DeWayne Iverson's 1949 Mercury
1949 Mercury owned by DeWayne Iverson of Tacoma, Washington. DeWayne's connection with the world of cars began at an early age. Born in 1945, he developed a passion for automobiles during his teenage years and quickly embraced the lifestyle of a "Gearhead." DeWayne was a drag race type in the early 1960s, and his journey into the world of custom cars started with full-race Flatheads, eventually progressing to overhead engines.
DeWayne's father owned a wrecking yard and auto repair shop, providing the perfect environment for him to nurture his automotive interests. He began working for his father after school and on weekends when he was just 13 years old. This early exposure to the world of automobiles laid the foundation for his lifelong fascination with cars. In the early 1960s, DeWayne embarked on his journey to build and own hot rods and custom cars. Among the various cars he worked on, one of the most notable was a 1954 Ford 2-Door Mainliner. In August of 2023, DeWayne told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama that he got his hands on a 57 Ford 312, "and myself, my dad, and an old guy (can't remember his name) who was an expert head modifier from National Auto Machine Shop bored it out to 331 cu inches, installed a Crane Camshaft, 4:11 rear axle, and a 4-speed from a '62 Ford."
DeWayne's Mainliner became known for its performance, but it also attracted the attention of law enforcement. As he humorously noted, "I had 9 tickets in 2 months and was invited down to the State Patrol office in Tacoma." Facing the suspension of his driver's license, DeWayne had to make a difficult decision: "I told them I need it for my job working for my Dad and offered to sell it to keep my license." Fortunately, this strategy worked, and he successfully sold the Mainliner to a friend who introduced him to the 1949 Mercury that would become the subject of this story. "My partner in building Ford drag cars back then, who I sold my 54 Ford to, saw it on a car lot in Tacoma on South Tacoma Way. That’s who I got it from. I paid $800 for it. Which was a considerable amount back then, but when you see something you really want, you just do it. I worked for my dad, and he paid me good money, and I did side jobs at home."
The 1949 Mercury, which DeWayne acquired in 1963, left a lasting impression on him. As he described it, "I loved that old Merc Leadsled; it was slow and low with a '56 Pontiac engine and a 3-speed on the column." While DeWayne had limited information about the car's history at the time of acquisition, he was told that it had been painted by Dick Page and had possibly appeared in a Custom Car magazine. However, specific details about its origins and modifications remained elusive, and in 2023, DeWayne didn't know who did the bodywork on the car "but noticed the front fenders have a similar look to Chuck Traaen's 1949 Mercury." The taillights were out of a 1957 Mercury, and DeWayne recalled that they were nicely fabricated into the rear fenders. "One odd thing was the interior, including the headliner and the trunk, were all in what we called then rolled and pleated Naugahyde but in blue and white with the pleats blue. Those colors didn’t go well with the outside paint color. So, I believe the car was a different color originally. The car was lowered with lowering blocks in the back and reversed spindles in the front, so it rode quite well as it still had the full springs in the front." The exterior of the car was painted in a maroon-ish tint.
While owning the car, DeWayne made some changes and upgrades. He rebuilt the Merc tranny, and installed chrome reversed wheels with a spinner knock-off center and black wall tires. "I hand painted the raised lettering on the tires white, used a spray leather dye, and redid the interior black."
Sold to a Friend in 1966
The car holds a special place in DeWayne's heart, as it served as a significant part of his life's journey before he entered military service in 1966. "I sold it to a friend, and he sold it to someone else. By the time I returned from the military, no one knew where it went."
Did you enjoy this article?
Kustomrama is an encyclopedia dedicated to preserve, share and protect traditional hot rod and custom car history from all over the world.
- Help us keep history alive. For as little as 2.99 USD a month you can become a monthly supporter. Click here to learn more.
- Subscribe to our free newsletter and receive regular updates and stories from Kustomrama.
- Do you know someone who would enjoy this article? Click here to forward it.
Can you help us make this article better?
Please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have additional information or photos to share about DeWayne Iverson's 1949 Mercury.
This article was made possible by:
SunTec Auto Glass - Auto Glass Services on Vintage and Classic Cars
Finding a replacement windshield, back or side glass can be a difficult task when restoring your vintage or custom classic car. It doesn't have to be though now with auto glass specialist companies like www.suntecautoglass.com. They can source OEM or OEM-equivalent glass for older makes/models; which will ensure a proper fit every time. Check them out for more details!
Do you want to see your company here? Click here for more info about how you can advertise your business on Kustomrama.