Customized cars were popular after the war and one of the iconic was the ‘lead sled’ Mercury. This was a 1949-51 Mercury Eight that had a heavily modified body – typically a chopped roof, much smoother bodywork and spectacular paint job. The Bettencourt-Zupan Coupé, named after its first two owners, was a spectacular and early example. The car received widespread publicity and was regarded as one of the great customized post-war vehicles. When second owner Johnny Zupan died, it was sold to a well-known Californian customizer, Dean Jeffries. In 1970, the car was stolen from his garage and hasn’t been seen since.