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FEATURE: 1949 Mercury Custom

A roadside fire destroyed this 1949 Mercury custom. Ancient mythology tells of a sacred fire bird that, at the end of its life, ignites its nest to be taken up in flames. When the blaze burns down, a new offspring emerges. Chicago-area auto enthusiasts Don and Debbie Wallin have a rolling phoenix that, through hard work and determination, was raised from the ashes to cruise the streets again.

A roadside fire destroyed this 1949 Mercury custom.

Don Wallin

After a complete multiyear overhaul of their 1949 Mercury custom, disaster struck in 2007.

The Illinois couple was cruising to a show in Tennessee and was forced to pull over to the shoulder when a right rear tire blow out just outside of Merrillville, Indiana. Don ran down the interstate to retrieve the ejected fender skirt. When he turned back around, flames were licking out from under the custom Mercury.

Want to keep reading? Check out our full feature on the Daily Herald HERE

A roadside fire destroyed this 1949 Mercury custom.

The exterior has been coated in an eye-searing Lamborghini Orange paint.

The roadside fire completely destroyed the interior and badly scorched the exterior.

A roadside fire destroyed this 1949 Mercury custom.A roadside fire destroyed this 1949 Mercury custom.

The car was declared totaled, given the nature and extent of the damage.

A roadside fire destroyed this 1949 Mercury custom.

A roadside fire destroyed this 1949 Mercury custom.

While the exterior is complete, Don still has interior work to do. Stitch, from Palatine, Illinois is assisting and the plan is to have it completed by winter.

Don made the call to bring the kustom Merc back to life and even made more body changes and modifications. Dick Scully, of Scully Customs, had been the man behind the first round of mods and returned to assist with the second round of transformation.

A roadside fire destroyed this 1949 Mercury custom.

A roadside fire destroyed this 1949 Mercury custom.

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Check out our full photo slideshow below for even more photos of this wild ride.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Historical photos courtesy of the Wallin family

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** All photos and content by Classic Recollections and may not be used without permission. 2012 © **

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