Hellhammer Bringing Long-Lost Mark I Mist Back To Life

In the late 1950s, legendary San Jose-based customizer Joe Wilhelm started work on a project based on a 1936 Ford coupe. It started out fairly simple, with handmade grille and fenders on a still-recognizable Ford body, but became far more radical within a few years. By 1965, the car- called the Mark I Mist- sat on a Jaguar XK140 frame, with quad-carbed Buick nailhead and a wild European-influenced body. It was a big hit at the car shows and made the covers of Car Craft, Rod & Custom, etc. Then the car disappeared, not to be seen again for decades... when Black Metal V8olvo crew chief Hellhammer (aka Junkyard Dave) tracked it down.


Hellhammer Bringing Long-Lost Mark I Mist Back To Life

The Buick engine was gone, but otherwise the Mark Mist was in pretty good shape.

Hellhammer Bringing Long-Lost Mark I Mist Back To Life

The gauges still have their 24-karat gold plating, and the upholstery has held up very well. In fact, all the car really needs is a new engine and a general mechanical going-over to be ready to roll again. This car is a time capsule!

Hellhammer Bringing Long-Lost Mark I Mist Back To Life

It's a love-it-or-hate-it design; some will cringe at the Edsel-esque face, but there's no arguing with the quality of the fabrication and craftsmanship here. No body filler, everything handmade.

Hellhammer Bringing Long-Lost Mark I Mist Back To Life

A Buick engine awaits installation, and the Mark I Mist should roar back to life soon. Dave will likely sell it and move on to the next project once it's finished- he's already got a '57 Ford project in the early stages- but not before he makes jaws drop at a few shows and cruises with this thought-to-be-gone-forever classic.