Lot 186

Arizona 2023

1951 Mercury Convertible


$45,920 USD | Sold

United States | Phoenix, Arizona



Chassis No.
US Title
  • Offered from the James Raisbeck Estate
  • Believed to be one of 50 extant examples
  • Fewer than 68,000 miles from new
  • Striking Vassar Yellow over red and black interior
  • Fitted with nearly every factory option including desirable overdrive

Inextricably linked to the movie star James Dean since his character Jim Stark drove one in the 1955 film "Rebel Without a Cause," the 1949–1951 Mercurys have appeared prominently in hot rod and car magazines since they were introduced. Incredibly popular with car customizers and hot rodders, so many of these already-stylish cars have been customized that seeing a stock example can be somewhat rare. That is especially true when the car in question is a convertible, as only about one in 10 1951 Mercurys were specified as drop-tops.

Approximately 31,865 total convertibles were made during the three-year production run, with only 6,759 being delivered in 1951, making the example offered here quite special. Few changes were made from year to year, though the 1951 examples received a streamlined grille and vertical taillights to differentiate them from the rest. Powered by Ford’s iconic 255-cubic-inch flathead V-8, the car produced 112 horsepower, more than enough to approach 90 mph, with such speed comfortably controlled thanks to the car’s four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.

According to the Early Ford V-8 Register, approximately 50 of the 1951 convertibles have survived. The example offered here must be one of the best available anywhere. With fewer than 68,000 original miles, the car is presented in the convertible-only color of Vassar Yellow over an eye-catching black and red leather interior. A black Haartz cloth top with red piping completes the look. The car is fitted with nearly every factory option, including power windows, power seat, radio, heater, rocker moldings, cowl scuff-plates, front grille guard, rear bumper guard, exhaust deflector, and gas door guard.

Recently fitted with a new electric fuel pump for trouble-free performance, this 1951 Mercury is extremely rare and highly desirable. Given the car’s limited production and low survival rate, examples such as this are not likely to surface for sale very often, and it will almost certainly be the only one at any Antique Automobile Club of America event, local show, or cars and coffee. For those seeking a mid-century American classic to make a splash or relive a bygone age of cruising the gut, look no further. All proceeds of this sale will go to the James and Sherry Raisbeck Foundation.