Germans Invade Custom Car Field: The Spohn Custom Mercury: Hop-Up & Motor Life, January 1954

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Here's One Of The Few Color Photos of a Spohn Custom From "Back In The Day." It's On The Cover of Hop-Up Magazine, No Less!

Hi Gang…

Spohn, Spohn, Spohn…why so much about this German coachbuilders Spohn???

Because very little has been shared about them in recent years, and Spohn would have built a car that Elton John or Liberace would have been proud of!

Don’t knock ‘em gang….I would love to have one too (not sure what that means for me…).  They are just too over the top, which is what I love and… they were built by a very competent German Coachbuilder:  “Spohn Coachworks” of Ravensburg, Germany.

Another reason I’m focusing intensely on these cars of late is that a Spohn Custom Car will soon be auctioned in Chicago.  One that I had a chance to visit about 2 years ago.   Click here to review the information about this car that will be auctioned in early November, 2011.

I’ll be introducing more vintage articles about Spohn in the next 2 weeks in order to help provide information about Spohn Coachworks of Germany to any interested bidders.  Today’s article comes from Motor Life, January 1954 and is result of the “eagle eyes” of good friend Glenn Brummer.  I just don’t know how Glenn keeps finding these articles!

Let’s see what the article has to say…and blame today’s story on Glenn ;-)

Spohn Custom Mercury
Can Germans Outdo American Craftsmen?  Let’s Ask the Owner.
Motor Life: January 1954
Photographed by Ralph Poole
Written by Owner Robert Mooselli

I have driven roadsters at the dry lakes, coupes at the drags, hot rods on the half-mile Carrell Speedway and put in five years driving in Jalopy races.  In all that time, I have never experienced half the thrills or enjoyment that await my every journey in the Spohn, even if it’s only a short jaunt to the market.

I bought this car from an Army captain for $3800.  It has no long history for it was not completed until late in 1952.  The complete chassis was bought new from the Ford Motor Company in Belgium at a cost of $1100 and the body was build, in its entirety, at the Spohn auto works in Ravensburg for an additional $6000.

Every conceivable convenience is built in and all appointments are reminiscent of the artistic craftsmanship found in the expensive Rolls-Royce.  The steel top is covered with a tough rayon, fabric that seems to be immune to wear or weather and the whole top is easily removed for summer driving.

For drive-in service, a handy P.A. system with speaker mounted in the front grille, enables me to call waitresses by name, insuring fast service.  The engine in the car is a stock Mercury and I see no need to hop it up.  My car was built for “show” and not “go.”

Reviewing the financial aspect I feel that I have gotten more for my money than the average owner of an American customized creation.  He mustfirst buy a late model car at a cost of $3000 and then pay another $1500 to $3000 more for an original custom design, which is at best only reworked stock panels.

Whereas, every panel and part of the Spohn Mercury was formed from sheet stock in accordance with a set of blueprints.

Summary:

So where is this car today?  It sounds like it may have been one of the finest postwar Spohn customs built.  And there are aspects of design that are appealing to me – and I’m sure others.

Anyone want to go on a Spohn hunt?  This car is missing and beggin’ to be found.  Go get ‘em gang!  Let’s find this car, dust it off, and run for pinks ;-)

Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…

Glass on gang…

Geoff

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Comments

Germans Invade Custom Car Field: The Spohn Custom Mercury: Hop-Up & Motor Life, January 1954 — 4 Comments

  1. Over the top, is an understatement, incredible yes, I am pleased to see Geoff doing features on these cars that almost faded into complete obscurity. Thanks also to Barry Meston, for posting the link to the Spohn site. Easy to understand why collectors would pay huge money for one of these, interesting, over the top, and super rare. How many other people can claim to have even seen one in the flesh much less own one.

  2. Barry…thanks for the link and the kind words. Good friend Sondre Kvipt runs Kustorama and we share materials all the time. His keen eyes for all things custom is fantastic and really does a great service for the custom car hobby and enthusiasts.

    Keep the links coming and the comments too!

    Geoff

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