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1940 Mercury Nick Matranga - Barris

This famous Barris custom was built in 1950. The top was chopped 5 or 6” in the front and a few more in the back.. Most of the sheet metal on the “c” pillars was made using preshaped metal from Californian metal shaping Inc. Sam Barris worked almost a year on the roof to get it just right. The windshield was chopped less and its leading top edge was moved upwards to open up the opening.

The side window chanels where hand formed from squire 3/8 inch chanel and later chrome plated. The chanels are fixed and do not roll down.
Both front and rear fenders where molded to the body. All emblems and handles where removed. 1941 Buick fender skirts were modified to fir the Mercury. At the back a ‘46 Ford gravel shield was molded- to the body and ‘46 Ford bumpers and bumper guards where used front and rear. The bumper guards at the back where placed further from the center on the bumper and Barris cut a section from it to create the taillights using clear red plexiglass.

The interior was created by Bill Gaylord and uses white and oxblood red nuaghide and black carpets. The dashboard was fully chromed and the center panel was created out of red plexiglass. A ‘50 Mercury Monteray steering wheel was used.

Wide white walls with ‘50 Cadillac Sombrero’s on red wheels where used. The doors open with solinoids hidden in the running boards. The side trim was shortened a few inches at the front.
The custom was painted a high gloss Royal maroon lacquer with gold iridescent highlights.
In its short live the “Matranga Mercury” has won many awards at some of the major shows from that time. The wonderful side window opening style was later used on another famous Barris custom the “Hirohata Mercury”.
The car was later sold when Nick Matrange left to Korea. The new owner wrecked the car soon after that, wraping it around a telephone pole on a rainy night, the car was totaled.

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