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Lot 174: Merlyn Mk6 Sports Racer Project

Goodwood Revival Sale, Bonhams (15 September 2012)

Essex-based Colchester Racing Developments built the first Merlyn, a front-engined Formula Junior prototype, in 1960, going on to produce a Mk2 version for customer sale. A rear-engined Mk3 followed in 1963 and the firm proceeded to build a number of single-seater Formula cars and sports cars during the 1960s. The Mk10 Formula 3 design providing the basis for its first Formula Ford, the Mk11 and it was in this branch of the sport that Merlyn made the biggest impact. The Merlyn Mk6 sports racer was a progressive development of the Mk4. Its main competitor was the Lotus 23B. Jim Clark ensured that the Lotus was the more successful car at that time but these days the two cars are very equal, though the Merlyn benefits from a Hewland gearbox manufactured specifically for it. Although Merlyn production cased in 1979, CRD still exists as CRD Tool & Engineering and remains engaged in the manufacturer and supply of spare parts, making Merlyns among the easiest maintained of historic racing cars. Chassis number '55RS' was bought as a 'basket case' and has been loosely assembled to demonstrate how much of the original car is present. The chassis is complete and has no accident damage and there are two bodies: the original as raced and a new one still in its wooden crate as despatched from Merlyn. The original body has been modified to accommodate wide slick tyres and to assist cooling, while other modifications have been made around the engine compartment. There are no signs of major repairs to the body, which would seem to confirm the chassis' accident free status. Both the 1,558cc Lotus Twin-Cam engine (believed to be one built by BRM) and original Merlyn-type Hewland gearbox are dry and the engine will require rebuilding. No history came with the car when the vendor purchased it in 1979 from Chris Smith, founder of Westfield Sportscars. Most Mk6s were exported (about 25 in total) to the USA, which is where this one had just returned from. There is a sticker on the chassis that identifies the car as sold by Subaru of America, Pennsauken, NJ. It is believed that this was the sale that brought the car back to the UK. Offered without reserve.

Lot Details
Auction Goodwood Revival Sale
Bonhams, Chichester, Goodwood
Lot Number174
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£25000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£28750
Condition rating
Registration number
Chassis number55RS
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
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