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Old 7 Sep 2007, 13:31 (Ref:2006045)   #1
eclectic
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eclectic should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
S.A.M. (Joe Quinn's Special Austin Mercury. 1952 Drum Braked Special.)

New to historic racing, advice please.


Way back in 2004 I started this thread, and I thought you might like to know how things are going.

Here is an edited quote from the thread at the time.

Afterwards I will post some photos.

“eclectic


On Friday, I'm going to look at the remains of a British built special fitted with a Mercury flathead engine that has a clear history in International events. Not an Allard sadly.

Might be fun, a friend saved it from scrapping about twenty years ago.

eclectic
22 Jun 2004, 20:10
Now that I've seen it, the V8 special was a rusty death trap, poorly engineered, it killed its creator and two spectators, and I'm not giving it the chance to do the same to me!

25 Jun 2004, 07:24
I have been persuaded by an engineering friend that there is nothing that can't be sorted on the Mercury Special, so I have bought it.

Among other events it ran in the Ulster TT in 1953, it should get FIA papers and invites to interesting events.

It was well up with the C types when new, and vaguely resembles a Lotus 7 on steroids.

I will not post up pictures until I have it home, that may not be for several months.

Thank you one and all for patience and advice, I have always been one for following the odd and obscure and they don't come much more obscure than this!”

http://i206.photobucket.com/albums/b...r/DSCF0280.jpg

http://i206.photobucket.com/albums/b...righton014.jpg

http://i206.photobucket.com/albums/b...4pics30233.jpg

[edit]Please do not use the img tag for pictures larger than 400px across, see the FAQ for details. If you must use larger pictures then use the attachment option or the url tag instead. - MagnetON[edit]

Last edited by eclectic; 7 Sep 2007 at 13:40.
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Old 7 Sep 2007, 14:18 (Ref:2006083)   #2
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Here is the car's history, pity about the end of Joe Quinn's career.

Special Austin Mercury
Race History.

(1) May 16th 1953
RAC International Ulster Trophy Race
Joseph Quinn, Londonderry
S.A. M. 4200cc. Number 50
Autosport “Plugs were in great demand at the end of the
second lap for Joe Quinn’s S.A.M. and Lovell-Butts blown K3 among others….”

Result: Retired.

(2) May 30th 1953
Syonfin, Fintona hill climb
J. Quinn, Derry. Number 43

Not in results

(3) June 6th 1953
The Irish Motor Racing Club, Phoenix Park, Dublin.
J. Quinn, Derry
S.A.M. 4,250cc 1 mins handicap. Number 26
Autosport “Joe Quinn, in the 4 - litre S.A.M., came into
Mountjoy on the second lap with wheels locked and tyres
smoking furiously, mounted the grass and rejoined the course travelling backwards.”

Not in results

(4) July 11th 1953
The Leinster Motor Club ltd,
Leinster Trophy, International Car Race
J. Quinn, Derry
S.A.M. 4,250cc handicap speed 76.9mph. Number 15
Autosport “Joe Quinn, of Londonderry, with a one-lap allowance on handicap kept his V8 engined S.A.M. among the faster cars for a surprising length of time….”
NB, Ecurie Ecosse were there with the Cooper Bristol and two ‘C’ Type Jaguars, and R. Baird was driving a 4,100cc Ferrari.

Result: Retired.


(5) August 14th 1953
Craigauntlet Hill Climb
No programme details
Number 15

Autocar “Then came Joe Quinn of Londonderry in his
4,250cc Mercury-engined S.A.M. a rather scrappy looking
car that had shocked some of the ‘C’ type Jaguars in th
Leinster Trophy Race. His time of 83.6 seconds was rather
disappointing, but his time of 81.8 on the second run was
third best of the day.”

Results;
1st Ken Wharton, Cooper 996cc 70.60 seconds
2nd J. D. Titterington, Allard 3,917cc 80.60 seconds
3rd J. Quinn, S.A.M. 4,250cc 81.81 seconds
4th I. H. Titterington, Allard 3,917cc 83.00 seconds
5th C. S. Porter, Invicta 4,467cc 84.40 seconds
6th C. W. Leeper, MG 1,250cc 85.60 seconds

Result: Third overall.

(6) September 12th 1953
The Irish Motor Racing Club ltd,
Curragh International Motor Race.
Wakefield Trophy Race
Joe Quinn, Derry. Number 25
S.A.M. 4,250cc Handicap, 2 laps, 2 mins, 75.9 mph
No mention in results or reports.

(7) June 5th 1954
Syonfin, Fintona hill climb
No programme details

Autosport June 11th 1954 “Syd Durbidge (Maserati-Griffin)
and Joe Quinn (Mercury-engined S.A.M.) were the “stars”
of the Omagh Motor Club’s hill climb at Syonfin, Co.
Tyrone, on Saturday 5th June, each making a climb in 63.2
secs.”

Result: First Equal.



(8) July 10th 1954
The Leinster Motor Club ltd,
Leinster Trophy, International Car Race
J. Quinn, Number 5,
4,250cc S.A.M. Entered by J. H. W. Thompson, Belfast
Handicap 77.8 mph

Autosport July 16th 1954 “Friday’s practise time produced
foul weather and consequently lower lap speeds. Freddie
Smith looked happy … that man loves rain! His little Ford Special (1172cc) was resplendent in a new, offset single-
seater body which looked anything but conventional. Flynn (1,250cc MG s/c) had cured his problems of the previous evening and proceeded to lap at 69.7mph in the downpour. J. Quinn got his unhandsome Mercury-engined device around in the same time. None of the others could get within 13 secs of these two drivers.”

