Jimmy Summers' 1940 Mercury

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The first Ruby Maroon version of Jimmy's Mercury.[1]
Two photos of the Jimmy Summers Merc, taken outside Jimmy's shop by Veda Orr, were published in California Timing News february 1947. Four photos of the Frank Kurtis built Bill Hughes' Roadster were also published on the same page, and according to the caption, the car was currently owned by Jimmy Summers. Photo courtesy of California Timing News.
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The Merc as it appeared after it was painted green.
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Recent pictures of the car. Photo by Donn Lowe
Recent pictures of the car. Photo by Donn Lowe
Recent pictures of the car. Photo by Donn Lowe
Recent pictures of the car. Photo by Donn Lowe
The car as it appeared in July, 2010 showing the partly stripped and molded headlight. Photo by Dick Page, provided by Rik Hoving.
Photo showing the inside of the fender. Photo by Dick Page, provided by Rik Hoving.
The marking on this photo shows where the headlight and fender line was filled in by Jimmy Summers in the 1950s.

1940 Mercury restyled by Jimmy Summers of Hollywood, California in 1946. The car was lowered 8 1/2 inches all around. The entire body was channeled 6 inches and the fenders were left at their original height, but reshaped to fit the altered body. Jimmy sectioned the hood by removing material from its bottom. The front end was redesigned to fit a handmade 1939 Buick-looking grille made from flat stock. The running boards and gravel shields were removed, the chrome shaved, and teardrop skirts added. Jimmy also made some special bumpers holding the license plate, flanked by tail and stop lights. The deck lid was shaved for its handle and operated by a control from the driver seat. The windshield was chopped 2 1/2 inches and the car featured a tan padded top by Carson Top Shop. The top was finished inside with dark broadcloth. The seats were covered with top-grain steerhide. The instruments were grouped in front of the steering wheel, and the balance of the dashboard was paneled in wood. The first version of the car was painted Ruby Maroon. The paint job consisted of 60 separate coats of maroon lacquer sprayed on one after the other. Then the finish was sanded with extra-fine sandpaper and a final coat of lacquer thinned out 80 percent sprayed on. This was rubbed down with a fine cleaner, burnished with a dry sheepskin mounted on a high-speed power disk and waxed. The Merc was later painted green after Jimmy and Doane Spencer drove the car down the steps at the state capitol in Sacramento. Jimmy's wife also didn't like the Ruby Maroon color, so she got Jimmy to paint it green instead.[2] The Hubcaps were 1942 Packard units.


Jimmy sold the car to Tex Roberts[3] in 1950. Tex was a colonel in the US Airforce, and the car was shipped around the world while he owned it. After Tex bought the car, Jimmy helped him mold the headlights, shave the door handles, install exhaust tips in the rear pan, and mold a license plate frame ton the trunk. Dick Page of Tacoma, Washington, who had helped Tex work on the car, bought the car from Tex around 1970. By then the car was complete but unrestored. After Dick bought the car, it was kept in storage for about 40 years. During these 40 years, Dick also sold the car to his friend Jerry Jacobs, but ended up buying it back 10 years later. In May of 2010 Dick Page posted a notice on the HAMB telling everyone that the restoration of the Jimmy Summers' Merc had started. Since Dick was in a wheelchair, Jerry Jacobs and other friends helped him with the restoration.[2] In July of 2010, restoration shots of the Merc was posted on the HAMB, showing its current state. Restoring the car back to its Ruby Maroon version, Dick was looking for some missing parts such as single bar flipper hubcaps and door handles.[3]


Magazine Features

California Timing News february 1947
Popular Mechanics May 1947
Hop Up March 1952


References


Sources

The American Custom Car
Hotrods Online
Street Rodder Magazine



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