Once a woodie?

Steel cabin on this 1947-48 Mercury was likely fashioned from several donor vehicles.
   I posted a photo of this 1947 or '48 Mercury a couple of entries ago. I hadn't given the big Mercury a lot of thought when I snapped it in Havana a year or two back.
   Now I realize it might be an example – much reworked, obviously – of Mercury's rare woodie station wagon of that era. According to the Ultimate Car Spotters Guide 1946-1969 by Tad Burness, Mercury made just 3,559 wagons for 1947, and even fewer, 1,889, for 1948.
   Ford produced more than 24,000 copies of its version of that wagon over the same two years.
Mercury wagons of that period in good condition – and most survivors are indeed kept in first-rate order – sell for more than $100,000.

   The Havana wagon, even if it did begin life as a woodie, would have little interest to a collector. From the windshield back, it has a steel body that has been adapted from some other vehicle – or more likely, a number of other vehicles.
   The workmanship, however, is admirable, and we can be sure its owner values it highly.
   But was it even a wagon to begin with? It could have easily been a far more common sedan until a resourceful Cuban decided to convert it into a private bus.
   Fun to think, however, that it might have arrived in Cuba with curving steel fenders supporting a passenger compartment of gleaming maple, birch and basswood, a fine cabinet of a car.

Back step is for the convenience of paying customers.
From A-pillar forward an authentic old Mercury, but was it originally a sedan?


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