Not mentioned in the results.


(9) August 28th 1954
Irish Motor Racing Club Ltd
Curragh International Motor Race.
Wakefield Trophy
J. Quinn, Number 17
Entered by J. H. W. Thompson, Belfast

The Autocar, September 3rd 1954 “The event was marred
by an unfortunate accident when J. Quinn of
Londonderry, driving a 4,250cc Mercury-engined
S.A.M., touched wheels with another car and shot off the
course. A soldier-marshal and a spectator were killed
instantly. Quinn himself was fatally injured and 15
people were hurt, two requiring hospital treatment.”
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Old 7 Sep 2007, 14:25 (Ref:2006091)   #3
zefarelly
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zefarelly should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridzefarelly should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridzefarelly should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
excellent, I like it .. .

are the spark Plugs the new Champion Nero range ?
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Old 7 Sep 2007, 19:33 (Ref:2006280)   #4
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terence should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridterence should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Seeing as the car has International history,you should not have any problems with HTP papers, I,d think it would be an etertaining drive
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Old 28 Sep 2008, 22:38 (Ref:2299860)   #5
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eclectic should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
I have been having fun with it this year, it has been to the VSCC 'Pom' then the Classic Shelsley meeting, Etretat and Angouleme.

Each event has thrown up minor problems, none insuperable.

Onwards and upwards to next year.

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Old 29 Sep 2008, 09:16 (Ref:2300099)   #6
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Well done, Mike; great stuff! I might have to reduce the image size, though! I also think this thread could be copied to the chassis archive - I'll do it later, under the title 'S.A.M (Special Austin Mercury)'?.
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Old 29 Sep 2008, 09:34 (Ref:2300114)   #7
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I remember the original thread. It sounds like it is going well. I'm sure you'll come across many more little problems, but that is part of the fun. (I think!)
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Old 11 Oct 2008, 10:42 (Ref:2309024)   #8
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eclectic should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
I have just published a website on the S.A.M. here..... http://web.me.com/bugattiste1/Specia...e/Welcome.html

It may be of interest to some of you.
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Old 2 Nov 2008, 16:39 (Ref:2325941)   #9
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eclectic should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Joe Quinn's S.A.M. the Special Austin Mercury. 1952 Drum Braked Special.

Details of this car, the SAM are on this website. http://web.me.com/bugattiste1/Specia...e/Welcome.html

This is a rare survivor, a home made special that raced with the big boys in Ireland.
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Old 4 Nov 2008, 08:12 (Ref:2327630)   #10
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275 GTB-4 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid275 GTB-4 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Registration

Quote:
Originally Posted by eclectic
Details of this car, the SAM are on this website. http://web.me.com/bugattiste1/Specia...e/Welcome.html

This is a rare survivor, a home made special that raced with the big boys in Ireland.
A very interesting story E, except for the rope garrot part. The restoration has obviously been done quite well...but how does something like this get road registered??
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Old 4 Nov 2008, 09:51 (Ref:2327715)   #11
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That is a very interesting question, if the car was originally road registered, and was entered on the govt computer when there was an opportunity several years ago, then there is no problem.

If not, there is a procedure here in GB.

(1) You submit a letter from a registered expert, or organisation, certifying that it is what it purports to be, along with.......

(2) an annual Mot (Ministry of Transport) test certificate

(3) and insurance certificate made out to the chassis number of the car,

(4) the car is then taken to a local DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority) office on a trailer, inspected again and a registration is authorised.

(4) Papers and a tax disc and an allocated number arrive in the post.
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Old 4 Nov 2008, 09:53 (Ref:2327718)   #12
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eclectic should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
It goes like stink as it weighs about 730kgs and has around 180hp plus shedloads of torque.
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Old 4 Nov 2008, 10:56 (Ref:2327760)   #13
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275 GTB-4 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid275 GTB-4 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Voila

Quote:
Originally Posted by eclectic
That is a very interesting question, if the car was originally road registered, and was entered on the govt computer when there was an opportunity several years ago, then there is no problem.

If not, there is a procedure here in GB.

(1) You submit a letter from a registered expert, or organisation, certifying that it is what it purports to be, along with.......

(2) an annual Mot (Ministry of Transport) test certificate

(3) and insurance certificate made out to the chassis number of the car,

(4) the car is then taken to a local DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority) office on a trailer, inspected again and a registration is authorised.

(4) Papers and a tax disc and an allocated number arrive in the post.
Et Voila!! sorry, in our country...the oddball and different, is discouraged!!
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Old 10 Nov 2008, 19:01 (Ref:2332630)   #14
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Threads merged. Mike's done a great job of getting this one off special back together and onto the tracks. Hope that you keep us updated with any outings, traumas and placings during your ownership, Mike.
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Old 10 Nov 2008, 19:30 (Ref:2332648)   #15
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Thanks John,

Sadly I have decided to sell the car for several reasons.

Firstly, I have been racing more with the VSCC in their Edwardian classes, with some success.

Secondly, I do not have enough weekends to race with the HSCC as well as the VSCC.

Thirdly, the VSCC, in their wisdom, decided to let disc braked cars run in their invitation drum braked races to fill the grids. This has had the inevitable result that less and less drum braked cars being entered..........

A braver driver than me could be competitive and successful in this car, for a fraction of the cost of a 'C' type.

Its a pity, but bajeez, it is fun to drive.

Here it is at Angouleme in September.

Last edited by eclectic; 10 Nov 2008 at 19:36. Reason: To add photo.
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