Originally, the lead sled referred to extensively repaired/modified cars due to the use of lead as body filler and was, for the most part, an insult. Since the introduction of artificial fillers (such as Bondo), the term has come to mean a post-war, large (full size) American car of the late ’40s and early ’50s, but there is no set range of dates for a lead sled. Sleds tend to have all extra side moldings shaved off and filled with the suspension lowered. Fender skirts are a must for one of these cars leading to some folks calling them tail-draggers or ass-draggers.
Lead sleds are built for style, not speed. The quintessential lead sled is the ’51 Mercury, very similar to the ’50 Merc that Sylvester Stallone drove in the movie Cobra. The customizations range from the very basic to the outrageous. Wild paint jobs are the norm rather than the exception.
We have some lead sleds featured in our gallery coming up next.
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