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"Strawberry Dream " 1951 Mercury Chopped top custom lead sled- (built 2002)

In the early 2000's, Hot Wheels made a series of 1/25th scale die-cast cars called "Cop-Rods." Among them was a '51 chopped top custom Mercury. I stumbled across these at a close out discounted price of $5.99 and thought that it would be some great raw material for a build project.

Originally, this Merc was painted white and black with police car graphics. I used paint stripper to remove the original paint and then set about making some modifications to the body. I had already built another of these Mercurys and painted it copper colored with a set of blue flames. On that one, I left the body pretty close to how it originally came, but with this one I wanted to do something a little more creative.

Using a die-grinder, I removed the molded-in chrome bullet accents in front of the fender skirts. I then scratch-built Buick-style side trim using strips of styrene. I also cut away the Pontiac-style grill (shown on the copper car) and replaced it with a '49 Mercury grill from an AMT kit. I then set the grill back farther into the opening, so it would have a tunneled look. Additionally, this Hot Wheels die-cast car came with the front bumper mounted upside down. I cut it free and mounted it flipped around right side up. In the back, I filled in the tail lights and made my own taller custom units. Next, I slammed the chassis and replaced the toy wheels with a set of real spun aluminum discs from "Parts By Parks". This die-cast toy also came with molded in headlights. I ground those out and replaced them with headlight lenses from an AMT '51 Chevy kit. Lastly, I removed the lake pipes and added real aluminum exhaust tips and a "kustom" Ohio license plate.

For paint, I custom mixed a unique shade of candy pink. It features a darker, but subtle stripe faded down the center of the car and silver painted inserts on the sides. The whole body with then covered with PPG urethane clear. I call my custom Merc, "Strawberry Dream."

Click here to read all about the other Mercury I built, called "Copper Fire."


Click here to check out Pro-Tech's web site.


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