V-C Miscellany, September 1995

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My “Forgotten Makes” piece on the Mercer has brought a letter from Mr W Mackintosh of Katoomba, Australia, telling me that the T-head Mercer 35 was produced alongside the L-head Beaver-engined 30, not Eric Delling’s L-head 22/70, which did not appear until 1915, and was superseded early in 1916, after a run of about 200, by the 22/72 Mercer, The 22/70 Show car at the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition was bought by our correspondent’s grandfather in Sydney in 1916 and used regularly up to 1923, when he purchased a new Series-6 Mercer. The older car had been taken on a 4000-mile holiday tour in rural NSW and Queensland in 1919 and apart from tyres gave no trouble.

The six-cylinder Series-6 Mercer is still owned by the Mackintosh family and although the Company’s financial crisis was apparently exacerbated by problems with the Rochester engine used in these cars, such as bearing bolts shearing and wrecking engines, the Mackintosh car exhibited none of these problems and gave reliable transport into the 1950s.

The Haynes Motor Museum announces its “Falling Leaves” Classic Tour on September 17th, starting from Torquay Marina and visiting several interesting places, such as the Exeter Maritime Museum, to finish at the Haynes Motor Museum at Sparkford, Somerset, Any Classic vehicle is eligible; entry fee £42 each. Telephone 01963 440804 for details.

The Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon, hosts the International Conference of Motor Museums from September 3/9. The opening will be performed by HRH Prince Michael of Kent and Overseas delegates are expected from the BMW Museum, Munich, Vienna’s Technical Museum, the Auto and Technik Museum, Germany, Massachusetts Museum of Transportation, the Behring Auto Museum, USA, and Moscow’s State Historical Museum. Peter Mitchell has the details; his number is 01203 412522, as has John Brigden on 01732 740216.

Apart from the forthcoming Edinburgh Trial on October 6/7, the MCC is organising a Testing Trial at Cucklington, off the A303 between Mere and Wincanton, on September 10, with adjacent Autojumble. Open to MCC members, the trial will have timed observed sections and tests but the day is also a social occasion. The man to contact is John Aley, on 01359 270954. W B

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