Pinup Meets Passion: Brooke Dolan And Her Amazing ’47 Merc

In the world of hot rods and their owners, there is something to be said about a female enthusiast that not only drives her cars, but also isn’t afraid to get a little grease under her nails and dirt in her hair wrenching away on it. One such gal is Fort Collins, Colorado resident Brooke Dolan. Wife of tattoo shop owner Dan Dolan and mother to two amazing kids, Dolan certainly breaks the mold when it comes to your stereotypical hot rod gal.

Her Ride

Dolan has always had an eye for classic cars, but it wasn’t until recently that she was fortunate to have any of her own. Of course, being a lover of hot rods and having a spouse that’s into them just as much as you are eventually leads to the inevitable–getting a hot rod of your own.

This beautiful 1947 Mercury, nicknamed Merczilla, is Dolan’s first official hot rod. A gift from her husband, who surprised her with the car by offering for her to keep a pretty rough Merc the couple had found previously or what was around the corner–this gorgeous classic being that option.

“He said it was because he was so proud of me,” Dolan explained of the amazing gift. 

Though Dolan has only had the car for about four months now, the two go together like rockabilly music and pinup girls–effortlessly like they were made of the same mold. Dolan even uses the car as her daily driver, weather permitting she told us, and takes every opportunity to enjoy the attention it gets at shows and events.

The Merc’s paint job may be 16 years old, but it still gleams like it was freshly sprayed thanks to a recent refresh from Newstalgia Custom Paint & Design.

The Details

Built by Patrick Tompkins, Merczilla is a unique combination of classic old-school cool and 1990s customization. Immediately, you’ll notice the amazing PPG Calypso Poly Bright paint scheme that gives the car a personality all its own.

Surprisingly sleek still, this paint was laid by Tompkins in 1998 but sheens like new thanks to some recent refreshing and repairs done by Newstalgia Custom Paint & Design.

Underneath the candy-colored coating is a body that’s been lowered 1 1/2-inches and a  hood that’s been nosed by two. Other custom body modifications include 1970 Camaro headlight rims and a custom machined license plate frame.

Inside, Dolan’s Mercury features just as much character with the highly-chromed original dash,VDO gauges, seats out of a 1979 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz and a Kenwood stereo system. The interior also features a custom machined gear indicator, trunk release and kill switch that all match the Merc’s rear license plate frame.

Though she adores her hot rod, the interior is the location of two things Dolan will be changing in the near future–the steering wheel and the side mirrors.

“They are a bit too 1990s,” Dolan explained to us. “They will be replaced before the Leadsled Spectacular this year.”

Dolan plans to take her Merc to the 2014 Leadsled Spectacular in late July, put on by the Kustom Kemps of America (KKOA) car club that she is affiliated with.

Moving from the aesthetics to the running gear presents an unexpected surprise under the hood–a 500 ci engine borrowed from a 1976 Cadillac Eldorado. Helping trick this bad boy out are a camshaft and roller rocker lifters from COMP Cams, Trick Flow pushrods, an Edelbrock intake manifold and carburetor, MSD ignition and Pro-Billet distributor, and a Flowmaster Delta Flow 50 Series muffler. Miscellaneous additions include electronic cruise control.

The engine just happens to be Dolan’s favorite feature of her car, telling us, “Nothing else purrs quite like she does.”

The engine is backed by an automatic transmission taken out of a 1969 Cadillac Seville.

Underneath the Mercury, the chassis is just as unique as the rest of the vehicle, with a 1976 Trans Am suspension system doing the dirty work up front while a hand-fabricated suspension system with 1971 Chevy truck trailing and control arms take care of business out back.

All the way around, the Merc runs Pro Shocks and F-body sway bars, the front being from the ’76 TA and the rear being a custom mash-up of Camaro parts. This all works along with the custom made steel tube frame covered in GM Charcoal Metallic Paint to give the classic beauty its lowered stance and smooth ride.

