£500,000 As stated
27 litre V12 Merlin Engine
800 bhp & 1500 ft lbs
Crikey this is a special beast
And a beast she certainly is with over 800bhp and 1500lbft of torque at 1500revs!!
Some 36 years ago our friend, who is quite the adrenaline enthusiast, started the building of this incredible machine and has enjoyed her himself ever since
He commissioned Alan Jenner of Hastings to rebuild the body in aluminium and worked together with Paul Jameson & Merlin Engine development engineer Derek Bedwell to install a 27 litre Rolls-Royce Merlin engine.
Jameson who had some experience with such tasks having previously completed similar builds himself and Bedwell were both instrumental in the creation on the Handlye Special
Now is the first time she has ever been offered for sale
The Merlin Engines originally powered both the Hawker Hurricane & the Spitfire fighter planes as well as powering Comet tanks during the later half of the war and played a huge role in defeating the Axis forces
In 1985 the owner purchased a Merlin Engine and adapted it for 'fast road competition' use and purchased a Phantom II chassis (101 - GN) which was originally fitted in 1930 with a 4 seater fixed head 'coupe' body, to house this enormous motor
Jameson and Bedwell both agreed that the base engine had come from a Hawker Hurricane and had, at the behest of Rolls-Royce Derby, been converted by Henry Meadows Engineering into one of the very first Meteor MK 1s. The engine plate is therefore rightly stamped Rolls-Royce Derby
The engine really is a superb and formidable thing of monobloc construction, as was the case when powering aircraft she runs at a lowly 6 to 1 compression ratio and has forged pistons adding to her strength
Fitting an aero-engine with over 800bhp and 1500lbft of torque to a road car is going to produce some outstanding results and it surely has
At the Brighton Speed Trials she clocked 111mph over the standing quarter mile which is a speed equivalent to what a Porsche 996 911 would do in perfect conditions. The real surge however is not off the line as she is completely traction limited, but the way she takes off once she has gained traction is alarming
In order to gain that traction her bespoke wheels with aluminium rims and steel wires are clad with Dunlop 700-19 race tyres, the biggest its possible to get and once they grip she flies, the acceleration really picks up over 75MPH and from there just keeps rising
160MPH is the fastest our brave creator has ever dared to achieve - 3000rpm is all that was required
Although he's sure she is good for more it would take someone not to run out of courage before she ran out of power... A fierce task for sure
The gear ratios are pretty incredible, 1st will spin you all the way to 75MPH - 2nd will rocket you at an alarming rate to 140MPH - and 3rd well no-one has yet been to the top of her so who knows, 180-190 is our best estimate
A strong gearbox was of course required and so she had two fitted; one from a Merlin Meteor made by Jamieson himself and the second a GM400 was appropriately chosen, appropriate because it is suitably durable but also because it can be found on other Rolls-Royce motorcars
Originally her gear-lever was in the middle of the cockpit between the passenger and driver but owing to a nasty motorcycle accident our adrenaline hungry creator suffered on a road race it was moved to the right hand side as the injuries he sustained meant he could no longer operate the gear-lever with his left arm
It's safe to say that his zest for life is an infectious one and cut from the same cloth as the Duncan Hamilton's & James Hunt's of the world
Having only covered 1849 miles since she was rebuilt about 10 years ago her overall condition is - as one might expect for a car with such modest mileage - superb
So well presented is she that very recently she graced the concourse lawns of Blenheim Palace taking pride of place in Salon Prive's Platinum Collection
Despite not being the optimum shopping car we have driven her in London with no trouble, a few car alarms went off and quite a stir was created but she managed the speed bumps and width restrictions of Battersea & Chelsea rather well. Our eyes were firmly fixated on the temperature gauge situated at the end of the bonnet but she got home without incident
Her spiritual home is however at hill-climbs, on airfields and open roads where her not inconsiderable 17. 5 gallon radiator can gulp up all the fresh air it likes
As one might imagine its not just the size of the radiator which boggles the mind, and indeed the sources from which she has drawn her parts to make her whole
The 40 gallon (150ltr) fuel tank comes from the wing tank of a D. H. Rapide Biplane whilst the 14 gallon oil tank is from a Fairey Firefly - a wonderfully pretty plane from the late 40's
The central air intakes also come from a D. H. Rapide while the two that sit either side feeding air into the carburettors come from a Shackleton Bomber
Talking of carburettors, we believe this is the only Merlin engine motorcar to drink from 4 triple choke down draught carburettors, which originally came from a Lamborghini Muira - amazing
One of the most striking looking planes ever created, the Lightning Jet, is where you would also find both the seat harnesses and the air scoops on the front brake plates
The gauges too are largely taken from vintage aircraft whilst the battery master switch, the kill switch if you will, would also be found on Spitfires, Hurricanes & Lancaster Bombers
An unmistakably brilliant and unique car
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