1951 Mercury Convertible Sedan - "California Girl" by George Barris
Lot No. 719
Auctioned on Saturday, August 3, 2013
Sold for $ 30,250
- 350-cid, OHV V-8 engine, three-speed Hydra-Matic transmission
- Appears in the David Lee Roth music video “California Girls”
- Chopped windshield, DeSoto-tooth grille, dual spotlights, fender skirts and sombrero wheel covers
- Showing some chips, the paint is still in good condition
350-cid, OHV V-8 engine, three-speed Hydra-Matic transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 118-inches
The archetypal Mercury custom is a chopped and lowered club coupe, suitably dechromed and frenched where necessary. Very occasionally; however, someone tries something different, and that’s what George Barris did with this 1951 Merc.
Built from a 1951 four-door sedan, this uncommon convertible appears in the David Lee Roth music video “California Girls,” a cover of the 1965 Beach Boys hit nominated for Best Video at the 1985 MTV awards and Van Halen’s “Panama” video. The sedan’s suicide rear doors have been retained, cut off at the waist. This allows easy access to the rear seat, which is also furnished with a white tonneau cover. The seats are upholstered in pleated red and white leather, all in very good condition. The original Mercury dashboard is retained, fitted with Haneline black-on-white gauges, and maroon carpet lines the floor.
Exterior features include a chopped windshield, DeSoto-tooth grille, dual spotlights, fender skirts and sombrero wheel covers. The tires are Remington Cushion-Air whitewalls. The drivetrain is small-block Chevy, with a Turbo 350 Hydra-Matic transmission.
The car is in very good condition, the paint showing just a few chips. The undercarriage; however, shows considerable age and use, and the steering wheel, a stock GM unit, has considerable wear. This does not; however, detract from the overall effect, which is equal parts awe and nostalgia.