Nick Matranga's 1940 Merc

Classification: Custom
Constructed by: Nick Matranga (George & Sam Barris)
Circa: 1950
Current Owner:Destroyed in a wreck

Matranga bought this coupe in '49 and took it directly to Barris Kustoms where Sam and George spent 15 months chopping the top, sloping theA roof, and creating the characteristic, curved, "hardtop" side window frames emulating those on the new GM cars of '49 (and repeated, of course, on the Hirohata Merc three years later). After finishing the car in '41 Buick maroon with gold overH black (a deep iridescent maroon), it was on the streets only a few months before Matranga was sent to Korea, and he put the car on blocks. Not knowing when or if he'd return, Nick later arranged through Barris to sell the car, and the new owner promptly totalled it in early '52. The car's clean styling is undeniably classic, but the near-legendary impact it has had (borne out by the number of copies that have been built), is surprising given its short life span and limited visibility.

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