The 1946 Mercury was originally purchased right after WWII in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The original owner had just returned from WWII and became a railroad man, throwing switches and taking the Merc up and down the railroad tracks.
In 1969, Ruben Vargas Sr. was going to school at Angelo State University and his wife, Oralia G. Vargas was working across town so they needed a second vehicle. Ruben found this smoking hot deal and purchased the Merc for $200 dollars in San Angelo, Texas from the original owner. Within just a few days of Ruben purchasing the car, the original owner tracked him down and wanted to buy the car back. It was the first car the man had purchased and he regretted selling it. Ruben replied "Sorry sir, but I really need this car." And that is how the Merc came into the Vargas family.
Ruben drove the Merc to college and the in 1972 Victor, his son came along and they moved to a new home in Midland, Texas. The Merc made the 120 mile journey to Midland in a "big rain storm", even though the vacuum driven wipers worked very slowly causing them to constantly pull off the road. He drove the car daily for a few more years until he bought a truck. At that time the Merc was parked and taken out to the occasional parade or joyride.
The Merc ran great up until 1984 or 1985 when she came across hard times. The hood was left open, the air cleaner was left off the card, and low and behold it rained. The block seized up so Ruben and his buddies pushed the car to the backyard, filled the cylinders with Marvin's Miracle Oil, and that is where she sat for 25 plus years. She kept Victor, his brother, and their friends company growing up as they pretended to drive her off into the sunset and cruise the strip.
The kids used her as a jungle gym and Victor, even as a kid fantasized about restoring her. Then in 2011 Victor finally asked his dad if he could do something with her. Crazy as it is he gave her to him, even though he has a track record for tearing up cars that his dad has given him. On July 5th, 2011, after being parked in the backyard his mom, Oralia got behind the wheel while Ruben and Victor pushed and pulled until she was loaded on a trailer. She made the 350 mile journey to Austin, Texas and put in the hands of Murph where the resurrection began.
This 1946 Coupe has modern upgrades including a Ford Coyote 5.0 with eight stack EFI and a Tremec 6 speed transmission. A Ford 9" rear end, the hood was nosed, pancaked, peaked and stretched for a custom look. A grille consist of a '53 Oldsmobile grille bar with a reshaped '52 Oldsmobile bumper accent. More custom modifications included shaved fenders, molded diamond pattern running boards, molded fender skirts, shaved door handles, frenched headlights and a diamond quilter firewall to match the running board because it is all about the details! The car was painted in a root beer candy by House of Kolor and the beautiful interior was completed by Cato's Custom Upholstery.
Max has gone on to win numerous awards across the country including the Fine Nine Award at the Starbird Rod and Customs Show, Best Early Custom at the 2016 West Coast Kustoms Cruisin' Nationals and KKOA's "777 Award" for America's Top Custom in 2021. Max has gone on to be featured in magazine coverage and still attended shows across the country.Murpho's Rods and Customs is proud of this in house build and all that went into it. To see more of Max, click the link below to see this Mercury in motion on the official Murpho's Rods and Customs YouTube channel.