Now known as “The Grinch”, this eye-popping custom pickup began life in 1953 as a hard-working Mercury M-100 pickup. Built by a former police constable with care and pride over an eight-year period during his very limited spare time, the truck handsomely combines its timeless styling with many custom features, obvious attention to detail, and modern drivability and performance.
During the project, the body and frame were separated, with the frame completely refinished, restored, and updated with four-wheel power disc brakes and power steering gear. A new cargo box was fabricated, mated to original rear fenders, and lined with very nicely finished wooden planking. A neat custom reverse-opening hood mechanism was created, and the door handles were shaved and replaced by electric door openers, enhancing the pickup’s clean and smooth profile. Once completed, the entire body was refinished with custom green metalflake paint, accented by white pearl ghost flames. Custom polished alloy wheels and low-profile radial tires complete the exterior.
The interior is very nicely trimmed with two-tone Ultra Leather upholstery and comfortable cruising is assured with an automatic transmission and the addition of Vintage Air, power windows, Pioneer AM/FM/CD stereo, and tilt steering column. The rebuilt 351-cid V-8 engine is equipped with many high-performance parts, including an aluminum intake with four-barrel carburetor, headers, Mallory ignition, and many plated and polished goodies including Ford Motorsport valve covers.
A real show stopper and very enjoyable to drive, this remarkable Mercury custom pickup was a highly detailed and high-quality multiple show winner at local events when I first encountered it at the Canada Day car show in my local park. A friend of the late owner told me about the man and showed me the pickup’s many features in detail. He kindly referred me to the late owner’s wife, and soon, I was able to meet with her and consign the pickup to the Toronto Fall Classic Car Auction held by Collector Car Productions in October 2010. When bidding ended, this great find was sold to a new owner for around $30,000 as I recall. It was my second “sold” auction consignment in a month.