The Lincoln-Mercury division was created in 1945, but it wasn’t until the 1949 models appeared that Mercury models were able to define their own identity beyond being perceived as a glorified Ford.
The 1949-1951 models, sometimes referred to as ‘lead sleds’ were highly popular with customizers and rodders. They were also popular with actors, such as James Dean, who drove one in the 1950s movie ‘Rebel Without a Cause.’
The 1950 Mercury offered a completely restyled dash and improvements in the carburetor, parking brake, and steering. Convenience options included whitewall tires, radio, power seats, and heater.
1950 was a big year for the Mercury marque, as they produced their one-millionth vehicle. They were invited to pace the Indianapolis 500 as the official pace car, and they won two NASCAR Grand National races during the year.