Old School Ford Lead Sled Custom Hot Rod 95 GM Cadillac STS Northstar V8 71pics

Price: US $14,004.00 Item location: High River, Alberta, Canada
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Mercury
  • Model: Monarch
  • SubModel: Custom Hardtop
  • Type: Fastback
  • Trim: Monarch
  • Year: 1953
  • Mileage: 22,000
  • VIN: 0370H53-89481
  • Color: Purple
  • Engine size: Cadillac Northstar 4.6L V8
  • Number of cylinders: 8
  • Power options: Air Conditioning, Cruise Control, Power Locks, Power Windows, Power Seats
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drive type: FWD
  • Interior color: White
  • Safety options: Anti-Lock Brakes, Driver Airbag, Passenger Airbag
  • Options: Leather Seats
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1953 Mercury Monarch Custom Hardtop

This is a very unique and one-of-a-kind opportunity. This 4 year old custom build blends 1950’s Mercury styling and ‘old school’ lead sled customizing with modern Cadillac STS mechanicals and comforts to deliver a reliably roadworthy cruiser with award winning credentials.

If you are a discerning custom enthusiast with an appreciation for ingenuity and quality then this offering warrants your review.
At the bottom of this listing you will find links to 3 short videos, followed by a link to a photo album of nearly 200 pics of this fine creation.

This car started life as a 1953 Ford Monarch, a badge engineered version of a Mercury that was built for the Canadian market. It left the factory as a 2-door post sedan.
Its rebirth into a custom hardtop sprang from the mind and talents of its builder and present owner, for whom the whole project was contingent upon the viability of one main outstanding feature, retractable doors that withdraw into the quarter panels.

Over 6,500 hours were spent building this custom from the ground up. The owner/builder is a highly skilled and detail oriented mechanic and machinist. He and his wife personally performed all aspects of the build apart from upholstery and final finishing body work and paint. Those tasks were performed by trade professionals.

This is but one of his amazing builds. His talents have led to the completion of several other significant one-of-a-kind projects. These include the high caliber restoration of a 1909 Brush automobile, the initial design and prototype build of the now renowned Titan T-51 Mustang, a ¾ scale flying replica of the famous WWII P-51 Mustang fighter plane, a full steel recreation of an 1947 MG TC Midget, and a running, operational 1/5 scale model of a D8H Series 46A Caterpillar Dozer.
Quite honestly, the man is one of those geniuses we all admire who can not only dream it, but can and does build it.

This high quality dependable build has great road manners and has been 100% trouble free. It has been road proven to deliver superior handling and performance, and show proven to draw crowds and win over 100 awards across western Canada.

Representative of ‘old school’ build talents, it combines creative ingenuity with Cadillac STS power, handling and comfort. Pulling into any meet or show arena as the doors are retracting sets this Monarch apart from its custom peers and will draw flocks of admirers.

Good Bye Ford Flathead !
The 4.6 liter Cadillac Northstar V8 engine provides the horses. This engine has 32 valves, 4 cam shafts, and is chain drive with factory fuel injection.
Horsepower has not been measured, but with catalytics removed and air induction it is estimated to be between 325-350 horsepower.

The engine starts up instantly and runs strong and smooth. It displays good power, and no smoke.
The engine was thoroughly inspected for the build and found to be in excellent condition. It has run Plum Magic approximately 22,000 miles over the last 4 years on synthetic oil, and uses no oil with changes performed every 6,000 miles.

Transmission is STS 3 speed with overdrive, and it shifts as it should.
Cadillac STS posi-trac rear differential.
The car retains the STS cruise control.
STS original cooling system used, along with factory air conditioning with AutoTemp Control.

Among the spares that go with the car is a second rebuildable Northstar engine, a good transmission.

