Sylvester Stallone drove a modified 1950 Mercury Monterrey in the movie Cobra. The body modifications were originally made by San Francisco Bay Area customizer, Joe Bailon, but the final mods and the building of three additional stunt cars was contracted to Hollywood customizer Dean Bryant. This car also appeared in Gone in 60 Seconds 2.
The Original 1950 Monterrey
In 1950, the Mercury Monterrey was introduced as a high-end coupe, but was part of the Mercury Eight series. The Monterrey became its own nameplate for the 1952 model year. 1949 marked the first year that automakers could dedicate their efforts to automobile production after WWII. Mercury switched to the popular ”pontoon” or ”envelope” body style that allowed it to differentiate itself from other automakers of the period. The ’49 Merc was available in a variety of bodies between a 2-door coupe to a 4-door station wagon. Most featured a standard 255 cu. in. flathead V8 engine. Instrumentation was considered ”complete” for the year, but would be still considered limited by today’s standards. Mercury also highly promoted the new eight tube radio that was an available option.
In 1949 and 1950, the Monterrey coupe offered an upgraded trim package that included: the choice between a canvas covered top or vinyl, leather faced seats (full leather could be had for an additional $10), a simulated leather headliner, wool carpets, chrome-plated interior moldings, a two-toned dashboard, a distinctive black steering wheel, fender skirts, dual outside rear-view mirrors, full wheel covers, and a gold winged hood ornament. The Monterrey could be bought in two special order colors: Turquoise Blue, which would have a dark blue top and Cortaro Red metallic, which would have a black top. In 1950, the Monterey had an independent front suspension with stabilizer bars.
The Mercury Eight has been a popular format for customizers since it was put into production. Such great names as Barris and Hirohata have worked magic on these family cars, turning them into definitive ”lead sleds”. In 1949 Sam Barris created what is considered the very first lead sled based on a Mercury 8. In 1953 Bob Hirohata commissioned Sam and George Barris to build what has become known as the Hirohata Merc. You can check it out at this link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hirohata_Merc). The Mercury 8 are so popular among customizers and hotrod builders that there are fiberglass reproductions still being manufactured and built out today.
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