Sam Pack Collection

14-15 November 2014

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Lot 208

1951 Mercury Convertible

  • Chassis no. 51ME84802M

Sold for $55,000

112 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 in

  • Iconic “James Dean” Mercury
  • Three-speed transmission with overdrive
  • Show, drive, and enjoy

No doubt the Mercury’s cameo role in the 1955 James Dean movie Rebel Without a Cause was responsible for the vogue that befell the 1949–1951 models. The basic form became a favorite of customizers, as its rounded lines lent themselves to the removal of trim and the “frenching” of lights into the fenders. In some locales, custom Mercs seemed to outnumber stock examples.

This part of history is ironic. The design, the last by the talented E.T. “Bob” Gregorie for the Ford Motor Company, was intended to be the 1949 Ford. During the development process, Ford’s new post-war management argued for a lighter and all-new Ford, and the result was the slab-sided “shoe box” of George Walker. The rejected Gregorie car became the 1949 Mercury.

For 1951, it was given a more “Lincolnesque” appearance by lengthening the rear fenders and giving the grille wraparound edges, and the horsepower of the flathead V-8 was boosted by a notch.

This painted black 1951 Mercury Convertible Coupe has excellent contours and its finish exhibits a deep shine. The interior LeBaron Bonney is done in red and black leather, which is excellent throughout. The car is equipped with a radio, heater, clock, windshield washers, and power windows. Rear fender skirts have been added, as well as dual windshield post spotlights and door-mounted mirrors. The optional overdrive gives it longer legs on the highway. The engine compartment is clean and correctly detailed, even down to the hose clamps, but it is not overdone. Dual exhausts have been installed, and B.F. Goodrich wide whitewall Silvertowns, in the correct 7.10-15 size, complete the package.

Jim Stark, Dean’s character in Rebel, did not drive a stock Mercury, let alone a convertible, but if he’d seen this one, he might have.


Please note that this car is a Mercury Convertible. The Monterey name was limited to only coupes in 1951.

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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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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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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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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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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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