The pickup truck market is hot in 2023, but there’s a group of people who always saw the magic in a truck.
This rare 1953 Mercury pickup is an interesting blend of new and old, but its owner has farm roots—that’s what inspired him to own this uniquely Canadian truck.
Dan Harder is the proud owner of this resto-mod pickup. He said the car was found on a farm in Saskatchewan and it was “in pretty bad shape”.
He’d read about the Crown Victoria Police Package 4.7-liter swap with old Ford trucks, and he thought that was a great option. He found a wrecked Crown Vic police car with 165,000 km (102,000 miles) for 1000 dollars, so he had the bones for the Mercury truck project.
Dan wanted a truck he could drive comfortably so the full-frame Crown Vic swap was a natural fit. The only problem was the width of the donor Ford, so the truck bed and tailgate were widened to accommodate the Crown Vic undercarriage.
This was a three-year project, because Dan had a list of what he wanted to see in the Merc. He wanted the truck to handle like a new car, so the Crown Vic was an easy choice. He also wanted the interior of the Mercury to match the experience, so now it’s a custom-built experience worthy of any new vehicle. He also wanted every power option he could get in the truck.
There are cupholders, console and comfortable seats, plus the windows look like crank windows, but they are electric. The vent windows are gone—replaced by full-sized glass and sealed with state-of-the-art rubber seals. The only thing left from the old Merc experience is the fresh air vent on the cowl. It still works and it gives passengers an old-school air-conditioning experience—at much higher speeds.
The biggest problem Dan had was sourcing the unique Mercury letters on the hood of the truck.
They were impossible to find and the only guys who had them wanted insane money for junk. Dan got around the problem by finding a solution in a unique place. He located a Hutterite colony with a state-of-the-art machining setup, and they made the letters. Dan was happy to report they were, “the perfect size and font” for the hood.
Dan said the truck easily met his expectations because it’s a highway star now. He runs it at 65-70 mph on the road because it can easily handle modern freeways—something its former version couldn’t do because these old farm trucks topped out at 50-55 miles per hour.
Dan was raised on a farm so a truck like this was just a working stiff back then–but his Merc has taken on a new role. He took his father for a good road trip in the Merc to visit family and his dad was very impressed with the old pickup. He was less impressed when he found out how much Dan dad invested in the Merc, because trucks were working machines on the farm—not show stars.
By: Jerry Sutherland
Jerry Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer with a primary focus on the collector car hobby. His work has been published in many outlets and publications, including the National Post, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Regina Leader-Post, Vancouver Sun and The Truth About Cars. He is also a regular contributor to Auto Roundup Publications.
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