Eddie Dominguez' 1939 Mercury

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The Eddie Dominguez Merc as it sat when Jorge Zaragoza advertised for sale at the 2008 Los Angeles Roadster Show. Photo courtesy of Don Dillard.
Photos of the old Merc were spread all over the world shortly after the Los Angeles Roadster Show. Photo by Robert A. Radcliffe III.
An interior shot of the Mercury, taken at the Los Angeles Roadster Show. Photo by Robert A. Radcliffe III.
Photo courtesy of Ronnie Lindblom.
Eddie's old custom as it sat while "Squeak" owned it. Photo courtesy of Ronnie Lindblom.
The Mercury as it appeared in 2011, after Kevan Sledge had bought it. Photo courtesy of Kevan Sledge.
Kevan removing the weathered padded top. Photo courtesy of Kevan Sledge.
Photo courtesy of Kevan Sledge.
Photo courtesy of Kevan Sledge.
Photo courtesy of Kevan Sledge.
Traces of a recessed license plate can be seen in the trunk. Photo courtesy of Kevan Sledge.
The Merc had been lowered by installing long shackles. Photo courtesy of Kevan Sledge.
The Merc as it sat in September of 2011, after Kevan had installed bias ply tires and skirts. Photo courtesy of Kevan Sledge.
Photo courtesy of Kevan Sledge.
A photo of the Mercury taken in Kevan Sledge's shop. Photo courtesy of Ronnie Lindblom.
Photo courtesy of Ronnie Lindblom.
The Mercury as it sat when Ronnie Lindblom bought it from Kevan in 2015. Photo courtesy of Ronnie Lindblom.
Photo courtesy of Ronnie Lindblom.
Photo courtesy of Ronnie Lindblom.
Photo courtesy of Ronnie Lindblom.
Photo courtesy of Ronnie Lindblom.
Photo courtesy of Ronnie Lindblom.
Photo courtesy of Ronnie Lindblom.
Photo courtesy of Ronnie Lindblom.
Photo courtesy of Ronnie Lindblom.

1939 Mercury convertible owned by Eddie Dominguez of El Paso, Texas. Eddie bought the already customized Mercury in 1960, right after graduating from high school. He bought it from a local kid. The kid was about the same age as Eddie, and according to rumors, he had bought it in the San Diego area, while serving in the US Navy. When the kid bought it, it was Mint Green Metallic. After being dismissed, he drove it back home to El Paso. When Eddie got the Merc, it had been repainted Maroon, the top was chopped about 2 inches. and it featured a custom red and white upholstery and a padded top. The inside moldings were chromed, the hood was nosed and the side spears were shortened. It ran 1937 DeSoto bumpers and bumper guards, and the gas filler was shaved and moved inside the trunk for a smoother appearance. It had been lowered by installing long shackles. Living in El Paso, Eddie drove the car around without antifreeze liquid. After about a year, the engine froze, and the block was cracked. According to Eddie, it was the coldest period in El Paso's history. That was the last time the car was on the road while Eddie owned it. Eddie wasn't a car guy, so he never got the car back on the road again. He did replace the original engine with a 8BA flathead, but he never got it running.[1]


Eddie owned the Merc for more than 4 decades. In 2003 it was sold to Jorge Zaragoza, a successful rancher and businessman from El Paso, Texas. Jorge didn't want the Merc, but he had to buy it as part of a package deal in order to get his hands on a 1936 Ford 3-window coupe. Michael was a middleman in the deal, and he went with Jorge to pick it up. In 2008 Jorge shipped the Merc to California, so he could advertise it for sale at the 2008 Los Angeles Roadster Show. Ron Clapper worked for Jorge at the time, and it was he who brought the car to the show, selling it for Jorge; "I took the Merc to LARS along with a woodie to sell for my then boss. I'm recently retired," Ron told later owner Ronnie Lindblom in 2015. At the Los Angeles Roadster Show, a man in his 80s told Ron that he remembered the car when it was new in Los Angeles. He claimed that his best friend had bought it brand new from a Long Beach Mercury dealer. He then drove it to Gaylord's Kustom Shop and had them remove the original folding top and chop the top. A padded top was made for the Merc before it was upholstered and repainted. The old man then told Ron that his buddy had passed away the week before the show, but that he had been to every Los Angeles Roadster Show prior to that. Unfortunately, the old man disappeared before Ron got his name or phone number.[1]


At the Los Angeles Roadster Show the old weathered custom also caught the attention of Shifters car club member Squeak. Squeak made Jorge an offer at the show, but he turned it down. After 3 days Jorge finally accepted Squeak's offer, as he didn't want to take the car back to Texas again. When Squeak bought the car, he was told that it had been sitting in a carport in a small Texas town since the the 1950s. Ron also told Squeak that they didn't ask the people they bought the car from anything about the history, other than it had come to Texas in the 1950s.[2]


When Squeak got the car, he noticed that the trunk once had featured a sunken license plate. The car had also been dressed up in the past, featuring dual spotlights. After owning the Merc for about a year, fellow Shifters member Kevan Sledge of Sledge Customs convinced Squeak to sell him the old custom. Kevan kept the car in storage for a couple of years, before he in 2011 removed the old top and installed wide whitewall bias ply tires and skirts. Kevan also got the motor running. He planned to get it driving, so he could drive it the way it sat for a while, before eventually doing a full restoration. According to Kevan, the original factory paint was blue. It was then painted a shade of green, very similar to the Jimmy Summers Merc, before it received what looks like a Maroon paint job.[3]


In 2015 Kevan sold the Merc to Dusters member Ronnie Lindblom of Borlänge, Sweden, in order to finance another project. Ronnie plans to restore the car back to how it appeared when it was first built. After buying it, Ronnie commissioned Kevan to restore the inner structure of the padded top before it was sent off to upholstery. Kevan will also remove all chrome from the car and have it re-chromed before the car is shipped to Sweden. When Jorge sold the car in 2008, it was missing some parts such as the speedometer housing and the ashtray. Ron Clapper told Ronnie, that he believes those parts were chromed, just as all the window moldings. Ron could also tell that the car came with a dual carburetors high rise intake manifold, that he removed before he took the car to the Los Angeles Roadster Show.[1]


References



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