- This car was driven by movie star James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause.
- It was mildly customized and de-chromed for the movie.
- It is one of the most famous movie cars in history.
Actor James Dean drove this 1949 Mercury in the 1955 movie, Rebel Without a Cause. Passengers included fellow stars Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo. The car was mildly customized and de-chromed for the movie. The movie’s premiere showing was at New York’s Astor Theatre in October 1955, one month after James Dean’s death. He would never know the extraordinary impact he made with the movie. Few automobiles have developed such a “cult” following as this Mercury, one of the most famous movie cars in history.
Right after WW II, Mercury customers were offered essentially restyled 1942 models. But for 1949, the Mercury line underwent significant design changes. Sales went up tremendously with this new model as more than 301,000 were produced. Among the new features, and a departure for Ford, was an optional overdrive. The car was lower, wider and longer than previous Mercury cars and the old transverse springs and torque-tube drive were retired. Four body styles were offered: 4-Door Sport Sedan, 6 Passenger Coupe, 6 Passenger Convertible and a 2-Door Station Wagon.