Vintage Mercury outboards from the mid-1950’s are sometimes referred to as “old green and red ones” because of the color of the engine housings – they were green or red. When I was a kid my dad had a green Mercury Mark 30 outboard, much like the one in the lower left corner of this photo. I have been in love with these motors ever since. I happen to be the proud owner of two such motors, a green 1955 Mercury Mark 55e and a red 1957 Mercury Mark 55e. Both of these motors are electric start and produce 40 hp. They both look just like my dad’s motor.
As you might imagine, because of the age and rarity of these motors, it is quite difficult to find a mechanic to work on them. Mark Gunter from Gunter Marine Sales, 2243 Jacksboro Hwy, Fort Worth, TX 76114, (817) 626-5693, is one of the only people I have found in the DFW area who will even touch these old outboards. I have had Mark repair several of my other Mercury outboards in the past and he did a great job on them.
In anticipation of the arrival next weekend of my 1948 Speed Liner 15′ Trophy Deluxe Racing Runabout, Muscle Mama Patrice and I loaded the red ’57 Merc, which is still in the crate from when I bought it a couple years ago, into the back of my truck. I took the motor out to Gunter Marine and asked Mark to get it running, change out the impeller, and service the engine.
This old red one, when fully restored, will look just like the red and cream-colored motor in the center of the top row of the picture with all the Mercury’s. Once Mark has the engine starting and running reliably, I’ll take it out to fellow Wooden Boat Association of North Texas (WBA) member Bill Mott and ask him to clean it up, paint it, put new decals on it, and generally make it look like a show motor worthy of the awesome boat it’s going to be pushing… very fast.
Double Jack Rocks!