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Frenching the Headlights on a ’51 Merc

No other single model has ever possessed a more enduring vision of custom than the 1949-1951 Mercury. Wide whites, chopped top, fenders skirts and flames shooting out the pipes are the calling card of a classis lead sled Merc. There is another requirement of owning a lead-sled, frenched headlights.

Frenching the headlights has been a mainstay of the rodding world since the beginning. In the past, setting the headlights back in the fenders required a lot of custom work, shaping sheet metal, careful measuring, and required specialized tools to get the job done, leaving novice builders out of the loop. Then a few enterprising people started making kits that simplified the frenching process. Not only do these kits take out the guesswork, the result is finished off with shiny trim that sparkles.

Installing one of these kits is quite easy, requiring very few tools and can be completed in a couple of hours. The best part about these frenching kits is that just about any builder to complete.

RPPG, formerly Good Times Productions, manufacturers several frenching kits, including headlights, antennas, tag and several versions of taillights. We took a set of “Custom Beams”, the 7” lamp complete French kit and installed them on a 1951 Mercury. The total job took less than 2 hours and only required a wire-feed welder, grinder, sandpaper and some rattle can primer. This is a seriously easy project that just about any gearhead can do, and it only costs about $250 bucks.


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