1940 Mercury Custom CoupeSOLD
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Estimate: $140,000-$160,000 US

AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $137,500

Specifications:
327 cu. in. est. 300 hp Chevrolet V8, 350 Turbo Hydramatic transmission, posi-traction rear end, suspension is by drop axle in the front with air bags at the rear, four-wheel drum brakes.

The gleaming, iridescent finish is unmistakably the art of Rick Dore; it ’ s his signature. Translucent lime hues enhance every styling nuance. Inside, inviting front bucket and rear bench seats were trimmed in soft Italian white pearl leather, complimented by a console accented to match the exterior.

Under the hood is a lusty, 327 cubic inch Chevrolet V8 linked to a 350 Turbo-Hydramatic transmission. “ This was Johnny Loper ’ s Merc, ” Dore says. “ He owned several custom shops in the Southwest. I built it to be a driver; the new owner can take it cross-country with confidence. Even better, it ’ s never Nick Matranga ’ s severely lowered, artfully hard-topped ’ 40 Mercury has long been acclaimed as a cult classic. Former Rod & Custom Editor, Pat Ganahl, called it, “ the most copied custom of all time. ” Sam Barris needed over a year of careful work to reshape the top. The completed coupe was featured in a few magazines before Matranga sold it in 1952, then shipped out for Korea. The next owner totaled the hardtop and it was lost forever.

Memorialized in Dan Post ’ s Blue Book of Custom Cars, the Matranga Mercury has inspired many imitations, the best of which were commissioned by John D ’ Agostino and Duncan Emmons.

Premier custom craftsman, Rick Dore of Glendale, AZ, has been elected to four Custom Car Halls of Fame, and won countless awards. Dore subtly elaborates on classic themes, enhancing them with his own distinctive blend of past and future. “ The 1940 Merc is as good as it gets, ” says Dore. “ But I wanted to take this car a little further than Matranga did. ” With the hindsight of history, and his own inspired vision, Rick Dore has created a tribute to the past that ’ s totally contemporary.

Starting with an excellent 1940 Mercury, Dore chopped the top four inches in front and six inches in the rear, then reshaped the entire roof, creating a smooth, continuously rearward sweep. In front, he elevated the windshield ’ s height one inch, and trimmed the crown of the roof to eliminate the Matranga car ’ s “ lowered eyeshade appearance. ” It ’ s perfect.

Rick ’ s keen eye and superb metalworking skills transformed this prewar beauty into a modern classic. Traditional ‘ Kustom ’ twin spotlights were omitted. The chrome sidespear was re-sculpted and seductively shortened for a cleaner profile. Those hand-formed taillights resemble Art Deco 1940 Studebaker units. The elegant bumpers are devoid of any disruptions. Carrying the cool theme to its fullest, the front and rear fenders have been molded; the running boards were trimmed and the skirts are flush-fitted, with discrete lower edge flares. The hood ornament, door and decklid handles were shaved. The bodywork is all metal and flawless, as you ’ d expect on a Rick Dore custom. The car has been lowered, with a dropped axle and reworked springs in front with a Z-ed frame and rear airbags.

Been shown, and if he wants me to campaign the car at a few of the top custom car events, I will, and he can have the awards. ” Reiterating this, Rick has very kindly offered to accompany the Mercury in its show debut to the following world-class events: The Los Angeles Grand National, The Sacramento Autorama and the San Francisco Rod and Custom Show. Its next owner would not only get to experience the possibility of taking home an award, but to do so with a car that has yet to grace the show floors of the nation ’ s best events.

Top-level retro-inspired customs like this stunning Mercury represent an enduring design and styling statement; their superb craftsmanship and bright, appealing shades are infinitely better executed than more somber work done a half-century ago. Just as historic, professionally crafted customs are treasured by insightful collectors, a contemporary Rick Dore creation is certain to appreciate over time. Bank on it.

Reference Number 11612

as of 7/24/2007

Overview
Car 1940 Mercury Custom Coupe
VIN 99A157242 
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