1953 Mercury Custom 2-Door Sedan - $19,900
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This car is every bit as nice as it looks in photos, but where it really shines is how well it works.

Beautiful older restoration with extensive recent maintenance. Great-running 255 cubic inch flathead V8, 3-speed manual with overdrive. New tires, exhaust, wiring, and more. Even the clock works! A wonderful late flathead that runs and drives extremely well.

This is easily the best $20,000 car we’ve ever featured. No joke. This car is every bit as nice as it looks in photos, but where it really shines is how well it works. It starts easily, idles smoothly and almost silently, and drives like a car half its age. For those of you new to flatheads, this is a fantastic place to start, although it might spoil you for anything that follows simply because it’s such a good car. The dark green paint shines up father well and the understated styling is a great contrast to the excesses that would come later in the ‘50s. The 2-door sedan body style is at once stylish and practical, and with the accessory visor over the windshield, it looks sporty and sophisticated. Panel fit is quite good, and the doors swing closed with precision, not needing a hard slam to latch properly. The long strip of stainless trim doesn’t allow much slop in panel alignment and the hood latches down snugly. Someone was clearly sweating the details when this one came together. They did a heck of a job!

The interior is neatly trimmed in period-appropriate fabrics and patterns that give the Mercury an understated look. It’s comfortable for all-day touring, and you’ll note that the little stuff is well done. There are newer carpets on the floor, matching floor mats, and color-coordinated seat belts, just to be smart. The controls are simple, with aircraft-inspired levers for the heating and ventilation system and a simple round pod for all the gauges. They all work like they should, including the clock, which ticks away reliably in the center of the dash. The wiring forward of the steering wheel is entirely new, and there’s a new harness for the overdrive in the trunk (the overdrive works properly so we decided to leave it alone). There’s also a hidden switch for an auxiliary electric fuel pump, which is useful for priming after a period of inactivity or for fighting vapor lock on especially hot days. All the windows roll up and down easily, the weather seals are in excellent shape, and the headliner is expertly fitted. In back, there’s a big trunk with a correct rubber mat, full-sized spare, and jack assembly.

The final iteration of Ford’s flathead V8 is the one that everyone wants: the 255 cubic inch Mercury. It has all the flathead’s virtues, including smooth operation, great torque, and a bubbly, entertaining personality that has endeared it to millions of enthusiasts for decades. This one starts easily, idles properly, and drives well enough that the previous owner used it daily in good weather for several years. It’s correctly detailed with turquoise engine enamel, a big air cleaner up top, Ford script hoses and reproduction hose clamps, and factory-style hardware throughout. The carburetor and fuel pump are freshly rebuilt, the engine mounts are new, and it exhales through a new dual exhaust system with just the right mellow tone—not too harsh or raspy, but muscular. The 3-speed manual transmission shifts nicely with light clutch action, and the Borg-Warner overdrive works as it should, giving this car excellent highway manners. In fact, the rear end was recently rebuilt and includes an NOS 3.90 gearset, making it a wonderful cruiser no matter where you are. The undercarriage is extremely solid, showing no signs of rot, and new shocks give it a rather smooth ride that is part of why this car is such a great cruiser. The gas tank has been replaced, so no worries there, and it sits on factory wheels and hubcaps with fresh 7.10-15 Goodyear wide whitewall tires.

Documentation includes the original owner’s manual and recent maintenance receipts.

We’re just delighted with this car. Someone took care of it for more than 70 years and it has been restored and upgraded appropriately to make it delightful on the road. The clean, chiseled lines still look great today and it’s comfortable enough for the whole family. Look carefully at the pictures, remember what I told you about how well it drives, and then look at the price—this is easily the best $20,000 car we’ve ever featured. Call today!

Harwood Motors always recommends and welcomes personal or professional inspections of any vehicle in our inventor prior to purchase.

Vehicle: 1953 Mercury Custom 2-Door Sedan
Price: $19,900
Stock Number: 121055
Odometer Reading: 3132
VIN: 53ME41584M
Engine: 255 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 3-speed manual with overdrive
Gear Ratio: 3.90
Wheelbase: 118 inches
Wheels: 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
Tires: 7.10-15 Goodyear wide whitewall
Exterior Color: Green
Interior Color: Light Green cloth
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