The Dingman Collection 2012

9 - 10 June 2012

Lot 834

1952 Mercury Custom 8-Passenger Station Wagon

To be auctioned on Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sold for $110,000

  • Chassis no. 52LA33972M


SERIES 2M. 125 bhp, 255.4 cu. in. L-head V-8 engine, three-speed manual transmission with overdrive, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 118"

Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln all received new bodies for 1952. Stronger chassis frames supported the new bodies and all models had advanced features, like suspended pedals and curved single pane windshields. Like Ford, however, Mercury held over its L-head V-8, which was the only available powerplant. Although it had the same displacement as in 1951, it was more powerful, thanks to higher compression. A Merc-O-Matic transmission was optional and very popular, with nearly half the production equipped with one. Of the cars with three-speed manual transmission, only about a third, or one-sixth of production, had optional overdrive.

There had been plans for ball joint front suspension and overhead valve engines for all Ford Motor Company 1952 cars, but in the end, only Lincoln got them. Ford and Mercury adapted their old suspensions and engines to the new chassis. The new engines and suspension did not appear until 1954.

Mercury had never had series designations, but for 1952, a line with upscale Monterey trim was adopted, comprising a four-door sedan, a hardtop coupe, and a convertible. A basic “Custom Series” offered two- and four-door sedans, a hardtop sport coupe, and two station wagon models.

With Iron Mountain closed, all wagons were now built at the Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan and were all steel. In the Ford line, only the prestigious Country Squire had any wood, and that was simply ornamental. Varnished maple from the Ionia-Mitchell Company outlined a side accent of DI-NOC imitation wood grain. The Country Squire was part of the upscale Crestline series and had seating for eight, the rear cushions folding to form a long flat cargo area. The middle seat was split asymmetrically to facilitate access to the rear.

Like Ford, Mercury’s station wagon bodies were constructed entirely of steel. Unlike Ford, however, only a four-door model was available, with seats for either six or eight. Both wagons came with the decorative maple side trim and DI-NOC wood grain. Where Ford had a “dogleg” wood accent on the rear wheelhouse, Mercury used stainless trim from the sedan. After construction at the Rouge plant, the bodies were shipped to their respective assembly plants. This car was assembled in Los Angeles.

Completely restored in 2008 for former owner Mario Duhon of Baltimore, this 1952 Mercury Custom station wagon is one of 2,478 built that year, completed on October 20, 1951. The restoration was meticulously performed by Hot Rods & Custom Stuff, of Escondido, California, and finished in 2006 at a cost of some $200,000. Copies of the receipts are available. It is painted Hillcrest Green, and the paint is flawless, exhibiting a deep shine. All brightwork is of exceptional quality, and the glass is excellent and etched with correct script. The interior is done in tan and brown vinyl, in the correct patterns, with brown carpet on the floor. Mercury’s instrument panel was aircraft-inspired, with gauges housed in a binnacle directly before the driver, flanked by slider controls for heating and ventilation. This car is equipped with a push-button AM radio, a fresh-air heater, and a Borg electric clock. The flathead V-8 engine is correctly detailed and mated to Mercury’s Touch-O-Matic overdrive transmission, a rare combination that gives excellent performance with effortless highway cruising.

Acquired by the Dingman Collection in March 2010, the car has been carefully treated and meticulously maintained. Current mileage showing is about 85,000. The car is accompanied by a dossier of documents and photographs. With their low initial production, the population of surviving 1952 Mercury station wagons is necessarily small. This one is certainly one of the very best.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

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United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

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California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

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Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, USA

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

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New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Political Science. ... read more

Jack Boxstrom

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Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

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United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

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United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Peter Giddings

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California, United States

A life-long car enthusiast, Peter joined RM’s California office with over half a century of experience in the automotive and rac... read more

Peter Blond

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United Kingdom

Peter Blond joined the RM Europe team in 2013 after being immersed in the collector car industry for more than 60 years. An... read more

Rob Myers

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Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

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California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more

Jeff Whiteside

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Ontario, Canada

Jeff Whiteside joined RM Auctions as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer following almost three decades in a diverse r... read more