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1949 1950 1951 Mercury Convertible Bill Hines custom So Cal leadsled GNRS kustom

Make: Mercury
Model: Bill Hines Built
Type: Convertible
Year: 1949
Mileage: 334
Color: Royal Blue Metallic
Engine: Hi Po Chevy
Cylinders: 8
Fuel: Gasoline
Transmission: Automatic
Interior color: Blue and White leather
Vehicle Title: Clean
Item location: Brevard, North Carolina, United States

1949 Mercury Bill Hines Built Additional Info:

The“Niemie” Mercury Convertible

byBill “The Leadslinger” Hines

A piece of So Cal car history and Grand NationalRoadster Show trophy winner, the “Niemie” Mercury Convertible wasbuilt by legendary customizer Bill “The Leadslinger” Hines in LosAngeles, California for Southern California custom and hot rodderGary Niemie.

BillHines became of one of the best known custom car builders in theLA/So Cal hot rod scene. In 1958, he worked at the George Barrisshop, then opened his own shop in 1960. He created many legendarycars, including the original “Lil' Bat” car in 1957 that madeit's debut at the 1959 Detroit Autorama, the Buddha Buggy in 1962,etc. He was known for his mastery of using lead as a filler, his eyeand talent for designing and chopping cars, fabricating hydraulicsystems and his brilliant candy paint jobs that stood out at shows. Bill Hines never stopped customizing, teaching, appearing in variouscar TV shows and worked until he died in 2015 at the age of 94.

Gary Niemie, an originalmember of the 1950's Long Beach car club “Renegades,”owned/created many customs and hot rods, and is best known for his1956 Buick, scalloped by Larry Watson and was featured in the MotorTrend February 1958 issue and 1959 Custom Cars Annual. He was alsoknown for hand making teardrop dash knobs for many famous customs inLA, including Larry Watson's “Grapevine.”

This isNiemie's last custom and he wanted to build one final “over thetop” custom and purchased an original Mercury convertible body (nota cut-up Coupe) from the LA customizer Dick Dean and engaged BillHines to build this show car and spared no expense. Bill chopped,channeled and built the car from ground up and during it'sconstruction, various people became involved in the creation of the“Niemie Merc.” Dick Dean created the removable Carson style topwith hidden recessed neon lighting in the roof's interior channelsthat lights up the top's ceiling at night. Gabe's House of Trimcovered it in padded white fabric. Dave Whittle hand laid thepinstriping across the body and Larry Watson (a very close friend ofNiemie) painted flying eyeballs on the chromed, 50's Cadillac aircleaner as well as on the glove box door. The beautiful 12 stagepaint was applied by Cypress Rod & Custom and still has a verydeep, reflective mirror shine, while an all leather blue and whiteinterior was also installed by Gabe's House of Trim.

After thecompletion of the car, the “Niemie” Merc was displayed at the2004 Grand National Roadster Show where it took home a trophy, thenlater, Niemie turned the car over to Boyd Coddington to sell on hisbehalf. The Merc was eventually acquired by a collector car museumin which it has been consistently maintained but rarely driven on thestreets. As a collector of period customs and hot rods, I acquiredit for my private collection from the museum when the owners decidedto retire.

Sinceowning the Merc, I took it out in public only once to be shown at theKustom Kemps of America's “Icons of Hot Rodding Show” in 2019where it received the “Icons of Icons” award and was featured inthe February 2020 issue of Car Kulture Deluxe magazine.

Someof the many features:

Handles,emblems shaved with remote door openers


53DeSoto Grill and Bumpers


RoyalBlue metal flake, 12 stage paint by Cypress Rod & Custom

Pinstripping/art: Dave Whittle & Larry Watson

Frame: Custom frame using mostly late 70's Buick components

Engine:SBC Hi-Po crate motor, fully dressed, chromed intake, accessories,etc.

Transmission:700 Turbo R4

DualExhaust with Bellflower tips

RemovableCarson top with hidden interior mood lighting

Allleather interior, white and blue by Gabe's House of Trim

Dakotadigital gauges

Rearback up camera built into pop-up dash stereo

VintageAir A/C system

LaCarrasteering wheel


Powerwindows, power locks, power doors, power brakes, remotes, etc.

Dashknobs hand built by Gary Niemie

AirLift Suspension on rear

Wheels:Steel 5 on 5 wheels, 6” width

DiamondBack Classic 205 75 15 w 3” whitewall tires (less than 1 miledriven on them)

Just334 total miles on the car since construction.

Car comes with a copy of the magazine personally signedby Gary Niemie as well as various Bill Hines memorabilia provided bythe Hines family to be kept with the car fordisplay. Also included are a few photosduring construction with Bill Hines, copy of a photo from the GNRS,and extensive paperwork and manuals. The car is basically unchangedsince being built by Bill Hines for Niemie with a few minorexceptions, ie backup camera & popup stereo. Despite beingdriven just over 300 miles since completion, the car is kept in goodrunning order, always starts right up, shifts and brakes well but has been street driven very little.

Much of the historical information and older photos wereprovided directly from Gary Niemie as well as the Hines family. I met with both Niemie and the Hines family personally in LA to discussand document the car's history in length.

Open to partialtrades of a period correct, traditional hot rod or custom.

Call for more details, photos or videos. I am not adealer, but a collector and will answer any questions I can. 828-877-5351 (land line, no texts) or email at retrotravelers@yahoo.com. If I feel you are a scammer or not legit, I will not respond.