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Lot 148

1952 Mercury 8-Passenger Station Wagon

  • Chassis no. 52SL78978M

Sold for $88,000

Series 2M. 125 bhp, 255.4 cu. in. Flathead V8 engine, three-speed Merc-O-Matic transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 118"

The 1952 Ford Motor Company lineup included new bodies for Mercury and Lincoln, as well as Ford. New stronger chassis frames supported the new bodies and all models had advanced features like suspended pedals and curved single pane windshields. Like Ford, however, Mercury held over its Flathead V8, which was the only available powerplant. Although it had the same displacement as in 1951, it was more powerful, thanks to higher compression. Merc-O-Matic transmission was optional and very popular – nearly half the production was so equipped.

There had been plans for ball joint front suspension and overhead valves engines for all Ford Motor Company 1952 cars, but in the end, only Lincoln got them. Ford and Mercury adapted their old suspensions and engines to the new chassis. The new designs did not appear until 1954.

Like Ford, Mercury’s station wagon bodies were all steel. Unlike Ford, however, there was no two-door, only a four-door model available with seats for either six or eight. Both wagons came with decorative maple side trim outlining artificial woodgrain. Where Ford had a “dogleg” wood accent on the rear wheelhouse, Mercury used stainless trim from the sedan. All wagon bodies were now built at the Rouge, then shipped to their respective assembly plants. This car was actually assembled at St. Louis.

A prize-winning restoration, this eight-passenger Mercury station wagon is captivating in Vassar Yellow. Newly painted, it has a nice gloss, and the maple side trim is superbly varnished. The wood grain accents were expertly applied with the original Ford process by Jaime Torres of Alexander Restoration. The brightwork is all very good, but for some scratches in the stainless trim. The door step plates are new and the glass is correct FoMoCo script, with only slight separation of the vent window panes. The doors, tailgate and liftgate all operate satisfactory, and alignment is excellent although the hood safety catch could use some adjustment.

The interior is precisely stitched in beige weave with green trim, and appears new. The woodgrain accents on the door panels are very nice, and the dashboard woodgrain is newly restored. The black steering wheel and “Interceptor” aircraft type instrument cluster are in excellent condition, except for some slight discoloration in the steering wheel hub. On the floor are green rubber mats, and there is green carpet on the load deck. The car has a radio, heater and electric clock.

The EAC engine is newly restored in correct green and carefully detailed. There is a bypass oil filter on the left cylinder head and the chassis is also restored, painted gloss black and remains very clean. The car drives on Goodyear blackwall 7.60-15 tires, new in 2004, and the spare is of the same age.

An excellent restoration of a rare Mercury station wagon (just 2,487 built in both six- and eight-passenger configurations) this car received a Dearborn Award from the Early Ford V8 Club at Tacoma, Washington, in 2006. It was judged at 966 points, the most substantial deduction being for missing script “bugs” on the window glass and new door scuff plates that didn’t arrive in time to be installed before judging. Both omissions have since been corrected. It runs and drives well, with 61,000 miles showing. It is registered with California year-of-manufacture plates 1H83921, which go with the car.


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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

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United Kingdom

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California, United States

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United States

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Gord Duff

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California, United States

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Matt Malamut

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Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

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Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

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United Kingdom

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