Lot 941

The Dingman Collection

1950 Mercury 72B Club Coupe

Offered from a private collection


$89,600 USD | Sold

United States | Hampton, New Hampshire



Chassis No.
  • Offered from a private collection
  • From 22 years of single ownership; showing 22,900 original miles
  • Early Ford V-8 Club Rouge Award-winner for originality
  • Subject of the famous Tom Fritz painting, Evening Riders
  • Featured on My Classic Car with Dennis Gage
Addendum: Believed to be original paint as confirmed by Jim Lowry Jr.

While the all-new 1949 Fords had been designed by a team headed by outside consultant George Walker, a competing proposal had come from the in-house studio of E.T. “Bob” Gregorie. Gregorie penned a family of three similar cars in three different sizes: Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln. When Walker’s design was chosen for the low-priced car, Gregorie’s triumvirate was bumped up a notch to become Mercury, Lincoln, and Lincoln Cosmopolitan, respectively. The Mercury version became a favorite of young rodders and customizers, particularly after a mildly modified ’49 club coupe was featured in the James Dean film Rebel Without a Cause.

The current owner purchased this Mercury in 1996 and has kept it in climate-controlled storage ever since, exercising it moderately. Entered once in judging competition, it was scrutinized at a National Early Ford V-8 Club meeting in Missouri, where it received the Rouge Award for originality. It subsequently appeared on the cover of V-8 Times, the Club’s magazine, a copy of which is included. As a Canadian-built car, it differs only from U.S. models with aluminum cylinder heads and a different oil bath air cleaner.

The 22,900 miles shown on the odometer are believed to be accurate. The original interior is immaculate, but for some aging of the headliner. The original front floor mat, amazingly, shows virtually no wear, and the original carpet in the rear, a unique style, is excellent. The engine compartment retains patinated original finishes and is correct in every detail down to the original wiring and safety wires through the bolt heads on the hood hinges. The chassis is similarly well-preserved with factory finishes evident. The original trunk mat is mint with the embossed part number clearly evident. Original factory accessories include twin spotlights with Mercury emblems, twin rear-view mirrors, and chrome fuel door guard.

Following the fashion of the era, two-inch lowering blocks were fitted, and 1951 Mercury skirts were substituted for the 1950 model, which are also included. The old school dual exhaust system was fabricated using the stock manifolds, maintaining the original appearance of the engine compartment. The gleaming black lacquer was skillfully applied retaining the factory finish in the door jambs. Ordered without a radio, the original rear package tray was scribed to punch out to accommodate a rear speaker, and it is still intact.

A cooling system service was carried out in 2014, which included cleaning and rebuilding the radiator and rebuilding the water pumps. The components were painted to harmonize with the unrestored appearance of the engine compartment. The car drives exceptionally well. The owner reports that the steering is amazingly easy, the gearshift has no play in the mechanism, and the brakes work very well, which were recently overhauled in 2018. The engine idles quietly and smoothly. The exhaust note at idle from the Smithy’s mufflers is beautiful and uniquely flathead.

This exact car was featured in a Tom Fritz painting entitled Evening Riders. The owner commissioned the painting to include the Mercury and a supercharged ’32 Ford period roadster. The original painting won the Peter Helck Award for Best of Show at the AFAS Artists Display at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The small edition of prints sold out virtually immediately. A time-warp of a favorite style of Mercury, the car comes with a box of trophies and plaques awarded to a prior owner as well as a framed edition of the Evening Riders, artist’s proof number 6. Other original items included are the owner’s manual, keys, 42-page styled accessory catalogue, sales brochure, and DuPont color chart. Furthermore, this car was featured on My Classic Car with Dennis Gage; season 8, episode 9.

In a sea of chopped and channeled lead sleds, this pristine survivor offers a possibly unmatched opportunity to acquire an iconic Mercury from the James Dean era.