There’s nary a more iconic looking style car in hot rodding than a 1949-1951 Mercury done in the classic “lead sled” style. These cars appeal to the fabricators and metal workers of the world because of how they are customized. The roof is chopped, the roof pillars are altered, the hood is changed, and on and on and on. They appeal to those in the design and paint world because people usually go for broke when laying color on a machine of this style and often times it gets creative. The one element of the hot rodding realm that may not be as enthusiastic about these cars is the pure performance guys and girls because in many cases, the actual horsepower levels are not much of a concern to the builders and owners of lead sleds. Not in this case, kids.
See, this car is owned by Joe Amato, the 5x NHRA top fuel champion and one of the greatest drag racers who has ever lived. He and his dad started Keystone Automotive and grew it into a colossus that Joe was able to sell for hundreds of millions of dollars later on in his life. It is a great Amercian success story and one that was built on hot rodding and the high performance industry. Over the span of the last year I have spent some time with Joe and he’s a hell of a guy in every respect. But we digress.
Horsepower does matter when you are a hall of fame top fuel racer and that is why Joe uses a Ram Jet 502 under the hood of this black beauty to get it down the road. 502ci and 502hp mean that this thing is not going to be waiting around for anyone and it’s custom looks are not just all it has going for it.
Here’s an excerpt from the ad:
With a 4 inch chop and laid back A and B pillars, shaved and frenched body, and pancaked hood, this beauty lays out lean and low, showing attention to detail to the max. Mirror finish deep black paint with show quality chrome, tinted glass, and remote openers. Under the hood, power is supplied by a Ram Jet 502 sitting in a custom engine bay, and is backed by a 700 R4 overdrive transmission. Ford 9 inch rear with Global West front suspension with tubular A arms, and 4 link rear suspension with coil overs. Inside is just as sweet with bucket seats, custom console, Auto Meter gauges, tilt wheel, Lokar shifter, big bad sound system,Vintage AC/Heat, power windows, power brakes, and electric emergency brake. 59 Caddy hubcaps give her just the right shoes for that perfect look all around the block.
This is a big money car but it was also a big money build. No expense was spared in creating this beauty and none will be spared to own it. Pretty damned cool if you ask us.