Lot 344: 1940 Mercury Model 09A V-8 Convertible Sedan
Henry Ford was a one model man. Once he got the hang of the auto business, he built only the Model T for the better part of 20 years. Then came the Model A. He was also slow to adopt the concept of different nameplates for different price ranges. Finally, in 1922 he added Lincoln to cater to the upper classes and in the mid-1930s he broadened that line’s appeal with the lovely Zephyr.
But anyone who wanted something bigger, flashier or faster than a Ford and couldn’t afford a Zephyr or a senior Lincoln would have to buy somebody else’s car. Henry’s son, Edsel changed all that in 1939 with the Mercury, which was named after the Roman winged messenger god. The auto buying public responded by snapping up more than 50,000 examples in that first year.
A good-looking car by any standards, the Mercury was styled by E.T. Gregorie, who consulted closely with Edsel Ford. Although Mercury was it’s own line, it still picked up styling cues from Ford and Lincoln Zephyr. It was also the first Ford developed from a full-sized clay model.
The 239.4 cubic-inch, 95 horsepower flathead V-8 engine gave the Mercury great performance. Power reached the rear wheels through a three-speed manual transmission. Chassis was typical Ford, with transverse leaf springs and a 116-inch wheelbase. Stopping was handled by hydraulic drum brakes on all wheels.
For 1939, four Mercurys were offered: convertible coupe, coupe and both two and four-door sedans. For 1940, a convertible sedan was added. That meant that someone firmly in the middle class could buy a big, good-looking open car that wasn’t that far removed from the grand phaetons of the previous decade. But there was a price to pay. At $1,272, the convertible sedan was the most costly 1940 Mercury, selling for almost $200 more than the convertible.
Finished in tan with a tan canvas top, this 1940 convertible sedan is a good example of Mercury’s top model. Fitted with radial white walls on red-painted wheels, this Mercury will have more than enough power to keep up with modern traffic for touring or local use.
Collectors Motor Cars, Motorcycles & Automobilia|
Bonhams & Butterfields, Larz Anderson Auto Museum, Brookline, MA
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||$22000|
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