Edward Meritai's 1950 Ford

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A photo of Ed with the Ford. In the early 1980s Ray Soff met Ed, and Ed told him that he used to have a 1950 Ford custom back in the days. Ed lent Ray the photos he had of the car so he could scan them for his huge collection of East Coast custom car photos. Photo from The Ray Soff Collection.
Ed's Ford was restyled by Monego's Body Shop in Garfield, New Jersey, and the build was completed in 1958. Photo from The Ray Soff Collection.
The rear quarter panels on Ed's Ford were extended 14 inches and modified to accept a pair of 1954 Oldsmobile lenses. The rear of the car was also dressed up with a continental kit, a popular East Coast trend at the time. Photo from The Ray Soff Collection.
The continental kit was hinged and could be moved backward for access to the trunk. Photo from The Ray Soff Collection.
A snapshot of Ed's Ford was published in the "Letters" section of Car Craft January 1959 along with a letter from Ed.


1950 Ford owned by Edward "Ed" Meritai of East Paterson, New Jersey. In the early 1980s Ed told Ray Soff that he had Monego's Body Shop in Garfield, New Jersey restyle the car for him. "He drove it as a every day car," Ray told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama in 2018.[1]


Frantic Ford

A snapshot of Ed's Ford was published in the "Letters" section of Car Craft January 1959 along with a letter from Ed. The story was named "Frantic Ford," and according to Ed's letter, the Ford was originally a club coupe that they had cut the roof off. The list of modifications included headlights that were hand-formed with 1953 Buick in mind. The grille shell was reshaped and dressed up with a grille made from 1955 Chrysler rear bumper parts. The hood was rounded and fitted with an air scoop. The splash pans were molded in before 1951 Ford bumpers were installed. It was nosed, decked and shaved for handles. The doors and windows were electronically operated. 1955 Buick sidetrim was installed along with hand-formed bubble skirts. The rear quarter panels were extended 14 inches and modified them to accept a pair of 1954 Oldsmobile lenses. The rear of the car was also dressed up with a continental kit, a popular East Coast trend. The gas tank filler was hidden in the trunk. The top was chopped 3 1/2 inches before it was fitted with a removable padded "Carson Top." The top was upholstered in vinyl. The interior featured black and white rolls and pleats and rugs.[2]


The engine was bored, ported and relieved, and it ran Jahns aluminum pistons, Offy heads and manifold, Belond headers, Mallory ignition and a truck clutch. It was lowered 5 inches in the rear and 3 inches up front with blocks, cut coils and reworked A-frames. According to the letter Ed wrote to Car Craft Magazine, the build took over two years.[2] According to Ray Soff, the build was completed shortly before Ed's letter was published in Car Craft.

Gutted and Junked

Ed told Ray that he sold the car to a guy in Saddle Brook, New Jersey. Ray located the second owner and gave him a call. "He had it for a short time and sold it." Ray saw it on RT46 for sale around 1964-65, "it was in gray primer and the asking price was $300." A few months later Ray saw it on a side of a house where a few older guys rented garages. He went there and met a guy that he knew, Dennis, who said that he bought it and took the full house Olds motor out. He wanted $25 for it. "I had no place to put it. A few months later I asked Dennis where the car was?" It got junked, he told Ray.[1]


Magazine Features and Appearances

Car Craft January 1959


References



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