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Thread: Merlin-engined motor cars

  1. #1
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    Merlin-engined motor cars

    Does anyone know anything about any motor cars built around R-R Merlin engines in the UK? There were at least two built some years ago - one powered by an ex Mosquito Merlin 35(?) which appeared at a motoring event at Brooklands Museum (I think in the early 1990s). One is said to have been owned by a John Dodds, another by a man named Jameson. Maybe others have been created too?

    Any photos and news of their fate/current whereabouts would be of interest to me for a current research project that I am assisting with.

  2. #2
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    There was a six-wheeler that had a Merlin but the other, earlier, one that looked like a Ford Capri on Steroids with a Rolls badge had a Meteor from a Centurion tank.

    MH

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    Retreating?! Hell no, we're just attacking the other direction!
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    Might be wrong but was that not a new Merlin Jag at Duxford in Sept Anna I might be wrong but, I spent time looking and dreaming Anna

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    There's a bloke building a Meteor (ground bound Merlin) engined Rover SD1 in Practical Performance Car magazine.

  5. #5
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    There was a bloke at Chailey this summer with a Merlin in a modified Silver Ghost chassis. It was started up on several occasions, sounding very nice and drawing large crowds of onlookers. The same vehicle was featured on a tv programme earlier in the year.

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    Thanks for this report, Dave - do you recall if it had wooden bodywork? Wish I'd seen that TV programme you mention!

  7. #7
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    No. The bodywork was all polished aluminium with a black chassis, the bonnet was very long (obviously!!) without any sides so that the engine was 'on show'. The exhaust pipes were attached at a pair of manifolds and travelled the length of the vehicle like two drain pipes (no silencers). It had two side by side seats and a manual gearbox. If you 'search' Chailey you may find something, there was definitely a website about the show.
    Incidentally I read a newspaper report in the early eighties on the John Dodd car: he was taken to court by RR for using their 'flying lady' on the bonnet, they argued that they never had a hand in building the car. He mated the engine to an american automatic gearbox, as his business was in the overhaul of such items. He was pursued by the police in croydon for exceeding the speed limit, was apprehended and went to court, the police statement said that when they blocked the road to stop him 'Mr Dodd turned round and just disappeared'. It was also reported that he took the vehicle to Germany where he allegedly drove so fast down an autobahn that a ferrari driver going 160mph said he only had time to see the flying lady as the car whistled past him doing an estimated 200mph.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlielima5
    One is said to have been owned by a John Dodds, another by a man named Jameson. Maybe others have been created too?

    Any photos and news of their fate/current whereabouts would be of interest to me for a current research project that I am assisting with.
    Aah....John Dodds and The Beast , famous or infamous for the legal battle with RR over the use of the Spirit of Ecastacy he put on top of the RR grille back in the early seventies.
    Like virtually all these 'Merlin' engined cars, The Beast was powered by a Meteor rather than a Merlin. John Dodds built several, one IIRC was destroyed when it caught fire... I saw recently that the last one is still tucked away in a garage somewhere and may soon be resurected.

    Then there is of course that Aussie Hot Rod workshop that's built a Merlin/Packard engined car to look like a 55 Chevy, but painted to look like a P-51..........
    Merlin powered Chevy hot rod
    I was with it all the way until letting the brakes off..........

  9. #9
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    I think that one of Mr Dodd's earlier incarnations was a Merlin powered (from a Mosquito) that was installed in an MG chassis (beefed up of course!)
    The Merlin Jag Anna was referring too was a limited edition that I think was a fundraiser at Duxford for the Merlin over Malta project.

  10. #10
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    This is the one at Chailey...

    Maarvin
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melvyn Hiscock
    There was a six-wheeler that had a Merlin but the other, earlier, one that looked like a Ford Capri on Steroids with a Rolls badge had a Meteor from a Centurion tank.

    MH
    Try this.

    The running chassis.

    Paul Jameson in the driving seat.

    Mark
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Mark12; 21st October 2004 at 08:10.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canada TD
    I think that one of Mr Dodd's earlier incarnations was a Merlin powered (from a Mosquito) that was installed in an MG chassis (beefed up of course!)
    The Merlin Jag Anna was referring too was a limited edition that I think was a fundraiser at Duxford for the Merlin over Malta project.
    Sorry, forgot to add, the Merlin Jag was not Merlin powered!!

  13. #13
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    The Dodds car was actually built by Paul Jameson. John Dodds bought it unfinished as Paul Jameson was having trouble finding a gearbox to take the power.
    I did actually see the beast in the flesh and on the road once. Dodds owned a garage at Locks Bottom on the A21 (? Bromley to Sevenoaks road). I called in for petrol one day and it was sitting at the pumps. There was a deal of thumping and banging as he started it up, he pulled out onto the road, a very loud growl and he was out of sight.
    I think after the incident with this car, RR decreed that they would only sell replacement grilles and bumpers if damaged ones were produced first.

