Previous Next

Lot 834

1952 Mercury Custom 8-Passenger Station Wagon

  • Chassis no. 52LA33972M

Sold for $110,000

SERIES 2M. 125 bhp, 255.4 cu. in. L-head V-8 engine, three-speed manual transmission with overdrive, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 118"

Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln all received new bodies for 1952. Stronger chassis frames supported the new bodies and all models had advanced features, like suspended pedals and curved single pane windshields. Like Ford, however, Mercury held over its L-head V-8, which was the only available powerplant. Although it had the same displacement as in 1951, it was more powerful, thanks to higher compression. A Merc-O-Matic transmission was optional and very popular, with nearly half the production equipped with one. Of the cars with three-speed manual transmission, only about a third, or one-sixth of production, had optional overdrive.

There had been plans for ball joint front suspension and overhead valve engines for all Ford Motor Company 1952 cars, but in the end, only Lincoln got them. Ford and Mercury adapted their old suspensions and engines to the new chassis. The new engines and suspension did not appear until 1954.

Mercury had never had series designations, but for 1952, a line with upscale Monterey trim was adopted, comprising a four-door sedan, a hardtop coupe, and a convertible. A basic “Custom Series” offered two- and four-door sedans, a hardtop sport coupe, and two station wagon models.

With Iron Mountain closed, all wagons were now built at the Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan and were all steel. In the Ford line, only the prestigious Country Squire had any wood, and that was simply ornamental. Varnished maple from the Ionia-Mitchell Company outlined a side accent of DI-NOC imitation wood grain. The Country Squire was part of the upscale Crestline series and had seating for eight, the rear cushions folding to form a long flat cargo area. The middle seat was split asymmetrically to facilitate access to the rear.

Like Ford, Mercury’s station wagon bodies were constructed entirely of steel. Unlike Ford, however, only a four-door model was available, with seats for either six or eight. Both wagons came with the decorative maple side trim and DI-NOC wood grain. Where Ford had a “dogleg” wood accent on the rear wheelhouse, Mercury used stainless trim from the sedan. After construction at the Rouge plant, the bodies were shipped to their respective assembly plants. This car was assembled in Los Angeles.

Completely restored in 2008 for former owner Mario Duhon of Baltimore, this 1952 Mercury Custom station wagon is one of 2,478 built that year, completed on October 20, 1951. The restoration was meticulously performed by Hot Rods & Custom Stuff, of Escondido, California, and finished in 2006 at a cost of some $200,000. Copies of the receipts are available. It is painted Hillcrest Green, and the paint is flawless, exhibiting a deep shine. All brightwork is of exceptional quality, and the glass is excellent and etched with correct script. The interior is done in tan and brown vinyl, in the correct patterns, with brown carpet on the floor. Mercury’s instrument panel was aircraft-inspired, with gauges housed in a binnacle directly before the driver, flanked by slider controls for heating and ventilation. This car is equipped with a push-button AM radio, a fresh-air heater, and a Borg electric clock. The flathead V-8 engine is correctly detailed and mated to Mercury’s Touch-O-Matic overdrive transmission, a rare combination that gives excellent performance with effortless highway cruising.

Acquired by the Dingman Collection in March 2010, the car has been carefully treated and meticulously maintained. Current mileage showing is about 85,000. The car is accompanied by a dossier of documents and photographs. With their low initial production, the population of surviving 1952 Mercury station wagons is necessarily small. This one is certainly one of the very best.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 9... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. He is a life-long automobile enthusiast and ... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Ian Kelleher

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Politica... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Jonathan Sierakowski

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Jonathan Sierakowski developed a passion for classic cars while working at a Connecticut restoration shop as a teenager. He graduated with a... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. He att... read more

Peter Wallman

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007 following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, where he was based out ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more