Award Winning 1940 Mercury Custom

On view at the AACA Museum through January 6, 2017

1940 Mercury ConceptPhoto courtesy:  Rob Ida Concepts

Hershey, PA (November 14, 2016)  The Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Museum is excited to showcase Jack Kiely’s award winning 1940 Mercury custom for a limited time, until January 6, 2017.     Built by Rob Ida Concepts of Morganville, NJ; this car has won many accolades – it was named “Best in Show” at SEMA, and it was named the “The World’s Most Beautiful Custom”.   It was featured at Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, “The Crown Jewel” at The Race of Gentlemen, and has just returned from Monterey where it won first place “Hot Rod Custom” and “Best Engineered”.

Jack and Carolyn Kiely (of Kiely Motorsports in Rumson, NJ) are the owners of this one of a kind Mercury. Having cars built by Rob Ida Concepts (in Morganville, NJ) before, Jack wanted to try something new. Jack and Rob often spoke about the 1940 Mercury being a design that was less than well received by the public and more so by its creators Edsel Ford a Bob Gregrie when they were met with influence on design by Henry Ford. Henry insisted that the car be spacious enough to carry two bushel baskets in the trunk as well as re-purposing left over roof tops from the 1938 Ford coupe. These two elements kept the car looking bloated and awkward as opposed to the sleek European styling that Edsel thought the Ford Motor Company needed to incorporate in their luxury and premium lines, Lincoln and Mercury.

This car has been restyled with Edsel in mind. Jack and Rob dreamed up a car that might have been similar in design if Edsel went to a French coachbuilder in the late 30’s to design and build a concept car for the Paris Auto Show in 1939 to debut the new Mercury brand. Tight sheet metal, Figoni-Falaschi inspired trim, front fender spats, low roof line and carefully balanced adornment all speak to the design inspiration.

Technical elements include:

  1. Steering front fender skirts. The wheel steers at a ratio of 2.6:1 to the skirt, allowing the wheels to steer without contacting the tire.


  1. Throttle operated cowl vent that allows the engine’s air to enter in the factory cowl vent while supplying air from the cars high pressure area. This gives the engine its best quality air charge without the appearance of a hood scoop.


  1. Touch sensor in the headlight lens which electronically lifts the headlight allowing access to the removable front fender skirt


  1. 660 H.P. Ford Engine from a 2009 Mustang Shelby GT500. The engine has been aesthetically redesigned to give it a look inspired by a performance Ford Flathead with Ardun overhead valve conversion


Please visit for more information and videos on the cars build. Instagram at rob_ida and Facebook at Rob ida.

About the AACA Museum

The AACA Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, displays beautifully restored automobiles, buses and motorcycles in unique life-like scenes representing the 1890s – 1980s in a cross-country journey from New York to San Francisco.   This Museum, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, is known to be one of the largest automotive museums.  Special exhibits change several times a year and focus on a variety of eras and types of vehicles.  The Museum is in South Hanover Township, located just off Route 39, one mile west of Hersheypark Drive, Hershey, Pennsylvania.  Regular admission $12, seniors age 61 and older $11, juniors age 4-12 $9, children age 3 and under and AACA Members are FREE.  The Museum is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  AACA Museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  For further information, please call 717-566-7100 or visit