1940 Mercury Coupe Award Winning Kustom


Over the last 20 years of selling high-end Classic Cars & Hot Rods, only a handful of times have I been lucky enough to acquire a vehicle that simply has it all. Such is the case with this spectacular example that sits before you today.

Red Hills Rods & Classics’ is extremely proud to offer you this one-of-a-kind Award-Winning 1940 Mercury Kustom Coupe! Fresh from being unveiled @ the Detroit Autorama, and featured at the Grand National Roadster Show (GNRS), as well as the Good Guys 5th Nostalgia Nationals, where is won the ‘Builder’s Choice Award’, this amazing all-steel 1940 Mercury Coupe has been met with overwhelming acclaim everywhere it has been shown. The nut & bolt, no-expense spared build was several years in the making and was just recently completed earlier this year. Created by Dave Trent @ ‘Traditional Hot Rod Motors’ and ‘Jason Graham Hot Rods’, this amazing 1940 Mercury Kustom Coupe is simply like no other that has come before it. If you Google ‘Dave Trent 1940 Mercury’, you will find a plethora of information, photos, videos & reviews on the car during its brief time on the show circuit. I became aware of this car during the final stages of the build and Dave promised me first right of refusal after the build was completed. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to acquire such an amazing ‘rolling piece of art’. When the Coupe finally arrived at our showroom we were completely blown away! The fit & finish as well as the amazing attention to detail is simply second to none. We recently did an extensive photo-shoot for a major national Hot Rod publication that will be going to print in the next 6-8 months. The build started when Dave found the original 1940 Mercury Coupe online, which had been originally chopped back in the day by none other than Gene Winfield. There is photo documentation which actually shows Mr. Winfield working on the car, which will of course go to the new owner along w/ the build receipts & paperwork. Dave had a good idea of what he wanted to create from the get-go and sent the car to Jason Graham Hot Rods for the extensive bodywork and modifications. Graham worked his magic to the roof, reworking & reflowing it w/ a streamlined chop (6” at the A-pillars and 7” in the back) adding a 1941 Ford rear window. The hardtop side window frames are 100% handmade. Before doing the usual shaving/nosing/decking/frenching, Graham also added in custom bumperettes up front to complement the custom Merc-based grille, while the rear was fitted with a narrowed 1946 Chevy bumper. The custom fender skirts sit atop an ‘enhanced lip’ wheel opening. But for David, the moment things really turned around is when Graham picked up his spray gun. “The light at the end of the tunnel shown bright the minute Jason laid down the beautiful blonde pearl!” says Dave, hence the Coupe’s nickname, ‘Sexy Blonde’. The silver-white PPG pearl was laid down over a custom-mixed PPG yellow base, which looks absolutely stunning on this Coupe! You really have to see this one-of-a-kind 'Blonde Pearl' paint job in person to appreciate how truly gorgeous it is. It changes from a creamy blonde pearl to a beautiful gold pearl depending on the lighting. ‘Leonard’s Plating’ in Nashville provided all the necessary brightwork to accent the exterior finish and complete the look. The undercarriage is as beautiful as the top side with no stone left unturned in regards to detail (see photos). She rides on an AccuAir Air Ride system w/ Firestone airbags on all four corners, and does so via a dropped, drum brake equipped I-beam front axle. Graham heavily C-notched the rear of the stock frame to make room for the open-diff rear and its triangulated four-link suspension. The four-wheel drums are operated by an under-dash Mustang dual master cylinder w/ an 8” booster and 90-degree swing pedal setup, while the steering remains stock 1940. She sits on chrome Artillery wheels w/ baby moon hubcaps, wrapped w/ 6.40 x 15 BF BF Goodrich Silvertown Wide White radials. The AccuAir Air Ride system guarantees that the stance is always perfect and to your particular taste.

Shane @ ‘Sewn Tight Custom Interiors’ in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, added his touch in finishing the Merc by creating & installing the gorgeous white vinyl tuck & roll upholstery. Light tan German Weave carpeting rounds out the perfect, simple yet luxurious interior. All of the original gauges were completely rebuilt and are in perfect working order. This is truly one of the cleanest most beautiful interiors that I have ever seen on a vintage Mercury. The trunk area is completely finished in the same matching materials as the interior, with a panel in back for easy access to the AccuAir system & the 12-volt battery.

Now, let’s get to the heart of this beast, shall we? Under the hood, inside the beautifully detailed engine bay, you will find the 1951 Mercury Flathead V8 motor, which was handed over to ‘Fox Valley Hot Rods’ in Barrington, Illinois, for a complete & total rebuild. The 255ci Flathead V8 underwent a complete thermal cleaning process, as did the front cover, oil pan, bellhousing & all related engine parts. It then underwent a Magnaflux inspection & pressure test. All brand new components were used during the build including an Isky Max-1 camshaft, stainless steel valves, Isky race springs, Edelbrock aluminum heads, polished Offenhauser 2×2 intake manifold, (2) polished Stromberg 97 carburetors, polished Powermaster PowerGen 1948-1953 generator, polished aluminum water necks, Red’s custom headers, Mallory electronic ignition, etc. Again, all parts used were brand new top quality items with a build cost of just under $11,000. This awesome Flathead motor is linked to a completely rebuilt Ford C4 automatic transmission using a Flat-o-Matic adaptor, which feeds power to a GM 10-bolt rear end w/ 3.08 gears. She fires up instantly settling into a nice smooth idle, and runs & performs flawlessly in every way. The custom-built full exhaust system w/ Cherry Bombs sounds awesome, as only a Flathead V8 can sound. The AccuAir Air Ride system works perfectly on all four corners and lets you adjust your ride accordingly. You can drop it all the way down to the ground for car shows, and raise it nice & high when it’s time to drive, and the most important thing is: it does not leak whatsoever! This car has been driven less than 25 miles since completion of the build, so it is safe to say that she is brand new in every respect. Again, the build receipts and original photo documentation will all go to the new owner.

As I stated previously, this Coupe simply has it all! From the top quality build of the highest order, to the excellent history dating back to Gene Winfield who originally modified the car, this spectacular 1940 Mercury Kustom Coupe is truly one-of-a-kind!

Are you ready for the ‘Sexy Blonde’?