Nick Semeniuk's 1953 Mercury
1953 Mercury M100 truck owned and restyled by Nick Semeniuk of Courtice, Ontario, Canada. Nick bought the truck in the fall of 2013. It was a mess back then. Not safe, so he began the build by taking the box off and rebuilding the entire rear of the truck from scratch. The following winter he re-wired the whole truck and redid the interior. Next winter he rebuilt the automatic transmission himself.
It's only metal, they said...
In the fall of 2018, Nick decided to start customizing the truck. "First time trying anything like this," he told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama in March of 2020. "Learned and messed stuff up as I went." Nick had a good group of friends that helped teach and push him, giving him the confidence to cut the truck up. "It's only metal, they said..."
Late 1950s inspiration
The door handles were already shaved when Nick bought the truck, and a desire for a custom grill started the restyling project. "It snowballed from there," Nick told Kustomrama. "I wanted to build something very period correct and that could have been built in the late 50’s but I didn’t want to just apply the typical/traditional treatment. I wanted to find my own style and do it my own way."
Nick started the build by making a grille from a stock 53 truck grille, replacing the middle section with a section from a 1954 Chevrolet grille. Wanting all the pieces to look as they belonged there, Nick had to reshape and extend the leading edge of the hood in order to make it match the shape of the new grille. The modified hood was shaved for chrome before Nick reshaped the lower valence and added 1949 Plymouth bumpers. "The front is made from a rear Plymouth bumper in 3 pieces, the rear bumper is a front Plymouth bumper that was pie cut and reprofiled to fit the back of the truck." The splash pans and door handles were handmade before Nick started altering the rear end of the truck.
Scallop paint job
"For taillights, I just knew I didn’t want to use 1950 Mercury car taillights." A friend showed Nick an old article that has used 1947 Studebaker - 49 Studebaker Champion taillights on a Ford truck, so he found some to try out and loved it. "For license plates, I wanted some kind of frame. I had two Plymouth bumperettes. I cut them in half and made boxes between the halves. Front one the top was sectioned to be a little smaller." The bed was dressed up with a vinyl padded tonneau cover that Nick decorated with a padded gold diamond. Once the bodywork was completed, Nick gave the car a beautiful Gold scallop paint job. "Most of the red paint is pretty old, I’ve traced back through as many owners that are still alive and no one knows who painted the red. It’s about 20 years or so. The only red I’ve painted is the tailgate and splash pan area." Completing the build in March of 2020, the truck was dressed up with dual dummy spotlights, 1955 Mercury hubcaps, and wide whitewall tires. The dummy spotlights were in a box full of stuff that came with the truck.
The Long Beach 1958 look
Nick nailed the period-correct 1958 Long Beach, California custom car look with his first build. "The actual work is not perfect," he claimed. "I made plenty of mistakes, there are things I would do differently next time, my paint has blemishes. But I’m very happy with the overall look I ended up with, I think all the pieces look natural together, that was the real goal and that’s what was important to me. Now I’m gonna drive wheels off it," he added.
Nick's Custom Parts List
- Grille Bar: 1954 Chevrolet | Other cars using 1954 Chevrolet grille bars | Check availability on eBay
- Bumpers: 1949 Plymouth | Other cars using 1949 Plymouth bumpers | Check availability on eBay
- Taillights: 1947-49 Studebaker Champion | Other cars using 1947-49 Studebaker Champion taillighs | Check availability on eBay
- Hubcaps: 1955 Mercury | Other cars using 1955 Mercury hubcaps | Check availability on eBay
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