Sam Pack Collection

14-15 November 2014

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Lot 223

1950 Mercury Convertible Coupe Custom

  • Chassis no. 50DA54937M

Sold for $66,000

300 bhp, 350 cu. in. OHV V-8, three-speed Hydra-Matic transmission, coil-spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and front disc and rear drum power-hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 118 in.

  • Custom James Dean-era Mercury; Small block Chevy power

Certain cars have broad appeal across the collector community, while others just capture the hearts of hot rodders. Within the custom car hobby, however, the 1949–1951 Mercurys hold broad sway, perhaps because of a single icon, the 1955 film Rebel Without a Cause, which starred James Dean. A very mildly customized 1949 Mercury Coupe was Dean’s ride in the movie, and it became symbolic for a generation of teens who came of age during the 1950s. The custom car movement was near its zenith, and thousands of California youth were eager to take their Mercurys to such gurus as Gil Ayala, Darryl Starbird, and George Barris in search of individuality.

Dean’s car was merely nosed, decked, and lowered a bit, but the archetypal “James Dean Mercury” received more radical alterations, including a chopped top, frenched headlights, and a remote door and decklid operation. This 1950 Mercury Convertible Coupe has all of these, plus more modern adaptations.

Mechanically, it is in the modern street rod idiom, with a small block Chevy engine that is fed by an Edelbrock four-barrel carburetor and Turbo 350 Hydra-Matic. The custom body touches start with a chopped windshield and new lower-profile top. Popular custom trim items have been added, including DeSoto grille teeth and side spears from a 1953 Buick. The car is equipped with dual spotlights and painted in dark metallic green with a subtle underlying flame motif.

The interior is done in brown leather with dark green piping, and it has a matching top boot cover. The convertible top itself is tan canvas. The dashboard has been upgraded with new Classic Instruments gauges, and power windows have been fitted with hidden controls. The car was built with hidden door and deck lid controls, but it has had conventional door handles retrofitted more recently. Air conditioning, power steering, and power brakes complete the convenience package.

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

+1 864 313 6844
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

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
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

+1 203 912 7168
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

+1 415 302 2247
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

+1 617 513 0388
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

+1 954 566 2209
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

+1 519 352 4575
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

+1 310 559 4575
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

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

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

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

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

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
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

+1 519 352 4575
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

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
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

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
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

+1 519 784 9300
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

+1 310 559 4575
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

+31 653 84 19 60
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