Ironworks speed & kustom, 1949 Mercury, custom, 1949 merc, custom of the year, Goodguys, coty, refined merc

Glenn Black’s Refined 1949 Merc

Every car guy has a dream car. For Glenn Black of Taft, CA it was a chopped 1949 Merc. When the time in life was right, he called on Rodger Lee and his crew at Ironworks Speed & Kustom, which has been cranking out top-shelf cars since 2001. This stunning Merc is indicative of their talents and was completed in just 14 months.

Ironworks speed & kustom, 1949 Mercury, custom, 1949 merc, custom of the year, Goodguys, coty, refined merc

While chopped Mercs have been done countless times, Ironworks found a few tricks to make this one unique. The top was chopped four inches in the front and five in the rear and they extended the quarter windows and made one-off beltline trim. All the window trim was handmade, and they took the harder option of retaining the vent windows and two-piece windshield.

Ironworks speed & kustom, 1949 Mercury, custom, 1949 merc, custom of the year, Goodguys, coty, refined merc


The body’s front clip was welded together, the hood corners rounded, and DeSoto grille teeth were flanked by frenched ’53-’54 Buick headlights. The fade-away lines from the front fenders were blended through the doors and into the rear quarters, eliminating the stock Merc “drop down” line. The rear quarters were replaced with longer ’51 Merc pieces adorned with one-off taillights. Gallons of dark maroon metal flake PPG paint were sprayed and polished to perfection.

Ironworks speed & kustom, 1949 Mercury, custom, 1949 merc, custom of the year, Goodguys, coty, refined merc

While the exterior is traditional, the chassis and running gear are modern, with a custom frame built using a Mustang II front suspension and a four-link for the 9-inch rear end. RideTech components handle the bumps and altitude adjustments and Wilwood brakes bring everything to a halt. EVOD machined the 16×7-inch wheels in a Cadillac hubcap style with clear red Mercury center medallions. Tires are Diamondback wide whites.

Ironworks speed & kustom, 1949 Mercury, custom, 1949 merc, custom of the year, Goodguys, coty, refined merc

Power comes from a detailed 4.6-liter Ford topped with Imagine Injection and outfitted with custom valve covers and a Flowmaster exhaust. A 4R70W transmission rounds things out.

Inside, a custom CNC-machined gauge panel was filled with one-off Dakota Digital gauges. Custom vents for the A/C system were blended in and a custom console filled with a Lokar shifter, e-brake handle, and window switches. It shares the floor with white leather bucket seats. Another clear red Mercury medallion adorns the steering wheel.

Ironworks speed & kustom, 1949 Mercury, custom, 1949 merc, custom of the year, Goodguys, coty, refined merc

Ironworks speed & kustom, 1949 Mercury, custom, 1949 merc, custom of the year, Goodguys, coty, refined merc

Rodger and his crew did an outstanding job making this custom stand out in a sea of others, with a great eye for line, shape, and detail.

Ironworks speed & kustom, 1949 Mercury, custom, 1949 merc, custom of the year, Goodguys, coty, refined merc

Photos by John Jackson & Steven Bunker

Brandon Flannery has a thirst for all things automotive, mechanical, and unique. He’s spent nearly two-decades in automotive journalism and ten years shooting and writing for the Goodguys Gazette. His early years learning about cars involved building hundreds of models as a kid and writing fan letters to his favorite car magazines, which they usually printed. Currently a Memphis resident, Brandon keeps it real with two VWs, a rail buggy, a 1946 Ford 2N tractor, and the legendary road-tripping Blue Goose, which has pulled a U-Haul trailer coast-to-coast twice.

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