The world’s most famous custom car – the Bob Hirohata 1951 Mercury – is selling at the January 2022 Mecum Auction in Kissimmee, Florida.
This iconic car was created by Sam and George Barris when Bob Hirohata after returning from military service brought a new Mercury to the Barris; to do their magic. The original build occurred in under 100 days to be ready for display at the 1952 Motorama car show.
Sam Barris removed the B pillars to make the Mercury into a hardtop. Chopping the roof four inches and lowering the rear roofline an additional three inches made for a sleek look.
Additional alterations include:
- Top chopped 4 inches in the front and 7 inches in the rear
- V-butted windshield
- Front fenders extended 4 inches, incorporating frenched 1952 Ford headlights
- Rear fenders extended and fitted with frenched 1952 Lincoln Capri tail lights
- Trunk corners were rounded
- Hood was filled, peaked and extended into the grille
- Custom grille made from three 1952 Ford grilles
- Factory dips on the doors were filled and the surrounding sheet metal was reshaped to flow with 1952 Buick Riviera trim spears
- Functional brake cooling scoops on rear panels
- Flush fit, flared fender skirts
- Chopped front coils in front and the frame was kicked up in the rear
- Springs were de-arched using two sets of 1.5-inch lowering blocks
The car was restored by the owner to Seafoam Green and Organic Green. These hues were trend-breaking as most customs back in the ’50s were somber, dark colors.
The car was previously enrolled into the National Historic Vehicle Registry and rightfully so.
Photos courtesy of Mecum Auctions