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Lot 833

1950 Mercury Station Wagon

  • Chassis no. 50LA16973M

Sold for $165,000

MODEL 0CM. 110 bhp, 255.4 cu. in. L-head V-8 engine, three-speed manual transmission with overdrive, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 118"

For 1950, Mercury made incremental improvements similar to those in the Ford line. There were now pushbutton door handles, new parking lights, and subtle changes to the grille and hood trim. A completely new instrument panel, called “Safe-T-Vue,” grouped gauges more closely together and raised them closer to eye level. Indirect lighting, a Ford feature in 1949, reduced glare. A new “Merco-Therm” heating and ventilating system promised “living room comfort” and “a complete change of air…in a matter of seconds.”

As in 1949, the station wagon had a full-leather interior available in tan, red, or green and keyed to the car’s exterior color. Seating was provided for eight, in three-two-three configuration, since the second seat was narrow to allow passage to the rear. The load area comprised 118 cubic feet with a nine-foot deck. Company publicity said it could carry up to half a ton, although using it required removing the two rear seats, not an easy job since they were heavy and cumbersome. To accommodate the additional weight, station wagon chassis were stronger than the rest of the passenger line. A wider rear axle was also used, along with heavier, nine-leaf springs. As a result, the empty station wagon was 285 pounds heavier than the four-door sedan.

Like Ford, Mercury had two series of station wagons in 1950. The first series, of which this is a prime example, retained the wood tailgate of 1949. In June, this was superseded by an all-steel gate stamped with faux panel indentations. The folding second seat was also adopted at this time, and the exterior mahogany panels were replaced with DI-NOC grained steel.

While most 1950 Mercurys had a painted dashboard, the station wagon complemented its wood exterior with a wood grain panel. This theme extended to the door panels, which had matching grain. In the back, the side glass slid both forward and aft, giving a flexible ventilation pattern for both middle and rear seats. The tailgate was counterbalanced to compensate for the weight of the spare tire mounted on the outside.

Formerly in the famed Nick Alexander woodie collection, this ’50 Mercury Station Wagon received a Dearborn Award from the Early Ford V-8 Club at Keystone, Colorado, in 2005. Following Mr. Dingman’s purchase of the car, it was consigned to Kevin Westmoreland’s Performance Restoration in Georgia for a complete and thorough rebuild, which was just completed, bringing the car to show quality at a cost of approximately $124,000. The restoration was completed so recently, in fact, that the accompanying photographs on these pages depict the car prior to restoration, during which whitewall tires were added. In addition to complete disassembly, refurbishment and refinishing, and replacement, the restoration process also involved replacement of the exterior panels with new mahogany.

Fresh from restoration, this car is as new. The black paint is flawless, as is the brightwork and brown leather upholstery. The engine is newly painted in correct green, and the compartment is correctly detailed, while the chassis and underbody are painted black. Accessories include radio, heater, overdrive, and factory directional signals. Everything was gone through mechanically as well, down to the overdrive transmission, which was fully rebuilt.

Buoyed by the new design and an extended model year, Mercury station wagon production peaked in 1949, passing 8,000 units, a record for the marque. Nineteen-fifty’s sales, by comparison, only amounted to 1,746 examples, rendering this station wagon very rare indeed. This car is not only one of the few; it is one of the best.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more