    IIRC, Jameson was angry that Dodds always described it as having a Merlin and vowed to build a car with a real Merlin. Presumably that's the six-wheeler.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhfan
    IIRC, Jameson was angry that Dodds always described it as having a Merlin and vowed to build a car with a real Merlin. Presumably that's the six-wheeler.
    dhfan,

    Absolutely correct.

    Mark

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    That bloke in the right hand seat looks familiar . . .

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melvyn Hiscock
    That bloke in the right hand seat looks familiar . . .
    Melv,

    Thankfully the flared trousers are out of sight in the footwell.

    Mark

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    I remember seeing the 'long bonnet' Dodds car at the Brighton Speed Trials. Very quick, in a straight line! After the runs, the police would allow a car with rear lights to return along the main road. Happy days.....
    mmitch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark12
    Melv,

    Thankfully the flared trousers are out of sight in the footwell.

    Mark
    Betcha still got 'em . . .

  19. #19
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    There were allegedly two Merlins under sheets in a garden in Herne Bay in the late 1980s - supposed to be going into a boat...

    And I recall seeing a picture of US chat show host Jay Leno in a Merlin-engined Rolls Royce with quite the ugliest boat-body I've ever seen - mid '90s?

    Adrian
    "Snow clearing equipment has been found under snowdrift" - message sent from RNAS Hatston, Orkney, 1944.

  20. #20
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    Here's another Meteor engined "thing". They turned a rather nice c.1930 petrol wagon (I've got one in original form) into this: http://www.motorsnippets.com/cars/bo...1/758_1%60.asp

  21. #21
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    Flares

    Quote Originally Posted by Melvyn Hiscock
    Betcha still got 'em . . .
    Dream on kiddo!

  22. #22
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    I went to see the Jameson car back in the mid 1970s with a view to arranging some sponsorship from my (then) client Burmah.

    It came to naught in the end, though I enjoyed seeing the beast. This was also my one and only meeting with Doug Arnold.

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  23. #23
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    Thanks for all these replies folks - especially the pics. Still hoping to see a photo of the car I saw at Brooklands in the 1990s though - and hope it might still be around (its not the one that was at Chailey this year).

    Does anyone know more about the late Paul Jameson and his father (who designed/built a flat-four Jameson engine flown briefly in the Miles M.18 in WW2 and later in the prototype Saro Skeeter on its first flight). He clearly was a Merlin engineering specialist, lived near Dorking and is rumoured to have been involved with Merlins required for the BoB film.....or am I misinformed?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlielima5
    Does anyone know more about the late Paul Jameson and his father (who designed/built a flat-four Jameson engine flown briefly in the Miles M.18 in WW2 and later in the prototype Saro Skeeter on its first flight). He clearly was a Merlin engineering specialist, lived near Dorking and is rumoured to have been involved with Merlins required for the BoB film.....or am I misinformed?
    Paul Jameson also briefly owned an ex Battle of Britain film Buchon G-AWHG that was damaged during the delivery flight to Spain for the film Patton. From what I have found on the web Jameson died tragically in the early '90s whilst part way through a third merlin engined car.

    Septic
    Last edited by Septic; 21st October 2004 at 23:20.
    Real Messerschmitts have Merlins

    http://www.woodlandsjoinery.co.uk/

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlielima5
    Does anyone know more about the late Paul Jameson and his father (who designed/built a flat-four Jameson engine flown briefly in the Miles M.18 in WW2 and later in the prototype Saro Skeeter on its first flight). He clearly was a Merlin engineering specialist, lived near Dorking and is rumoured to have been involved with Merlins required for the BoB film.....or am I misinformed?
    It was he who rumoured it

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  26. #26
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    You mean this one

    HTML Code:
    http://www.theminifarm.com/john_dodd.htm

  27. #27
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    There was also a Merlin engined car entered for the Brighton Speed trials in the 1950's, sadly I can't remember its name or what became of it.

    Septic
    Real Messerschmitts have Merlins

    http://www.woodlandsjoinery.co.uk/

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlielima5
    Thanks for all these replies folks - especially the pics. Still hoping to see a photo of the car I saw at Brooklands in the 1990s though - and hope it might still be around (its not the one that was at Chailey this year).
    Could this have been the long silver thing at the Beaulie Motor Museum if so its a variation of the Napier Sabre not a Merlin
    Lightning:- one above the other for speed

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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Septic
    There was also a Merlin engined car entered for the Brighton Speed trials in the 1950's, sadly I can't remember its name or what became of it.

    Septic
    Could this be the 'Swandean Special' from the Swandean Garage near Worthing, Sussex?

    Spitfire SL721 was located and ground run here by the proprietor in the 1950's.

    Mark

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vigilante
    HTML Code:
    http://www.theminifarm.com/john_dodd.htm
    I'm pretty sure this is the one I saw at the Brighton Speed Trials, it would have been in the mid 1970s
    mmitch.

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