- Beneficiary of two extended ownerships, including 38 years of care by the original buyer
- Power-retractable soft top
- Optioned with factory radio and whitewall tires
- Presented at the 2000 Meadow Brook Hall Concours d’Elegance
- Documented with bill of sale copy and invoices compiled by the original owner
In 1939 the Ford Motor Company spawned a legendary new marque with the creation of Mercury. Slotted as a mid-market entry between Ford and Lincoln, the Mercury was equipped with a 95-horsepower version of Dearborn’s flathead V-8 and styled on the basis of the Lincoln Zephyr. The Mercury was an immediate success, and two years later it was lengthened with a 118-inch wheelbase, and offered in an unprecedented seven different body styles—of which the lone open variant was the wildly popular convertible.
As demonstrated by a file of accompanying documentation, this desirable early Mercury enjoyed over 38 years of care by the original owner. According to a bill of sale copy, the convertible was purchased in April 1941 from the dealer H.W. Ewing by Carlton Nichols. A resident of Rising Sun, Maryland, Mr. Nichols traded in a 1929 Ford Coupe, and optioned the Mercury with a radio and five whitewall tires.
A long record of invoices extending from 1955 to 1979 shows the lengths to which Mr. Nichols went to maintain and refurbish the Mercury, even once writing to Motor Trend magazine in 1964 in search of parts. A summary he prepared claims the convertible participated in 56 shows during his ownership, claiming first-place awards at 14 events. In 1974 Mr. Nichols relocated to Fort Myers, Florida, and of course he faithfully brought the Mercury along with him. The convertible was later sold to enthusiast Ed de Garbolewski, and he presented the car at an AACA Keystone Region gathering, probably during the 1980s.
By the late 1990s the Mercury had passed into the respected collection of Duane Sell, who exhibited the car at the 2000 Meadow Brook Hall Concours d’Elegance. The car enjoyed consistent care within Mr. Sell’s collection for an additional 20 years, benefitting from attention as needed in a second long-term ownership.
Equipped with an AM radio, heater, and clock, the Mercury also features a power soft top sewn from proper tan canvas with red welting. The convertible is additionally fitted with optional rear fender skirts and the wheels are mounted with period-correct wide whitewall tires. Period details like the Art Deco-styled dash panel, white steering wheel, and maroon upholstery with complementary white trim set this car apart. It should strike the fancy of any Mercury enthusiast, offering a nuanced addition to any American automotive collection.