The Mercster Story

When I was about 12, my sisters Alma, and Pearl took me to a car show and this chopped tangerine custom 1951 Mercury pulls in and I was instantly hooked! It just had a different look about it that was unique from all the other cars. I was into airbrushing so I painted one on canvas hoping I would have one someday. Then after seeing movies like Cobra, Cool World, Rebel without a Cause which all had a Mercury, made me want one even more. I really like cars that are original but I've always really been into customs (especially Billy Gibbon's Cadzilla) because you can redesign the car the way you like it and add your personality into it. I finally found one I could afford. It was a 1950 Mercury very rough with a decent chop. It was in primer.
That was about 30 years ago. I really liked the 51 merc fins so I found a 4 door donor. I had Eric Limones from Gilroy do most of the custom body work, then took it to the legendary Gene Winfield in Mojave,CA where he took it to the next level.

I was ignited to play guitar after my brother Rigo and I used to watch my brother Rod and Albert Torres's band rehearse in our garage as a kid but then I heard Carlos Santana, then I was hooked! That tone, and phrasing! I knew I wanted to play like that. My brother Rod saw the passion in me so he gave me my first guitar, A Fender Strat. I used to practice for hours listening to Santana III, learning the songs note per note.
I've played guitar ever since so I was driven to somehow incorporate that into the car. It was like Field of Dreams, If you build it, they will come! I have a custom guitar also painted by Gene, and a Santana PRS refinished by Pat Wilkins in L.A. to match the car, a Mesa guitar amplifier, and a full 6000 watt PA system with bluetooth all built into the trunk!
My dream car is now a reality. I've been winning lots of awards including many best of shows and was invited to the prestigious, invitation only Fresno Autorama. I even break out the guitar at shows and play some music. It's not something you see everyday, so people really enjoy it.
Thank you Mom and Dad for instilling this drive in me. May you Rest in Peace. I miss you so much.
I've got to meet many Rock legends at car shows like, James Hetfield (Metallica), Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), and Jimmy Vaughan (Fabulous Thunderbirds, and brother of Stevie Ray Vaughan) and of course my hero Carlos Santana and his band.
The Mercster has been shown at S.F. Rod and Custom Autoshow 2008, Fresno Autorama 2008, Pomona Grand National Roadster show 2009, Sacramento Autorama 2009, Showcase of Customs in Long Beach 2009, to name a few.
About 2 years ago I started getting requests to use it in weddings and special events, including playing the wedding songs with an angelic Santana style. My passion is Santana style music which I have many backing tracks that I play along with, but I can also sing Sinatra style standards, to Classic Rock, to Metallica, and I can also DJ!
Make your next event a unique one. Call The Mercster!
Thank you,
Phillip Retamoza
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