IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE
AND LOWER A CUSTOM CAR.
Legendary cars don’t build themselves. Particularly when they’re period custom cars or traditional hot rods. It takes a talented cast of cast of characters working as a dedicated team. Which is precisely what you’ll find at Mercury Charlie’s. A crew that cares deeply about keeping old cars on the road and making automotive dreams come true. Jalopy lovers. Radical-custom lovers. Salt-lake racing fans. Period purists and hardcore hot rod revivalists. Craftsman who are building custom cars and hot rods the only way they know how. Passionately, and with deep respect for those who came before them.
For central Texas legends like Gary Howard and Vernon McKean, who set the custom bar for a generation to follow. For Jimmie Vaughan, who’s a custom car and blues guitarist virtuoso. For Rod Powell, Sam Foose, Lee Pratt and Gene Winfield, who helped define the meaning of the term, “timeless”. These are all the individuals who together set the bar for Charlie and his crew. Whose cues and influences have shaped the custom-car hobby. Charlie will be the first to tell you that it’s an honor to honor the period-custom greats and proudly carry the tradition into the future. But it’s no solo mission. Teamwork is everything.
So without further delay, meet the team.
NICKNAME: “MERCURY” CHARLIE
CHARLIE BUILDS TRADITIONAL HOT RODS
AND PERIOD CUSTOMS, PERIOD.
Ask Mercury Charlie about pretty much anything, and you’ll hear a great story. But if you ask him about hot rods and custom cars, you’re in for a real treat. To say he’s a walking encyclopedia of old cars gives encyclopedias too much credit. Charlie eats, sleeps and lives old school hot rods and customs. Custom tricks and performance tweaks. Gow jobs. Jalopies. Barn finds and bench racing. Charlie knows every trick in the book and you can bet your bippy he’s used more than a few of ‘em at one time or another.
SHOP MANAGER | NICKNAME: PAPA WHEELIE
If you ever purchase a tape measure and you darkly suspect it’s off by one or two thousandths of an inch, compare it to Will Pulley’s eye.
Stance. Proportion. Backspacing. Chops. You name it, Will’s eye is better than any spirit level and it’s a secret sauce that comes in quite handy around here. It’s as predictable as taxes and cheap-wine hangovers. But enough about that. Let’s get to know Will a little better.
SHOP FOREMAN | NICKNAME: CHIEF
Tim’s first hot rod was a ’28 Ford Model A Coupe. It ran a ’73 454 that was donated from his granddad’s GMC truck, had inverted headers, and was guided by a steering wheel passed down from his great-granddad’s Model T.
Its paint job was applied by none other than Tim’s brother with an assist from their nephew. There it is again. That family connection.
HEAD WRENCH | NICKNAME: MR. RAY
On a purely technical level, Ray Silkwood knows it all without acting like someone who knows it all. He’s a proverbial “Rain man” of obscure mechanical intelligence without the awkward social skills part. Modest, approachable, and humble are the third, fourth, and fifth words that come to mind once “mechanical” and “genius” are out of the way.
Which makes Ray about as rare as a Tucker center headlight assembly.
PROJECT MANAGER | PEOPLE PERSON | NICKNAME:
Roxy Runnels Daughter of Legendary Mercury Charlie Custom Car Builder is the project manager and our front of-the-house point person, Roxy’s job is to keep the back of the house hoppin’ and the customers upfront happy as clams. We’re lucky to have this lady on board. In fact, we knew she was the one when she told us that her favorite customers are the paying kind. We just so happen to share a real appreciation for people who help us keep the lights on.
Keeping our vendors happy and the paychecks rolling in takes a balance of hospitality and organizational skills.
Now she’s helping sell the world rolling art in the form of period-customs and traditional hot rods. Mercury Charlie and his crew’s rolling masterpieces.
Reach out to Roxy if you’re looking for a Mercury Charlie t-shirt, a custom Mercury shift knob, a tour of the shop, or a custom car built to your exact specifications. She’ll find you the right person to talk to, even if it isn’t her.
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ENTREPENUER | AUDIO DESIGNER | HOTROD ENTHUSIAST NICKNAME: THE BEAST
BIO COMING SOON!
MANAGER | RESIDENT HORSEPOWER WRANGLER | NICKNAME: SPEED
It seems both fitting and ironic that Chris scored his first hit of speed from a Del Rio used car dealership that was later revealed to be an illicit drug operation. The car was a 1965 Malibu SS. Chris was 17 at the time. There’s no question who got the better end of that deal.
He still has the that car and has owned it for over half his life.