Richard Soderquist's 1954 Mercury

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Photo by Gene Winfield.
Photo by Gene Winfield.
A push button was installed in the rear roof pillar to open the door after shaving the door handles. Photo by Gene Winfield.

1954 Mercury Monterey restyled by Gene Winfield of Winfield's Custom Shop for Turlock Cranks member Richard Soderquist of Turlock, California. The unique front on Richard's Merc was created by molding in a 1955 Pontiac grille and split bumpers. The stock lower bumper was kept. The hood was filled and the air scoop was made functional. The deck lid handle and door handles were removed as well. After shaving the door handles, Gene installed an electrical push button in the rear roof pillar to activate the door solenoids. The headlights were were frenched and shades were added above the top. The rear quarter air scoops were made functional, the trim surrounding the scoops was removed and the lower body line was continued into the rear quarter halfway into the fender skirts. The rear fenders were extensively reworked in order to accept a set of frenched 1956 Packard Clipper taillights and backup lights. The stock taillight unit's bulkheads were retained for strength. Round rod was used to shape the new edges of the openings thus forming the metal that was contoured for extension. The rear bumper featured filled-in mounting holes and integrated exhaust tips. The body was lowered 6 inches by cutting the coils up front and installing lowering blocks in the rear. Gene painted the car Copper Mist Red lacquer, which prepared the car of its final touch, pinstriping on hood, fenders and deck lid which highlighted its re-styled lines. Fender skirts and 1956 Plymouth Fury hubcaps with extra bullets attached wrapped up the style.[1] According to Car Craft December 1957, Shaw's Upholstery Shop in Modesto, California reupholstered the interior in red and white Naugahyde done in a traditional padded and pleated pattern. David Gant's book The Legendary Custom Cars and Hot Rods of Gene Winfield on the other hand claims that the interior was done in Tijuana.

Richard's Mercury was one of the first cars Gene restyled after he expanded his shop on Tulley Road around 1957. Richard was 17 years old when he had Gene restyle the car.[2]

Magazine Features

Custom Cars September 1957
Car Craft December 1957
Trend Book 156 Custom Cars 1958 Annual


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