’Twas a shocking sight to see the small collection of Mercury Customs on the lawn at Pebble Beach juxtaposed against the elegant show-winning Isotta Fraschini and a spectacular assemblage of Ferraris, but after the shock wore off, one could see the hand of craftsmen shaping sheet metal to their own purpose, the stuff Concours celebrate in their annual assemblies.
Shown here In all it’s chopped and channeled glory is the 1951 Mercury ICM Custom Coupe created by builder Barris Kustoms for client Bob Hirohata. Squint your eyes a bit when looking at the profile view of this car and you may see echoes of the famous French coachbuilders Figoni et Falaschi chrome slash that adorned the sleekest automotive designs of the 1930s.
Barris Kustoms clearly had an unrestrained gleam in their eye when they expertly removed the Mercury B pillar, lowered the car and chopped the roofline to exaggerate this zoomy body design. Plenty of lead was used to fill the holes left after carving the original Mercury into its new configuration. The entire confection was completed in only 97 shop days—just in time for Bob Petersen’s 1952 International Motorama held in Los Angeles. The insane production schedule may have been a blessing in disguise for the finished car is minimally adorned except for it’s broad, bold body strokes. Frozen in time within the hammered metal of this 1951 Mercury Custom is the flash and dash of the immediate postwar design period.
Hagerty Predicts Collectible Car Auction Prices will Slow
Venerable collectable car expert, Michael Hagerty, predicts recent soaring auction prices for collectible automobiles will slow.
In 2010, when the economic concept of the "New Normal", was formulating itself in the public mind, the big money was quietly placing bets on collectible automobiles as a new form of "hard currency". Were they right? Yes, classic car auction results validate that investing in rare automobiles as an appreciating asset was a smart move at that time.
As America has struggled with the recession, rejiggered health care, student debt and a housing crisis, the appreciation in classic car prices has been unprecedented since 2010. But now come the first withering signs that this economic bubble may be about to burst. Will the prospect of a new "Asian Contagion" courtesy of China's slowdown tarnish the allure of poring dollars into automotive investments?
Auction results at this time of this writing point to a slowdown in price increases overall, although premier examples of one-off or extremely limited production automobiles continues to increase.
Many stunning examples of custom coachbuilt cars from Carrozzeria Touring will be featured on the lawn at Pebble Beach this year. Touring Superleggera patented their process of using a tubular design systems overlaid with thin alloy to construct a super lightweight automotive body. Some of the resulting construction are stunning as well as competitive due to their lightweight.
Hold onto your hat. 570S to appear at Pebble Beach Concours this year.
There was a time when attending the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance was a pleasure and a passion. After reading this Jalopnik blog, I feel like it's become a parody of itself, a bit like Cannes Film Festival.
Thankfully, the cars haven't changed, so the delight is still there for Car Culture enthusiasts. Saddle up!http://goo.gl/hBQw7M
Last fall, at the Goodwood Revival an amazing 1936 LG45R Rapide set a record price for Lagonda. One might hope to see more Lagondas like this 1939 Lagonda V-12 Drophead Coupé at the featured display of British prewar cars on the lawn at the 2015 Pebble Beach Concours.
Do Cadillacs stretch? No, but Mercedes Benz.
In anticipation of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Car Culture has created a duPont Motors Pinterest Board. Here, we’ve curated some examples of the few remaining 537 produced motorcars built by the venerable duPont Motor Manufacturing Company of Wilmington, Delaware.
You can also contribute directly to this board by becoming a Car Culture collaborator on this Pinterest group board dedicated to DuPont Motor Manufacturing.
If you are planning on attending the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance next weekend, you can select your best duPont photos and post them to our group collaboration duPont Pinterest board. Car Culture will then ruthlessly edit and annotate the cars so that everyone can experience the duPont automobiles even if you were unable to attend the Concours.
Sign up to become a DuPont collaborator by emailing Car Culture at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will then authorize you to pin directly to the Car Culture Pinterest duPont board.
Be creative in your photography and help annotate the history surrounding this interesting American automotive marque.Follow Car Culture's board duPont Motor Manufacturing Company on Pinterest.