Lot 172

The Petersen Automotive Museum Auction

1941 Mercury "Stengel" Custom by Coachcraft


$252,000 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Los Angeles, California



Chassis No.
  • Well-known historic California custom created in 1941
  • Built by Coachcraft Ltd. for Peter Stengel
  • Features a unique custom three-position top
  • Excellent high-quality restoration
  • Exhibited at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance and Petersen Automotive Museum
Addendum: Please note, contrary to the printed catalogue this vehicle has a reserve.

Southern California has always been a Mecca for custom cars, where in 1940 the famous Coachcraft Ltd. first opened for business on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. Impressed with the work on a 1940 Ford coupe he saw at their shop, Peter Stengel commissioned Coachcraft to build him a custom car to his specifications, based off parts from a new 1941 Mercury. More than just a mild custom, this coachbuilt Mercury was highly modified with many well-engineered and tastefully executed features, reportedly costing approximately $6,000 in 1941.

The unique, rigid, three-piece roof features two removable T-tops that stow in the trunk, creating a Victoria-style clamshell roof, sometimes referred to as a Sedanca or Sedanca de Ville. In addition, the entire roof section is removable, transforming this coupe into a full open car. A brilliantly engineered side window arrangement allows both the vent window and door glass to be lowered simultaneously, disappearing into the door creating a smooth and sleek roadster look. Other features include a sectioned and lowered hood, sharply raked windscreen, and a front fender line that blends into the doors, finishing into an upturned spear where it meets another line that extends into the rear fender skirts. The wheel covers are custom fabricated, concentric ribbed, and chrome plated. Under the hood is a 1941 Mercury flathead V-8 with Eddie Meyer high-compression heads topped off with two Stromberg 97 carburetors.

Surviving early custom cars are rare and highly coveted by collectors. Recipient of a high-quality restoration, this legendary custom Mercury has previously been exhibited at the Petersen Automotive Museum and shown at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, a testament to its importance in American custom car culture.