The Mercury brand was a relatively young player in the automotive industry, having been around for only a decade, when it introduced the new Eight in 1949. This model marked the brand’s first post-World War II design departure, featuring even more pronounced curves, a rounded rear end that concealed its fenders, and a sleek chrome grill that extended across the entire front of the car.
Nestled beneath the expansive hood was the familiar 255 cubic-inch Ford flathead V-8 engine, but with a 10% increase in power compared to its counterparts from the Blue Oval, delivering 112 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque. In its final production year of 1951, the flathead engine, now in its last iteration, was paired with Mercury’s inaugural automatic transmission, the 3-speed Warner Gear-produced “Merc-O-Matic.”
The Eight’s simplistic yet elegant lines and easily customizable drivetrain made it a prime choice among hotrodders and customizers. The Eight’s popularity among customizers resulted in many examples being modified with alterations like chopping and channeling, to the point where very few remain today in their original, unmodified condition.