The first postwar Mercury was introduced in the 1949 model year. The engine was a flathead V8 that produced slightly more power than the then also newly designed Ford. A new overdrive system was optional, activated by a handle under the dash. The styling of the Mercury Eight, when it was released in 1949, adopted the ''pontoon'' appearance, and was successful in both ending the monotony of warmed-over pre-war style, and differentiating Mercury from its comparable Ford cousin, a trick that spelled sales success. The Mercury Eight was popular with customizers. In 1949, Sam Barris built the first lead sled from a 1949 Mercury Eight; the Eight became the definitive lead sled. The Eights were among the first models to receive an aftermarket OHV engine swap, since Oldsmobile and Cadillac developed the first high-compression OHV V8 engines in 1949, whereas Ford was still using a sidevalve engine. Sam and George Barris also used the 1949 body style to build ''the most famous custom car ever, the Hirohata Merc, for customer Bob Hirohata in 1953. Picture an elongated bubble, all round and shiny that starts out with a tastefully large grille with a tastefully large bumper below. Add on 2 rectangular parking/signal lights with tastefully large bezels, a big badge above and the beginnings of a bulbous hood topped with a stylized rocket/bird hood ornament leading the way. Single headlights on fenders that tastefully bulge away from the hood and run to the back dying into a straight panel on the second set of doors. A few more bump outs for the rear quarters, a trunk lid that bulges slightly upward from those quarters and wrap around taillights framed below by another tastefully large rear bumper and dual pipes protruding from underneath. A rounded roof line with rounded windows, chrome surrounds along with some sexy rear skirts, and we have the Buck Rogers rocket look. Lest we forget the side spear and dish wheel covers with their wide white wrappings for finishing off the bottom end. All this rocket-like menagerie is bathed in Glasurit Deep Black, showing only a few chips and inclusions. Taking a peek under the hood, and we see a nicely restored engine block painted green presenting as a 255ci V8 that has been bored .030 over and has had an Isky camshaft installed within. During the rebuild the heads were shaved and sitting atop is a silver intake manifold and dual Stromberg 2bbl carburetors. The carbs were recently rebuilt using genuine Stromberg parts. A 3-speed manual transmission is on and sends power back to a rear axle weighing in at 3.54. A big shout out to the twin chrome coolant pipes, generator, and air cleaner horn assemblies. Holding its own very nicely, a few minor faults in the exterior paint, and the interior is just fab. A nice engine and bay, and structurally sound with no rust to speak of. It's a rarely seen car, and even rarer to be seen in this condition. Fluff your feathers, and strut proudly to the next car show where you can grab one of those elusive ribbons for your mantle. Cock a doodle doo!