'50 Mercury - a family affair

There is suppose to be a time and place for everything, however there never seems to be a place to find enough time for many hot rodders. Raising a family often takes precedent over car building, leaving no time or money to stay in the hot rod game. So while that ’32 Ford Coupe that is sitting in the garage may not have room for car seats, where there is a will there is a way according to Kevin Huebel. Growing up in South East Texas and working in the area refineries will provide a good living for a family, particularly when they have a hot rod habit. So while most families with five children are rolling in a minivan or a 7-passenger SUV, the family Huebel rolls in a ’50 Merc. Not just any Merc, but a custom green 4-door Merc with suicide doors to make plenty of room for the entire family to attend many of the local shows and cruise nights.

The 4-door Merc is not the first choice, but in this case, it is the only choice, with the body and suspension modified to get the lower ride but remain very drivable on the Texas highways. The older build sports original style fender skirts, a sun visor to keep out the summer sun, and pair of ‘ol skool dummy spots. The exterior of the Merc maintains many of the original chrome touches on the exterior that include the grille, door handles, the headlight trim rings, and the tail lights. Much like early hot rod builds, the bumpers have been removed and the pans rolled for a smooth body look. The license plates have been frenched, as well as the new power radio antennae location. Over the bright green paint, there is a set of flame pinstripes in black and yellow. Under all that heavy metal, the front suspension is a Camaro clip that not only improves the ride, but also brings in the upgrade to disc brakes, and the rear brakes were upgraded as well. The engine bay was cleaned up with square inner fenders before the Chevy 454 big block was installed under the original hood. A new aluminum radiator that is kept cool with an electric fan means that the 454 can make a cruise night even in the hot Texas summers without overheating. The engine was rebuilt to factory specs and then painted to match the unusual green on the massive exterior sheet metal. Along with the tall aluminum valve covers, an Eldebrock intake, and Holley carb, a set of headers was installed to run the exhaust out through duel chrome tips at the rear of the car. The cool low hanging side pipes are one of the few items on the ’50 Merc that are for show only. The stout engine is backed by a Turbo 400 that is managed by a ‘devil’s tail’ shifter that is mounted in the original steering column location. 

The metal on the interior is also painted to match the same exterior green color, with a matching green crushed velour material that is custom stitched into a spider web design across the seats, and door panels creating a personal spidey-man palace for the kids. Even the carpet is a bright green with anodized red metal floor mats. While the dash attempts to remain as original as possible, the gauges have been upgraded to digital, while the steering wheel is a LaCarra model. There are as many original items as possible still in use on the interior, such as the door handles, rear view mirror, and the window cranks. The audio system has been upgraded, but to keep the old hot rod style like most of the interior, it is neatly tucked away in the original glove box housing so it is out of sight but not out of mind.

The family that plays together stays together, and for the Kevin Huebel family, together is where it is at while attending regional car shows where the Merc has won numerous awards. While the 4-door ’50 Merc is not the first choice of a hot rod for many, many don’t load all five kids up for a Saturday night cruise, or maybe just a hot rod run to the local ice cream stand

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11/06/2017 (11/06/2017)
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Texas, United States
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