I finally began working on the Merc project in August 2002. My project plan involves using the chassis and floor from a 1988 Lincoln Town car (5.0 EFI, AOD overdrive trans, 8.8" rear end) and mating it to the body of my 1951 Mercury coupe. I'm looking for a reliable car.
I bought the Lincoln (with 112,000 miles) off a friend in the summer of 2001, for $400.00 plus labor on a paint job for his 1978 Thunderbird. The 'Bird came out well, and he handed over the keys and title to this Lincoln. It was his daily driver, so it ran and drove fairly well. It had a minor overheating problem that was caused by a faulty clutch fan. I fixed that, and even took it to work once. I had it up to 80 on the freeway to make sure it didn't have any 'defects' before I started cutting. It ran pretty damn good. These cars are known for their toughness, and although this one in particular was rough around the edges...it was a strong candidate for the transplant. How many times a day do you STILL see one of these boxy beasts prowling the streets? I see a lot of them; it's a good car.
After this it sat untouched, for nearly 5 months, in my driveway waiting for me to have time to get to it.
In Dec 2002, I moved the cars around, and pulled the Lincoln into the garage to begin dissasembly.
After a few nights work of hacking away with a sawzall and air shears, I arrived at a point closer to putting the Merc body on the Lincoln chassis/floor. The Merc body will be welded to the stock Lincoln flooring/frame. In a sense, I'll still have the floaty-wallowing Lincoln ride that Town Cars are famous for. Below are a few pics of the progress at this point. Follow along:
LEFT ------- The '88 Lincoln as purchased. Fake bullet hole stickers and smashed apendages added to the "don't F**k with me attitude. I actually drove this thing to work one day - the only time I actually took it somewere besides on a joyride.
LEFT----Okay, so this is a staged photo. We all know that pipe wrenches are only good for fixing pipes... Or are they? Before the demolition could begin, a neighbor and I attempted several scientific experiments on the car.
1) To determine once and for all if a bologna slice would eat thru clearcoat, and
2) Just what does it feel like to "key" someone's car?
1) The bologna was a failure, even after baking in the sun, no damage to paint. The dog kept looking up at the car and sniffing.
2) "Keying" a car gives one a slight rush, comperable to finding a good sale at K-Mart or Wal-Mart. Not worth it, and MEAN.
Guess we had too much beer that night.
LEFT---in January, I began by carefully removing the front sheetmetal, until I got pressed for time and took a sledge hammer to the front fiberglass and headlights. I sold what was left on E-Bay. (The grille surround).
Next, (ABOVE) I removed the doors, and got rid of them to a local fellow who needed the rubber parts off em. Made $20.00.
After relieveing the car of it's front sheetmetal, bumper, and windshield, I began using my cordless reciprocating saw to cut the roof away from the body. The sunroof mechanism was removed first, then the roof was cut into two sections. (see BELOW).
LEFT---It was at this point that my next door neighbor came over and said "Wow, looks like Monster Garage in here!" and I began contemplating my sanity. At this point, oh well, a junkyard will haul it off for nothing, and if worse comes to worse, there's always the "Dream Cruise 2008" and a lot of strange looks.
Here's a view from the driver's side front, looking towards the rear of what's left of the 1988 Town Car.
In this shot, the roof is gone, the interior is gone, the B-pillars are gone. pretty much it's a rolling floorboard. It still starts and runs though, if you jump the starter solenoid...
BELOW: You'll see how I got the body off the frame, and mounted on to a wooden "buck" that I made out of 2X12's. I bolted on my car skates to the wood buck so I could roll the body around if need be.
This is the Lincoln chassis, or what is left of it. In this shot I have a few more cuts to make, but basically, it's there - as in - ready to find a new home underneath the Mercury.