Gables Service Station
1 July 2005
1972 MERLYN FORMULA FORD Mk 20/A
Chassis no. 371/FF/72
Engine no. SCHOLAR543
Yellow with black interior and black sponsorship decals
Engine: four cylinder, overhead valve, 1,600cc, 100bhp; Gearbox: four speed manual; Suspension; independent wishbones with coil springs and dampers all round; Brakes: discs all round. Single seater.
Merlyn was the name of the Colchester Racing Developments' first single-seater racing car. Built in 1960 as a Formiula Junior prototype, this "first attempt" used a front-mounted Ford 105E engine, but a more advanced rear-engined layout was quickly adopted with the Mk 3 of 1961. There followed a succession of revisions and modifications through eighteen years and thirty-seven permutations, with Merlyns competing in the Formula 2, Formula 3, Formula B, and Formula Ford categories. With its first season in 1968, the popularity of this latter class quickly spread worldwide, and it was in this arena that the Merlyn achieved its greatest successes. Drivers such as Tim Schenken eclipsed entries from the likes of Lotus and Alexis, and the Merlyn was soon established as the car to beat.
The car offered here is a Mk 20/AS which, with its 'S' designation, would originally have been supplied to a racing school. Features of the model, which was introduced in 1971, include revised front suspension and bodywork, and a new style of exhaust system that exited over the engine. This car features an engine built by 'Auriga Racing Engines' (as marked on the cam cover) with a Weber twin-choke downdraft carburettor and Hewland gearbox (No. H8-1508). It also features a period fire extinguisher mounted in the cockpit. The yellow fibreglass bodywork is straight and in good condition, but the black fibreglass seat shows signs of wear with a crack in the upper left edge. The car runs well, and benefits from good tyres. Last raced by three Smith brothers around thirty years ago, the car retired into the Ramsgate Motor Museum in the late Nineteen Seventies. It is sold without documentation.
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