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Mercury Park Lane Convertible 390 Super Marauder: The long-term project

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Mercury Park Lane Convertible 390 Super Marauder
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This M ercury Park Lane cost thousands. No, not euros, but working hours. Peter Weinert is the name of the hardworking restorer who has devoted almost every minute of his free time to this car in recent years. Father Ewald always kept the action under control. 'Every now and then he looked into the small workshop, shook his head in disbelief and closed the door again,' says the son.

Barter: BMW 3200 CS for the open American ship

It was his father who got him all this - but he doesn't hold it against him. On the contrary, working with tools and historical companions gives Peter Weinert great pleasure. It all started back then with a moped from the junkyard that, well, dad brought it home one day. And after acquiring the driver's license, a dilapidated Karmann Ghia Type 14 served as a training object. 'I tried everything on this scrap mill, from welding to painting,' reports Peter Weinert of the beginnings of his hobby screwdriver life. Thanks to a workshop with a pit right next to the house, he was able to let off steam to his heart's content and further develop his skills: learning by doing. After all, he finally got the Karmann Ghia back on the road.

At this point in time, the 64 Mercury Park Lane Convertible already has a big place in the heart and in the garage of the Weinert family. Of course it was again Papa who had organized the exotic American, so to speak. The carpenter with a penchant for special vehicles used BMW V8 models as towing vehicles, which he also maintained himself. In addition to various baroque angels, he owned a 3200 CS. And in 1969 he exchanged this Bertone Coupé for a used Mercury Park Lane Convertible from a friend.

The stately US convertible was then used by the family as a Sunday car and as a means of transport on special occasions. The Mercury covered just 4,000 miles in the following seven years. From 1974 Peter Weinert was allowed to steer the big ship from time to time, and he was responsible for maintenance and care from the start. Then in 1976 there was a defect in the hydraulic cylinder of the power steering and the control valveoccurred, the meanwhile rarely moved American was assigned a quiet corner in which he stood his tires flat.

13 years of slumber, 20 years of restoration

Peter Weinert's interest was meanwhile other cars , but in 1989 his enthusiasm for the Mercury flared up again. He planned to fix it up again, and secretly he even saw in it the right wedding car for himself and his girlfriend at the time. But it soon became clear that more than a few cosmetic repairs were needed. First, however, Weinert set to dismantling the Mercury. Since he thought he would be able to reassemble everything shortly, he sorted the parts by assembly, but he did not document every detail, which was all the more meticulously made up for later. A number of exposed rust spots and the wear and tear of many technical parts finally made it appear advisable to take the car apart down to the last screw and restore it from the ground up.

This suddenly piling up mountain of work dampened the enthusiasm a little, especially so that the use of the car as a wedding car was a long way off. After a brisk start, the pace of work dropped drastically, only to return to the piece rate years later. 'At some point you get ambitious, because when I start a project like this, I want to get it finished with as much personal work as possible,' Weinert explains.

As I said, there was a lot to do. After the body had been separated from the chassis, the frame, which had been stripped of all attachments, went to the collar. There was no rusting through here, but the robust part was sandblasted together with the axles.

Despite the size, an ideal one Screwdriver object

Only years later did the still rust-free, because dry stored frame of the Mercury receive Park Lane a new paint job and cavity preservation. Then the construction of the new chassis followed step by step, which was great fun because of the optimal accessibility. Weinert either used new parts or laboriously refurbished existing parts. The still functional engine, which had only run 49,000 miles, was initially only freed from oil sludge and rust, optically refurbished and fitted with overhauled ancillary units or revised carburettors. The result was not satisfactory, and in the end the crankshaft and connecting rod bearings, which were astonishingly heavily worn despite the low mileage, had to be replaced. In addition, a new carburetor, a more powerful oil pump and a new ignition system were used.

The will to do as much as possible led Weinert to buy his own sandblasting device and thus theHandle bodywork of Mercury Park Lane. It worked, but it turned out to be a mess. 'Although I covered and taped everything all around, the dirt was spread all over the workshop,' the restorer remembers the consequences with horror.

The stripped or rusted body of the Mercury Park Lane was perfectly refurbished, and the underbody protected against rust attacks and painted. Then Peter Weinert placed the huge sheet metal shell on a wooden frame that he had built with the help of his father. In this way, the body could be moved and transported to the painter, who applied a layer of paint to it together with the individual parts such as doors and hoods. To avoid any risk, he always gave the individual layers of paint plenty of time to dry.

At some point the wedding of the shiny yellow body of Mercury Park Lane with the freshly built chassis was due. 'With these dimensions you can't do everything yourself,' grins Weinert. He cleverly solved the problem by celebrating his birthday with old-timer friends in the garage and then raising the men to be energetic witnesses.

The reward for the effort: Condition grade 1-

That was in 2005. Why another three before completion Years passed and so many hours of work went into the restoration, not only because Weinert spent days delving into spare parts catalogs in order to be able to correctly assign all parts of the car, which was then hastily dismantled. But if you want to do as much as possible yourself, rather repair parts than throw them away and strive for perfection, you sunk a lot of time into some work. This included, for example, the blasting of hundreds of screws, which Weinert then had yellow-galvanized. Or the production of a two-pipe exhaust using parts that are available for the Mercury Park Lane Coupé, with Weinert also optimizing the pipe routing and suspension.

Neither was an exhaust system missing a fastening element for the sun visor of Mercury Park Lane available. Weinert spent days filing a new stainless steel part from solid by hand. He designed splash guards for the wheelhouses to repel stone chips and prevent dirt from building up. And under each chrome attachment, he placed suitably cut rubber pads. No wonder the father shook his head now and then. But what counts is the perfect result. And should Peter Weinert really discover a deficiency, he'd add a few hours of work.

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