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Oxford Diecast 1:87 1949 Mercury 8 Set of 3 Cars "70th Anniversary"

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Oxford Diecast 1:87 1949 Mercury 8 Set of 3 Cars "70th Anniversary"

Oxford Diecast 1:87 1949 Mercury 8 Set of 3 Cars "70th Anniversary"

The Mercury Eight is an automobile that was marketed by the Mercury division of Ford between 1939 and 1951. The debut model line of the Mercury division, Ford slotted the full-size Mercury Eight between the Ford Deluxe (later Custom) model lines and the Lincoln. In total, Ford assembled three generations of the Eight (before and after World War II).

For 1949, Mercury introduced its first postwar model line. The first Mercury of the combined Lincoln-Mercury Division, the Mercury Eight now shared its body with the Lincoln (instead of the Ford). Keeping its 118-inch wheelbase, the Mercury was sized between its two divisional counterparts. In place of the updated prewar body, Mercury adopted "ponton" body, ending the use of running boards entirely, along with separate fenders. The 239 Flathead V8 was carried over, producing more power than in its Ford counterpart.

Within its era and beyond, the third-generation Mercury Eight was popular with customizers. In 1949, Sam Barris built the first lead sled from a 1949 Mercury Eight; the Eight became the definitive "lead sled", much as the Ford V-8 (as the "deuce") was becoming the definitive hot rod. The Eights were among the first models to receive an aftermarket OHV engine swap, since Oldsmobile and Cadillac developed the first high-compression OHV V8 engines in 1949, whereas Ford was still using a sidevalve engine.

Sam and George Barris also used the 1949 body style to build "the most famous custom car ever", the Hirohata Merc, for customer Bob Hirohata in 1953. Setting a style and an attitude, it had a "momentous effect" on custom car builders, appeared in several magazines at the time, and reappeared numerous times since, earning an honorable mention on Rod & Custom's "Twenty Best of All Time" list in 1991.

The Eight remains a very popular subject for car modellers. In 1990, Mattel Hot Wheels created a model of 1949 Mercury with a chopped top. It is called Purple Passion. Fiberglass replicas of the Eight, inspired by Sam Barris's car, are still in production and are popular with custom and rod enthusiasts.

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