1947 Mercury Series 79M

Marmon-Herrington Station Wagon
Worldwide Scottsdale 2021
Saturday, 23 January 2021
Sale Price
23 January 2021
Sold Date
Lot Number
Older restoration
Auction House
Chassis no. 799A1745612. Parrot Green with maple and mahogany wood over brown leather. 239/100hp Flathead V-8, floor shift, 4-speed (in place of the original column shift 3-speed), Marmon-Herrington four-wheel drive conversion, black wheels with hub caps, rear-mounted spare, radio, dash clock, heater.

Evaluation: From the Steelwood Collection. One of three Mercury Marmon-Herrington 4×4 woodies known to survive and the only known 1947 model, according to Worldwide. Like most of the cars in the Steelwood collection, it wears a seemingly immaculate body-off restoration by Nick Alexander.

Bottom Line: Founded in the 1930s, Indianapolis-based Marmon-Herrington converted Ford wagons to four-wheel drive. In the process they would remove the body, reinforce the chassis, fit the four-wheel drive hardware, and raise the ride height. They did the work largely by hand and these 4x4s could cost twice as much as a standard Ford. The 4x4s were also rough-riding and slow, so it’s no surprise that few people actually bought one. They have a lot of character, though, and are significant for bringing four-wheel drive to civilian automobiles long before it was commonplace, even on trucks. This one was the king of the Steelwood collection, and after a long and exciting bidding war was by far the most expensive of the group. It was also way more expensive than the last two Marmon-Herrington woodies seen at auction, a 1940 Ford sold for $252,000 in Arizona 2019 and a 1948 Mercury sold for $207,200 the same year.

by Andrew Newton
28 January 2021
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.