transmission ||Ford C4 |
|Shifter ||column |
|Body style / Material ||coupe / steel |
|Body manufacturer ||FoMoCo |
|Body mods ||shaved hood, trunk & doors |
|Bodywork ||Rob Bingaman |
|Paint type / Color ||PPG (Pittsburgh, PA) / B/C Evergreen |
|Painter ||Rob Bingaman |
|Other body items ||'39 Ford stainless trim |
|Gauges ||Auto Meter (Sycamore, IL) |
|Wiring ||EZ Wiring (Bunnell, FL) |
|Steering wheel ||Grant Products (Glendale, CA) |
|Seats ||Olds buckets |
|Upholsterer ||Appleman Interiors (Lancaster, OH) |
|Material / Color ||leather / cream |