A Revolutionary Car Design Era

the character Fonzie from the sitcom Happy Day...

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Ford revolutionized car design in the nineteen forty-nine era. The forty nines were amazingly streamlined and beautiful. The stodgy look of the earlier designs lost favor to smooth flowing lines. The Mercury Division of Ford  hit a home run with its body style. The nineteen forty-nine through fifty-two Mercury is a favorite among hot rodders around the world. When chopped, Frenched,  and smoothed beyond its original flowing lines, the car transforms into fluid motion.

In the sit-com Happy Days the character Fonzi reminds me of a friend from my old neighborhood. The kids nick named him Dago. Dago’s  jet black hair swept back into a duck’s tail. He wore a black leather jacket and engineer boots decorated with chrome carpet tacks.  Dago became the inspiration for “The Fonz.” Dago drove a nineteen forty-nine Mercury coupé, jet black; what a car, what a character.

Recently, I had occasion to visit with Dago during a meeting of the kids from my old neighborhood in Burnside. His real name is Bob, and he is still a vibrant character with very black hair, and the same panache he had as a teen. This one is for you Bob.

My collection of Mercury’s from 1949-1952