The solid, damage free original Mercury frame was modified to accommodate the 1994 Cadillac drivetrain. Along with reinforcements to handle the additional horsepower and torque, the frame was also stretched in 2 locations to its present wheelbase of 127”.
All frame and chassis components were cleaned to bare metal prior to refinishing with epoxy primers and Endura paint.
The front wheel drive STS clip was mounted to the frame and retains original STS mounts.

The original STS steering components were used to get the computer controlled variable steering.
The rear axle has spring independent suspension and air bags and is computer ride controlled.
The STS ABS disc brake system and emergency brake complete the picture for a great ride combination.

The STS dual exhaust system with tuned factory headers was retained. Diverting the exhaust to the stainless steel lake pipes is done via selector valves and is electronically controlled. They provide for a great goose bump generating rumble.
The rear exhaust tips are custom built stainless as well.
Fuel supply is a sealed system using the STS fuel pump and gauge.

Plum Magic rides on Cadillac alloy wheels with Michelin radial tires. A spare set of new front tires is included as well.

The 1953 2-door post body was torn down and cut into 5 pieces, then built from the ground up. All metal was stripped to clean and bare.
The body was lengthened a total of 3 ft. in 4 different locations.
Chopped 4 ½ inches.
Channeled 3 inches.

An all new floor pan and 10 gauge steel body cross members were fabricated to also accommodate the increased horsepower and torque.
The body was installed with side frame rails made of 10 gauge steel, which run within the rockers and also support the door slide mechanism.
The floor pan is rubber covered inside for sound proofing.

The roofline was lowered 4 ½” by lowering the windshield into the firewall, allowing for the use of a stock ’53 Ford shaded windshield, readily available.
This mod also allowed for the stock STS wiper system with wash and delay to be hidden below the hood.

The dash from the STS was cut down and mounted using the stock STS firewall, modified and fitted to the body so as to accommodate the hard mounting points for the brake pedal, steering box and dash. AC ducts, console, and floor shift were also installed.
Everything bolts together.

The sliding doors were built new using 4 actuators, 12 micro switches, 17 relays, and 255 ft. of wire in each.
The doors work from outside using a key switch, concealed within the original Monarch Crown door key units now mounted on the sides of the front cowl.
The inside momentary toggle switch for the doors is located in the center console panel.

A separate special switch controls the power windows.
The side windows are one piece covering front and rear sides. They are made of Lexan polycarbonate. A new spare set, never used, is included.

The front clip fenders and hood are bolted together in order to show the original seams gaps.
This hood assembly moves forward and tilts using actuators and hydraulic cylinders. It is controlled from inside by toggle switch and is fully automatic.

The rear of the car was extended 22” to accommodate a built-in automatic tilt-away Continental kit, also controlled from inside by toggle switch.
The trunk lid is also toggle controlled and automatically opens and closes using hydraulics.

The rear fender skirts are custom built. They do show a bit of gravel rash down low, and there is some minor stone damage and a couple of cracks along the front bottom edge of the right skirt.

All panel gaps and fit look very good. The body work and all panels are very straight.
Extensive use of custom fabricated stainless steel panels is evident throughout this build.

The beautiful metallic color is, you guessed it, Plum Magic, a color developed by California Colors. The finish is excellent, really nice.
The professional paint work was done using Sikkens water base with 3 coats of ceramic clear.
It has never been wet sanded or polished, has a very smooth finish, great shine and reflection.

Apart from the odd minor stone chip here and there from its miles, and some gravel rash down low on the skirts, the body and paint remain in very good condition.

The entire STS wiring harness was used in order to make everything operational. The STS dash presents all original STS features in working order.
The car is equipped with two 12 volt batteries. One is located in the engine compartment, the second in the trunk, with a control switch in the forward console.

The tail lights, back-up lights, signal lights, and 4-way flashers are all LED.
The car also has undercarriage blue LED lighting, and LED interior lighting, with switches in the forward console.
The halogen head lamps are very bright.
Equipped with a Frenched-in power antenna for the stock STS radio plus a removable whip antenna.

