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1947 Mercury California Convertible Barris Custom


  • Body Type: Convertible
  • Model Year: 1947
  • Trans: Manual
  • Fuel Type: Gas
  • Ext color: Burgundy
  • Int color: Burgundy/Beige Tuck and Roll

This Car was Done by George Barris, “Barris Kustoms” Circa 1960 with Barris Kustom Documentation

Burgundy Exterior

Burgundy/Beige Tuck and Roll Interior

Carson Top with Badges

Chopped Windshield

Barris Custom Badges

French Headlights


Nose, Deck, & Skirt Done Very Well

Applenton Spot Lights

Thickenston Valve Covers

Air Cleaner, and Duel High Rise Intake Manifold

Columbia 2 Speed Read End

Exceptional Car


Recent Sale of a Similar Mercury by George Barris @ RM Auction

1951 Mercury Custom Coupe sold for $423,500 February 2012


George Barris is One of the Best-Known Designers of Custom Cars in the World. With Some Justification, He Styles Himself “King of the Kustomizers”.

Early History

George and His Brother Sam Were Born in Chicago in the 1920’s. Due to the Deaths of Their Parents, They Moved to Roseville, California as Children to Live With Relatives. Both Were Good Students, Interested in Drama, Music, and Design. George Was Fascinated With Model Aircraft, and Pursed the Hobby Seriously in His Teenage Years, Winning Competitions For His Models.

The Brothers Worked at a Restaurant Owned by Their Family, and One Day Were Given a 1925 Buick For Their Help. Although it Was Not in Good Shape, They Swiftly Restored it to Running Condition, and Began to Experiment With Changing it’s Appearance. This Became the First Barris Brothers Custom Car. They Sold it at a Profit to Buy Another Project Vehicle, and Their Career Was Born. Before George Had Graduated From High School, Demand For Their Work Was Growing, and They Had Created a Club For Owners of Custom Vehicles, Called The Kustoms Car Club. This Was The First Use of the Spelling “Kustom,” Which Would Become Associated With Barris.

Sam Entered the Navy During World War II, While George Moved to Los Angeles. Sam Joined Him There After Being Discharged. The Two Built Their “Kustom” Designs For Private Buyers, and George Also Built and Raced His Own Cars Briefly. These Activities Brought Them to the Attention of the Movie Industry, and They Were Soon Asked to Create Cars Both For Personal Use by the Studio Executives and Stars and as Props For Films, Their First Being Used in 1958’s ‘High School Confidential’. They Also Made the Acquaintance of Robert E. Petersen, Founder of Hot Rod and Motor Trend Magazines and, Much Later, of The Petersen Auto Museum. His Publications and Car Shows Further Publicized The Barris Style, George Himself Writing How-To Articles For Would-Be Customizers.

Mercury is an Automobile Marque of The Ford Motor Company Founded in 1939 by Edsel Ford, Son of Henry Ford, To Market Entry-Level-Luxury Cars Slotted Between Ford-Branded Regular Models and Lincoln-Branded Luxury Vehicles, Similar to General Motors’ Buick (and Former Oldsmobile) Brand, and Chrysler’s Namesake Brand. The Name “Mercury” is Derived From the “Messenger Of The Gods” of Roman Mythology, and During its Early Years, The Mercury Brand Was Known For Performance.

History of Mercury

In 1935, Edsel Ford Designed a More Luxurious Version of the Ford That He Intended to Call The Falcon. Since He Didn’t Think it Fit in With Other Fords, He Created A New Brand Named For The Roman God.

The 1939 Mercury 8 Began Production in 1938, With a 95-Horsepower V8 Engine. Over 65,800 Sold the First Year, at a Price of $916.

From the Very Beginning, Mercury Was a Division That Seemed to Have a Brand Identity That Was Constantly in the Process of Finding it’s Place in the North American Automotive Market. Sometimes, Mercury Was Presented as a Performance Division of More Mainstay Ford Products, While at Other Times, It Was Meant to Match Sales With Detroit Cross-Town Rivals Buick, Oldsmobile and Chrysler During the 1950’s Through 1980’s. Many Times, Mercury Models Were Shared With Ford Products, Such As The Mercury Cougar (Ford Mustang) in the Early Years, Then Realigned With The 1970s Ford Thunderbird and Ford Elite (The Elite Itself Based on the Ford Torino), or the Mercury Bobcat (Ford Pinto) or the Mercury Comet (Ford Fairlane Then Later the Ford Maverick).

Mercury Was It’s Own Division at Ford Until 1945 When it Was Combined With Lincoln Into the Lincoln-Mercury Division, With Ford Hoping the Brand Would Be Known As A “Junior Lincoln”, Rather Than an Up-Market Ford. In 1949, Mercury Introduced the First of it’s “New Look”, Integrated Bodies, at The Same Time That Ford and Lincoln Also Changed Styling Radically. Again in 1952, Mercury Offered a Further Modernization in it’s Look. In 1958, The Lincoln-Mercury Division and the Ill-Fated Edsel Brand Were Joined Into The Mercury-Edsel-Lincoln Division; With the Demise of Edsel in 1960, It Has Been in The Lincoln-Mercury Division Ever Since.

Mercury, Like the Defunct Edsel, Was Created From Scratch, Rather Than Being a Takeover of an Existing Company Like Lincoln. Mercury’s Heyday Was in the 1950s, When it’s Formula of Stretching and Lowering Existing Ford Platforms Was Very Successful. The Marque Has Changed Several Times Throughout it’s History. During the 1940’s and 1950’s, the Make Moved Between as a “Gussied Up” Ford, to a “Junior Lincoln” and Even to Having it’s Own Body Designs. From the Late 1950’s, Through the 1960’s and Early 1970’s, Mercury Began to Distance Itself From Ford and Offered Several Different Looking Models Such as the Turnpike Cruiser, Park Lane, Cougar and Marquis. During Ford Division’s “Total Performance” Era in the Early 1960’s, Mercury Produced Some Equivalent Models, Such as the Full-Size S-55 and The Marauder, Which Shared the Same Body Styles and Mechanics as the Ford Galaxie 500/XL Sports Models. These Big Mercury’s Were Somewhat Successful in Racing. But in the Late 1970’s to the Early 1980’s the Brand Was Joined at the Hip With Ford Again and it’s Image Suffered as a Result.

On June 2, 2010, Ford Officially Announced the Closure of The Mercury Line by the End of the Year. Mercury Represents Only 1 Percent of Ford Motor Company’s Sales, While Ford Has 16 Percent. More Lincolns Will be Made to Replace Mercury, and Ford May Also Benefit. At the Time of the Announcement of Mercury’s Closure, Mercury Was Selling Fewer Than 90,000 Units a Year, Which is Less Than Both Plymouth and Oldsmobile Right Before They Were Phased Out.


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