1947 Mercury Series 79M Woodie Station Wagon
Ordered and owned by the governor of Mexican state of State of Michoacán de Ocampo
Complete mechanical and cosmetic restoration
In the 1930s and 1940s, few cars had more prestige than the Mercury woodie station wagon. The highest priced model in the Ford line, it carried as much status as a Chris-Craft speedboat or a starlet on your arm. Hotels, resorts, country clubs, stables, and movie studios sought after woodies to project a sense of class and sophistication.
In 1947 Jose Maria Mendoza Pardo, the governor of Mexican state of State of Michoacán de Ocampo, sought to be associated with the lifestyle of the woodie. He special ordered the Mercury directly from Ford and had it shipped to him in Mexico. Purchased with government money the car was seen as federal vehicle and plated as such. In 1949 due to some political unrest in the region Mendoza abandoned the vehicle with relatives, never to return.
Fast forward to 1994 in San Luis, Mexico. The Mercury is presented as a trade for a 1959 Mercedes 220. The new owner saw the potential of the old woodie and set about a complete restoration that would cover the next 13 years. Why would a restoration take 13 years? The owner wanted the car to be as original and correct as possible. Vintage period parts were sourced, including correct upholstery and roof top materials. The wood portion of the car was hand crafted by furniture restoration specialists who still possessed the skills and knowledge to craft its massive frame out of fresh maple. Even the correct, original paint color and type was used in finishing the car. The final step was to establish the history of the car, and to answer the question of why such are rare American car was in Mexico in the first place. The Museo del Automovil in Mexico City was contacted who, after an exhaustive search, discovered the fascinating origins of the Mercury.
Once completed the Mercury was entered into a variety of high-level Mexican car shows where it either won overall or placed in category. At the prestigious Concurso de Elegancia Huixquilucan in 2009 it was selected for the Hall of Excellence out of 450 cars from around the country.
Finally the Mercury has returned to its country of origin and is ready to be shown, driven and enjoyed.