All hydraulic systems controls and relays are located between the trunk compartment and rear seats, accessed by removing the forward trunk panel.

The comfortable interior is mostly Cadillac STS.
The power front seats were narrowed down, and installed at the same height and position as in the Cadillac so that the safety air bags could be used.
The passenger front seat automatically flips forward by way of a toggle controlled actuator to provide access to the rear seat.

The rear seats are GM van buckets, and occupants have their own rear A/C control.
Seat belt equipped for all 4 seats.

It has a custom sewn headliner, door and interior panels. Sun visors with vanity mirrors.

The trunk is appropriately carpeted and paneled. The forward panel is removable to provide access to system controls.
Two mechanical jacks go with the car.

Chrome plating on the car, including grille surround, bumpers, guards, and continental tread cover has been redone and is show quality.
Gold anodized plating can be found on the Monarch Crowns and scripts, and the original Monarch/Mercury quarter panel spears and stone guards.

Back-up lights have been incorporated into the original Monarch rear bumper.
The full dish custom wheel covers are aluminum and in very good condition.
The owner custom fabricated the stainless shrouds that cover the tail lights and lake pipes, as well as the main grille insert, and the smaller inserts in the hood emblem and front bumper.

The original stainless wings of the hood bird do show some minor waves, as is so typical of this piece common to the ’52-53 Monarchs and Mercs. Only an NOS one of these could be perfect, and they are next to impossible to find.

If you are considering something very special, and a unique one-of-a-kind custom with 50’s lead sled styling and modern reliability then this could be it!

All mechanical, structural, and cosmetic aspects of this car are of the highest standards and maintained in excellent condition, clean and tidy.
The car is a pleasure to drive, has lots of power, drives and handles like a new car.
The owner will supply full build specs and maintenance details to the new owner.

After about 4 years of 100% trouble free driving, showing, and enjoying this car, the owner still has other projects on the drawing board he would like to tackle, and as a result has decided to make this very special car available.
This custom sled is being offered with a reasonable reserve, set far below its restoration cost and appraised value. You could not duplicate this car for the price, and you certainly won’t find another one like it.

Please view the following 3 brief videos of the retractable doors, tilt front clip and continental, and automatic trunk lid, as well as hearing this Monarch roar.


This one of a kind custom is being listed on behalf of the builder/owner. Please email ‘carsgoneby@telus.net’ or phone Rick at (403)534-2222 for additional honest and accurate information from a professional auto restorer. All information listed has been gathered from discussions and test drive with the owner and visual inspection by me. Nearly 200 pics are available for viewing at www.carsgoneby.com/PhotoAlbumsPro/PlumMagic . Additional specific pictures are available upon request. No warranties expressed or implied. Successful bidder to make a minimum payment of 50% of closing bid amount (US funds) within 5 days of auction closing, with the balance payable upon vehicle pick up within 21 days (international) or 14 days (US/Canada).
Payment must be in certifiable form such as cash or wire transfer. Other forms of payment only acceptable with time allowance for instrument to clear bank prior to vehicle being released. Any deviation from, or changes to the preceding terms must be reasonable, and should be requested, discussed, and agreed to prior to bidding and auction closing.


Please submit all inquiries prior to bidding, and please only bid if you are able and willing to conclude the transaction should you be the winning bidder.
This vehicle is being sold with a Bill of Sale, and a current Alberta registration document (title).
The car is located in High River, Alberta, Canada, about 3 hours north of the Montana border. Please be aware of your shipping costs before bidding, quotes can be provided upon request if necessary. We can help make this a smooth, hassle free experience by arranging all inclusive international transportation and brokerage for you. References relating to similar transactions are available. Cars Gone By has sold and shipped numerous collector vehicles to the USA and worldwide, the majority through Ebay transactions.
Please do not ask us to disclose the reserve price. In fairness to all bidders we will not do so and request that you simply place a bid that is comfortable for you.
Thanks for looking!