Buddy Alcorn's 1950 Mercury

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The first version done by the Ayala Brothers
The second version by Barris Kustoms
A photo of Buddy Alcorn and the Merc taken in front of Lynwood City Hall. In 2016 Bill Farley told Kustomrama that he believed the blonde in the photo is Buddy's sister Donna. Photo by George Barris.
Another photo from the Lynwood City Hall photo shoot. This photo comes from the Junior Conway Photo Collection.
A photo of Buddy's Merc from The Bob Stephenson Photo Collection. This photo appeared in an ad for Barris Kustoms in the souvenir program from the 1956 Norwalk Motorcade. Photo from The Bob Stephenson Photo Collection.
Ron Dragoo's 1954 Mercury at an outdoor car show in the 1950s. In this photo, the Merc is parked next to Buddy Alcorn's 1950 Mercury and Louie Bettancourt's 1949 Mercury. Glenn Springer's 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air can be seen in the background. Photo from The Ron Dragoo Photo Collection, provided by Bill Layman.
A rear end shot of Alcorn's Merc at the same outdoor car show. Photo from The Ron Dragoo Photo Collection, provided by Bill Layman.
The Merc as it looked after Dick Jackson had bought it and updated it with a two-tone paint scheme
The Official Kustomrama Long Beach Division Supporter Shirt. Click here to order yours today.
Dick's Mercury next to Junior Conway's 1950 Ford outside Barris Kustoms.
Dick Jackson with the Merc.
Photo by Jim Potter. Notice the "For sale" sign in the rear quarter-window
Here seen in 1972, on a trailer behind Ron's car.
The Merc as it sat in 1998
The restored version

Ayala Version

1950 Mercury originally restyled by the Ayala Brothers at Gil's Auto Body Works in 1952 for an unknown owner. The top was chopped 4" in front and 7,5" in the rear, achieving a tapered slope with almost Fastback proportions. The hood and deck lid were rounded and the car was fit with full Fadeaway Fenders. The car was shaved for emblems, molding and handles. 1952 Mercury headlights rims were installed and frenched. The Ayala Brothers also crafted on rear quarter panels and taillights from a 1952 Oldsmobile. Once the body was finished, the Merc was finished in a deep maroon color.[1]

Buddy Alcorn's Barris Version

Buddy Alcorn of Dominguez, California bought the car and drove it to Barris Kustoms in 1955, wanting them to restyle the car further.[1] Bill Farley knew Buddy back in the days, and in 2016 he told Kustomrama that Buddy came from the Long Beach area, but not within the city limits; "We lived in the small community called "Dominguez" that is now Carson. Buddy was basically a milkman. A very hip milkman. I was in high school when Buddy bought the car. Buddy was in his 20s. He was a few years older than me, and I rode in the Merc a few times. Dominguez was not a large community at the time, and the gearheads kind of knew one another."[2]

At Barris, a 1951 Mercury front bumper was installed along with a 1952 Ford rear bumper. The rear bumper received molded-in rectangular exhaust outlets. Both bumpers featured 1955 Pontiac license plate guards. A narrowed 1952 Oldsmobile grille was installed. The 1952 Oldsmobile taillights were replaced by 1955 Plymouth units. Barris created side trims made out of a 1955 Chevrolet trim spear with an inverted 1953 Dodge piece which borders air scoops with 1954 Mercury trim teeths. The hubcaps were modified 1956 Mercury units with bullet centers. For $25 the whole car was sandblasted. The body was painted in a deep deep purple lacquer.[3] Bill Farley believes the interior was done by Tony Nancy; "It was nice. All custom knobs inside were made of laminated and polished plexiglas. Both doors had microswitches installed. Buddy had his engine worked on by Walt Richter, who later retired and was a chief mechanic on Guy Lombardos Class O hydroplane." According to Car Craft July 1957, the Merc housed a 3/8 by 3/8 296 cubic inch full race flathead in 1957.[4]

Third Version

In 1957, Buddy traded his Merc with Dick Jackson for his customized 1957 Ford. Dick, who ran and operated Advanced Custom Paints in Compton, California updated the Merc with a two-tone paint scheme, pinstriping, dual spotlights and Oldsmobile Fiesta hubcaps. After a while Dick sold the Mercury to buy a 1957 Ford Thunderbird.[5]

The Restored Version

The Merc ended up in a used-car dealer's lot. it changed hands a few times and eventually ended up at Bill Hines. Bill's son traded it away in 1972 with Ron Jones' 1932 Ford roadster. By the time Ron purchased the car, the exterior and interior were inpretty bad shape. The Merc sat outside exposed to the elements for years. Kurt McCormick tracked it down and bought its' remains from Ron in 1998. It went under full restoration, bringing it back to it's second version built by the Barris brothers. The Mercury was completed in 2002.[1]

Magazine Features

Car Craft September 1956
Car Craft July 1957
Custom Cars September 1957
Rodding and Re-styling February 1957
Trend Book 133 Custom Cars 1957 Annual
Trend Book 156 Custom Cars 1958 Annual
Custom Cars July 1958
Rod & Custom August 1958
Popular Customs August-September 1966



How Stuff Works - Buddy Alcorn Mercury
Rik Hoving Custom Photo Archive
The Big Book of Barris


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