This fully custom ’51 Merc is amazing. You won’t want to miss this.
Welcome to Home Fries. This new section of Auto Waffle is dedicated to local guys (and gals) and the rides that they cherish and enjoy. Everyone loves seeing show cars, but the stories behind them and the builders themselves are just as awesome. In this section, you will get a look inside some of the vehicles and owners that we, the writers, come across in our travels.
With that out of the way, I’d like to introduce you to Angelo Fiorini and his amazing 1951 Mercury custom. I ran into this car at the Art of Speed Club 66 car show that I attended last week, and I was immediately drawn in. Anyone who knows me will know precisely why, but for those who don’t: I have a serious infatuation with the color orange, and really: just look at this car. It’s gorgeous. Fortunately, when I approached to take a look, Angelo was with the car. We chatted for a few moments, and agreed to have a little photo shoot.
Who: Angelo Fiorini
Where: Delray Beach, FL
What: 1951 Mercury Monterey custom
Engine: Camaro-sourced LT1 V8
Transmission: T56 6-speed Manual
Rear End: GM 10 bolt with 4.10 gears
Wheels: 17 inch Budnik Bottle Caps
Exterior: Sunburst Orange paint, 4″ chop, custom hood, and more…
Interior: Suede, leather, and ostrich. Done by D.J. in Lake Worth, FL
Suspension: Not bagged. Chevy Nova subframe with 4-wheel disc brakes
First off, you can clearly see that this car is far from stock (and really… most of the ones out there these days aren’t stock, either). This car, though, is incredible for the details. Originally, it was a 1951 Mercury Monterey.
Now, it’s a full on custom. Power comes not from an old Flathead, but instead from an LT1 V8 sourced from a 4th generation Camaro. Mated to that, to make the car even more fun, is a T56 6-speed manual transmission.
The color also came from a Chevy, but a truck – an Avalanche to be specific. It’s called Sunburst Orange, and it looks soooooooooo good on this car. The car still has the original 1951 Mercury rear glass, which is a rarity among cars with chopped tops (the roof on this car is chopped approximately four inches). It’s just another example of the quality and precision that went into the build.
Speaking of quality and precision, this car took four years to finish, and all of the paint and body work was done on his own property. His longtime friend, “Fuzzy” painted the car. Look at the scoops on the hood. Those, he says, were hand-hammered into the hood because he liked the way they looked. Even the grill has some custom touches (notice that the center bar is gone from the original 1951 Mercury piece). When I visited, he gave a grand tour of the facilities, and showed me the spray booth. It’s an impressive location that many body shops would envy. For one man’s home? It’s nothing short of the Garage Mahal.
The inside of this 1951 Mercury is just as impressive as the outside. The leather, suede, and ostrich interior is comfortable, and the full-length center console adds a touch of luxury and class. This ’51 boasts power leather bucket seats, full instruments, a modern stereo, and remote-mount switches to open the saved door handles in the center console. There are even cupholders. This car is meant to be driven, and thus far, Angelo has covered 2,700 miles since its completion. He takes it out to shows and genuinely enjoys taking the car out.
This isn’t Angelo’s first hot rod, either. He’s been interested in cars since he was a young kid. Growing up in Pennsylvania, when he was around 10 years old, Angelo started to hang out with the local street racers. From that point on, he was hooked, and eventually built his own race car – a 1969 Chevy Nova super stock race car that had a 375 horsepower V8, and was dubbed the “Wild Mouse.”
In addition to the Merc, Angelo has several other projects going on right now, too. He’s a true gearhead with a passion for cars, horsepower, speed, and custom work. To date, he’s built 15 custom cars, several of which have been featured in magazines, and he doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon. Since he retired from the tile and marble flooring business, he spends his days tinkering with his garage and soaking up the sun here in South Florida.
I can only hope to someday have such a cool retirement. Check out the full gallery of photos below, and be sure to stay tuned for other Home Fries features in the future!