The Rotunda Times
Feature Vehicle cont. from page 1
e ‘48 Mercury provided daily transportation to high
school and then to Wayne State University (with a welded spider gears locked rear end) as Bill earned his BSME in 1963. Bill continued his interest in cars as he worked at Chevrolet Engineering for the next 35 years retiring in 1998.
e next car Bill built was a 1934 Ford 5 window coupe
in 1967 powered by a Cadillac V8, and then by a 454 Chevy. e 34 really flew turning a 10.85 sec ET at 128 MPH at Milan; and it was driven to and from the strip!
a 1946 Mercury Sportsman in a museum and knew he could not be without one of his own!
After doing a considerable amount of research on the 46 Mercury Sportsman, Bill found out that only 205 Mercury Sportsmans were produced while the Ford version had about 3500 made. After a search to buy a 46 Mercury Sportsman to restore, it became clear that he would have to make the car from parts. A Ford Sportsman of the time frame that the Mercury models were being made (about 6 months in 1946) was located and used to create the Mercury. ere are now 5 restored Mercury Sportsmans with one being an actual factory car and the other 4 made from parts. e Sportsman Shop in Washington State was given the job to restore the body sheet metal, install all new wood, paint the body shell, and put it on a Mercury wheelbase frame.
After 5 years, the car was shipped to Bill’s home workshop for completion in July of 2007. e car was completed
Bill’s ‘34 Ford at Milan Dragway in 1985.
To calm things down a little, Bill built a ‘33 Chevrolet Street Rod in 1991 with a complete 1985 Corvette drivetrain, independent front suspension, 3 inch chopped top (a 4 door), and custom paint/interior. e Chevy has been on the road since 1991 and has 30,000 miles on it
‘33 Chevy street rod in 2000.
In 1994, he bought a 1948 Mercury convertible with the intention of making a Street Rod to be like the ‘48 Mercury he
had in 1957.
Bill’s current project: another ‘47 Merc!
by Bill with the help of friends and local professionals in time for the V8 Club of America’s Grand National Meet in Dearborn in July of 2008. e car was also shown this year at the Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance and at Hershey.
was so nice and original Bill did not have the heart to cut it up, so a complete 4 year frame off restoration was done. is car is used frequently for shows, and to drive around and has 9,000 miles on it since it was finished in 1998.
When Bill retired from GM in 1998, he decided to look for another Mercury to use to create a Street Rod like he had in 1957. He found a ‘47 Mercury convertible in good condition and collected all the parts to finish the project. However, before he got started on the 47, he saw
With the Sportsman completed, Bill has pulled the original ‘47 Mercury Convertible into his home workshop with a plan to recreate the first Mercury he had in 1957 as a modern Street Rod. e car will have a chopped convertible top that operates up and down with hydraulic power, 502 Chevy, ‘55 Chevy turquoise green paint, skirts, white top, and other features from the 1957-- if Bill could just remember what they were! e ‘47 Mercury Street Rod should be done in 2012,