All Out Custom: A ’49 Mercury Woody With Big-Block Power

The smooth and luxurious lines on this 1949 Mercury are a different kind of hotrod from what we’ve come to see as the norm these days. It’s custom all around and has the true, 1960s hotrod look down to a science. It’s got big-block power, birds-eye maple wood dressing, and plenty of good looks to go around.

There is just something about the way the lines flow around on this old Mercury woody. They've got a lot of curves and it looks stunning where the metal body meets the wood paneling.

This ’49 Mercury belongs to Rich McCarthy of Sequim, Washington, and although it was built close to this when he bought it, there was still a lot of work that had to be done. “It leaked like a sieve,” Rich explained. “It didn’t have license plate lights in the back and it didn’t have any mirrors either.” The car was sort of built over the year by various car collectors that never finished it. “It was passed around from, warehouse to warehouse where one guy painted it, one guy did the top, and so on.”

That Edelbrock carburetor sure looks nice sitting proudly on the big-block.

It’s now powered by a big-block 454 cubic-inch engine with Merlin heads and a little thumping cam. “It sounds good,” Rich said, and we can vouch for that! It also has a Mustang II front suspension, 700-R4 automatic transmission, and an 8-inch rearend. Rich fixed all the leaks the car came with and has made it into a good, reliable cruiser.

The interior is just as well-crafted as the exterior and features leather and suede upholstery, Classic Instruments gauges, and an ididit steering column. The seatbelts are another addition by Rich. We just love the styling of the interior and the way the black instrument cluster stands out against the tan dash. The custom console with the floor shifter is also an awesome feature, and the Vintage Air A/C system, makes for comfortable cruising on hot days.

The character in the birds-eye maple really adds to the custom look of the car. Although a woody like this isn't common in the first place, the birds-eye helps it stand out and really grab attention.

The hood mechanism is another thing that we thought was pretty interesting. He used the struts off of an old caprice for the hydraulic cylinders. That heavy hood needed some extra lifting power to keep it open. He also placed the rear-view mirrors on the metal of the hood, rather than the wood of the window frame or door post. A stellar choice that keeps the wood clean and smooth and adds another custom touch to his already over-the-top Mercury build.

It's even kind of cool the way the mirror tilts with the hood.

What do you think of Rich’s custom Woody hotrod? It’s an awesome car and we’d love to see more like it. Do you have an All Out Custom creation you’d like us to see? Whether it’s a ratrod, hotrod, or something else entirely, we’d love to consider it, so shoot us an email and we’ll talk. If you have a more conventional muscle build, we’d send it over for consideration as a Street Feature.

This Mercury is just an all around well built custom. We love it.

About the author

Kyler Lacey

A 2015 Graduate from Whitworth University, Kyler has always loved cars. He grew up with his dad's '67 Camaro in the garage and started turning wrenches at a young age. At seventeen, he bought his first classic, a '57 Chevy Bel Air four-door, and has since added a '66 Plymouth Valiant and '97 Cadillac Deville to his collection. When he isn't writing for Power Automedia, he's out shooting pictures at car shows, hiking in the forests of the beautiful Pacific Northwest, or working on something in the garage.
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