Chris Koch of Palm Coast, Fla., is the retired proprietor of a number of Philadelphia-area Ford dealerships. He’s additionally a automobile collector, so Koch is aware of his Blue Oval merchandise. However, considered one of his professional Ford Motor Co. merchandise is usually thought of faux by the unacquainted.
“Spectators at car shows have informed me that my truck isn’t real,” says Koch of his 1949 Mercury M-47 pickup truck.
Some of the doubters think about Koch’s “fake” Mercury truck to be extra of a “ghost truck,” corresponding to a Chevrolet El Camino with a Pontiac entrance clip or a 1958 Ford Ranchero with an Edsel entrance clip. This isn’t an accurate description for Koch’s pickup truck, both. It’s extra correct to say Koch’s Mercury truck is “badge engineered.”
“Actually, Ford of Canada built Mercury trucks from 1946 to 1968, and not just light-duty trucks but medium-duty haulers, too,” Koch stated. “Since these trucks were manufactured in Canada for the Canadian market, it is very unusual to see one in the USA.”
Low-price automobiles had been comparatively extra widespread in Canada than the United States due to the extreme gross sales and excise taxes, each of which added roughly 20 % to the sticker value. To present the Canadian Lincoln-Mercury sellers with a low-price automotive, sellers obtained the Meteor, a Ford with Mercury trim. To forestall the Canadian Lincoln-Mercury sellers from having an unfair gross sales benefit, Canadian Ford shops obtained a medium-price Mercury clone dubbed “Monarch.”
Throughout Canada, cities had both Ford-Monarch or Lincoln-Mercury-Meteor sellers, however not each. As a outcome, L-M-M franchises obtained the Mercury truck, which was similar to the Ford pickup. To command the upper value, Mercury vehicles had extra benefits to command a better value.
This explicit Mercury pickup pulled at Koch’s coronary heart strings.
“I found this truck at the RM Auction in Palm Beach, Florida, in 2008,” he stated. “It was in pristine condition — nothing appeared needing to be done.”
Mercury derived the M-47 pickup’s “47” nomenclature from the truck’s gross automobile weight (GVW). The lightest haulers, corresponding to Koch’s truck, have a GVW of 4700 lbs., and Mercury used the primary two digits of the GVW to give you its mannequin identify.
With only a few variations, Koch’s pickup is actually a fraternal twin to the 1948-’52 Ford Bonus Built vehicles. Ford spent $1 million to enhance the internal cabin when growing the Bonus Built sequence of vehicles. The inside was taller and widened by 7 in. to permit three-across seating. Also improved was the adjustment vary for the seat. Doors had been relocated three in. ahead for simpler entry and exit. Unfortunately for Koch, these modifications weren’t extremely efficient.
“I drive with the seat back all the way. However, it’s still too cramped for my 6-ft., 4-in. frame,” Koch stated. “It is uncomfortable to drive more than locally. My 2018 Ford F250 has 50 percent more room in the cabin than this truck. Improvement over the past 70 years in truck cab comfort are immense!”
To him, the Mercury is extra about expertise a bygone period. Still, driving the Mercury is a bit love driving a bronco, Koch stated.
“The ride without any weight in the back is very stiff. Since this truck is restored, I wish to keep the bed undamaged so, consequently, there is no weight in the truck and the ride is choppy.”
The 1949 Canadian Ford F-47 and Mercury M-47 solely used a V-Eight engine so whereas the trip is uneven, it’s adequately powered.
“The Mercury produced 110 horsepower,” Koch stated. “The engine has a quarter-of-an-inch-longer stroke than their Ford cousins, the F-1 made in the USA. The result of this is that the Mercury had 10 more cubic inches and had a greater horsepower rating. Ten more horsepower than the Ford below the border.”
Koch cited further variations between the Ford F1 and the Mercury M-47.
“The difference between the Mercury and the F1 made in America are not just cosmetics, which surprised me when I bought the truck,” he stated. “The greenhouse on the Mercury is about 2 inches higher than the Ford, so all the glass is not interchangeable from one truck to another.”
The Mercury additionally featured its personal tailgate stamped with “Mercury,” the Mercury identify on the hood sides and above the grille in addition to on the horn button. M-47 badges changed the F-1 scripts on the cowl. It appears that along with the Mercury trim, there could be one other vital beauty distinction to the M-47.
“Many of the (Mercury) trucks were made with two-tone paint jobs. Mine is black and blue, and is not noticeable. But a red-and-black or a yellow-and-black Mercury truck really stands out.”
In addition to its V-Eight engine, Koch’s truck is provided with a three-speed handbook floor-shift transmission. He notes, “The truck steers very simply besides when parking or doing a Ok-turn.
Being so removed from the Canadian border whereas in Florida, Koch is aware of his truck is very distinctive.
“What I love finest in regards to the truck is that I gained’t discover one other one at a automotive flash, regardless of how huge,” he stated. “I have a fondness for the rare and unusual pieces.”
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