Do you know the most iconic custom car ever? It's probably the legendary one Hirohata Mercurywho has been in the McNiel family for over 60 years. The base was a 1951 Mercury Coupé, which was radically modified by Masato (Bob) Hirohata. More precisely, he made it to the then leading tuner “Barris Kustoms”. The team already had Hirohata's 1949 Chevy chopped. The Barris brothers Sam and George were allowed to let their thoughts run free and modified and adjusted almost every millimeter in about three months. And the result was also chopped and littered with countless style elements from various sources. There was "feared“Headlights, one radiator grill made of three 195 Ford grills, 1952 Buick side panels, rounded corners on the doors and the trunk and the unique item from the Carson Top Shop with an extensive Roll & Pleats upholstery equipped.
the Hirohata Mercury
It continued in the cabin with a glove box with pens that were specially made for this vehicle by the renowned "Von Dutch" pinned and the most noticeable detail of the renovation was clearly the green one at the time Painting in the so-called "ice green".
And even the technology has been revised. For example, a brand new one was installed under the hood 160 hp Cadillac V8 engine (331 cubic inch) from 1953. After the completion of the vehicle, there were many reports in magazines such as "Motor Trend" and "Hot Rod" and an incredible number of awards at various auto shows. And the Merc, who at some point was named "Mercillac“Got another story. Hirohata drove with it to a custom car show and the Indianapolis 500 race and wrote a story about the road trip with the title "Cross Country in a Kustom - Custom Car Chronicle“That was published in Rod & Custom.
Star in the Hollywood movie "Running Wild"
The vehicle was even in Hollywood film "Running Wild" (1955) and shortly thereafter Hirohata sold it to Robert Waldsmith, who later had an accident with it and then the Merc in a two-tone gold finish (Kalkgold - that's how he drove in "Running Wild") wrapped. Then Doug Kinney bought it (Contributor to Ed "Big Daddy" Roth) who got him from Junior Conway (had applied the first coat of paint) again green painted. Then buy the classic 16 year old high schooler Jim McNiel for $ 500 and first In the late 1980s, Pat Ganahl (Editor of “Rod and Custom” magazine) for a full restoration for almost seven years. In 2015 it was awarded the “Best in Class” award at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in the post-war Mercury class and is currently part of an exhibition at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles. And, according to Mecum Auctions, it will probably be auctioned in Kissimmee, Florida next year. Above $ 500.000 to $ 1 million he should bring it safely!
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The best tuning car from the legendary Hirohata Merc!
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