Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mercury XM-800 ... Redemption!!!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I know of no clearer picture of the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ than the automotive restoration hobby. Exhibit A: One of the coolest concept cars ever to come out of Detroit - the 1954 Mercury Monterey XM-800.



The XM-800 had a long and chequered history, and had fallen upon hard times. It eventually wound up on eBay, where it had the good fortune to be "adopted" by Tom Maruska of Duluth, Minnesota. These photos illustrate that the XM-800 had undergone a "fall from grace" ...





But Tom acted as a "redeemer" for this rare, fine automobile, and has restored its former glory. Here is his YouTube video about the car:



Eliot and I had the great good fortune to have seen this car "in person" last weekend at the Concours d'Elegance at Meadowbrook. Here are a couple of pictures of the "redeemed" XM-800.





Here is Eliot with the XM-800:





Notice how freely the rear treatment was "borrowed" by the designers of the later Studebaker Hawk!

5 comments:

tpls63 said...

Actually, Elwood Engel who had a hand in the design of the XM-800 while in the employ of Ford was later lured from Ford by Studebaker where he had a hand in the design of the Hawk, hence the resemblance in the rear end.
Tom Maruska
Owner of the XM-800

Anglican Beach Party said...

THANKS, Tom. I am so honoured to have you comment on my blog. That is an INCREDIBLE job you did with the XM-800. What a pleasure to get to see it at Meadowbrook!!

I am very happy to know this new information, too, regarding Elwood Engel. It makes sense ... never let an idea that good go to waste!!

Thanks so much for your comment!
--Paul

Jim Cherry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Cherry said...

Actually, Elwood Engel left Ford to work at Chrysler. He did bring some Ford-developed ideas to his Mopar work, but Engel never worked for Studebaker. The GT Hawk as seen was designed by Brooks Stevens, a free lancer hired by Studebaker to update the aging Hawk body style.

Anglican Beach Party said...

Interesting, Jim Cherry. Thanks.