Putting rubber to road are Coker Chrome Smoothies with Bullet Caps wrapped in American Classic wide whites measuring 235/70/16 in the rear and 215/70/15 in the front. Stopping power for the Merc comes compliments of four-wheel disc brakes. 

While Merczilla may seem a bit sporadic in its major components, everything works amazingly well together for one of the coolest Mercs we’ve seen in awhile. And like Dolan brought up, what fun would having a car like everyone else be?

“Too often you see the same modifications on cars,” she told us. “I appreciate the small and rare details in my car that help separate it from the crowd.”

A Unique History

When Dolan’s husband purchased the Merc for her, he was given a file box with all the pictures and build sheets from the car’s amazing transformation from any old car to a classic hot rod, performed solely by Patrick Tompkins.

Tompkins was certainly a hell of a craftsman as is evident in the ’47 Merc. Unfortunately, he passed away shortly after completing the build and the car was passed on to Don Davis, who owned it until the Dolan’s purchased it.

With just 2100 miles on the rebuilt engine when she got it, Dolan likes to say that she’s “making up for lost driving time” with the vehicle acting as her primary daily driver. After all, she told us, “Cars should be driven and appreciated. I am not one that could ever hide it away.”

The Woman Behind the Wheel

Just like her classic ride, Dolan is a unique beauty with plenty of personality, warmth, and style. With a true passion for everything vintage, including classic pinup styling, Dolan’s collection of classic clothing, from swimsuits to high heels is just about enough to make any hot rod gal envious, while her intricate tattoos not only add more edge to her look, they also tell a lot about who she is and what she is passionate about.

In addition to her love for hot rods, Dolan enjoys baking, sewing, doing yoga and spending time with her family and friends. When she’s not teaching yoga to kids, she’s giving children’s nightmares a softer side by turning their hand-drawn monsters into cuddly pals through her company Brooke’s Beasts. She also creates these unique characters for therapy centers for sensory therapy. In the future, Dolan hopes to grow her business even more. 

Over the years, Dolan has been to countless car shows and events, as well as on a number of vacations, but her favorite one of both was her trip to Salina, Kansas for the KKOA Leadsled Spectacular. When it comes to a dream vacation, well, Dolan would love to see the Lonestar Round Up in Austin, Texas. In five to ten years, she hopes to be travelling the world going to different car shows.

On a typical weekend, you’ll usually find Dolan in the kitchen cooking, although the majority of her summer weekends are spent going to all the car shows she can. The thing she loves most about the hot rod scene in particular are the people. One thing she can’t stand? “Bad flame paint jobs,” she told us. 

A true giver at heart, Dolan describes herself as caring, loyal, and creative. No conversation with Dolan will leave you questioning her motivation to do anything or her true genuine nature. 

Don’t let her glam look fool you- Brooke Dolan is not afraid to get her hands dirty when it comes to her car.

True to her character, Dolan wanted to make sure that her gratitude to her husband for buying her the car, Newstalgia for helping to refresh it a bit, Tompkins for building such a wonderful street rod, and Davis for keeping it so well maintained for all the years prior to her acquiring the Merc, was shared.

“I would like to make sure that Patrick Tompkins gets the recognition he deserves for having been such an amazing car builder,” Dolan told us. “He worked endless hours and so hard to create such an incredible car. I would like to make sure his work is not forgotten. Also, to the wonderful Don Davis who took such good care of this car and kept it alive for so many years. Thank you so much for passing on such an unforgettable build story and beautiful car to me. I promise to take good care of her!”

Knowledgeable about the hot rod scene and the workings of her own street rod, as well as a downright genuine individual, Dolan is the epitome of a true car gal and we can’t thank her enough for sharing her ride and bright personality with us! For more photos from our shoot with Dolan, be sure to check out the Rod Authority Photo Gallery below!

About the author

Lindsey Fisher

Lindsey is a freelance writer and lover of anything with a rumble. Hot rods, muscle cars, motorcycles - she's owned and driven it all. When she's not busy writing about them, she's out in her garage wrenching away. Who doesn't love a tech-savy gal that knows her way around a garage?
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