Lot 824: Mercury Station Wagon
MODEL 29A. 95 bhp, 239.4 cu. in. L-head V-8 engine, three-speed manual transmission with Columbia overdrive, solid front axle and live rear axle with transverse semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 118"
Although Mercury, Ford's new mid-priced car, debuted for the 1939 model year, it was not until 1941 that a station wagon was offered. That year, Mercury bodies were rationalized with Ford, ensuring the economic viability of a low-production style, like the station wagon. Although its sales volume, 2,145 units, was small compared to Ford's, Mercury easily out-wagoned both Buick and Packard.
Many consider the 1942 model to be the most attractive early Mercury station wagon and with 783 built, is unquestionably the rarest. Its horizontal bar grille is more plainly aesthetic than the 1941's slanted combs, and certainly less ornate than the 19461948 style, with its horizontal-vertical medley. The more delicate fender trim also gives it a lighter feel, in contrast to the more heavy-handed application of brightwork on later models.
This 1942 Mercury Station Wagon has a long and interesting history. Henri St. George of Schenectady, New York bought it as a used car from the Eastern Auto Garage in his city in October 1950. After St. George's death in 1973, it changed ownership before Darel Hed of Rochester, New York, who purchased it from the Nemith dealership, with 62,718 miles showing. Mr. Hed sold it to Kenneth Williams of Monroe, New York in October 1981. Renowned California woodie collector Nick Alexander purchased it in August 2000. After restoring the car and winning a Dearborn Award from the Early Ford V-8 Club at Pismo Beach in 2001, with 997 points, Mr. Alexander applied for entrance to the 2003 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
Pebble Beach entries are limited each year and judging takes place in classes organized by age, genre, and marque, with special classes each year for particular observances. In 2003, the Concours celebrated the centennial year of the Ford Motor Company with several special classes for Ford-built automobiles. One of these was for wood-bodied cars. Nick Alexander was pleased to have this Mercury included in the two of his cars accepted. At the event, it took Second in Class honors.
Since joining the Dingman Collection, the car remains in concours-quality condition, nearly a decade after its Pebble Beach honors. It has excellent body contours; its black paint exhibits a deep shine and has no flaws. All wood is excellent, with virtually no discoloration. The roof is covered in new black imitation leather. The glass is excellent, much of it with original script showing. As for the brightwork, it is excellent throughout, and much of it has new chrome.
The seats are upholstered in brown leather; the rear floor has a new black rubber mat, and the front has a black rubber mat with tan carpet inserts. The dashboard, equipped with an electric clock, has been restored in burl walnut wood grain, and the plastic is in excellent condition, as are the instruments and steering wheel.
The engine compartment is nicely presented, and the chassis and underbody are painted in gloss black. With its Columbia overdrive rear axle, driving is a pleasure, and the current mileage is indicated at about 2,400. This car, with known history and a solid concours pedigree, is ideal for touring or even a return to the manicured lawns of a show field.
The Dingman Collection 2012|
RM Auctions, Hampton, New Hampshire
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