The first Merlyn racer ever constructed was a front-engined Formula Junior car built by Selwyn Hayward. Hayward enlisted help from a few of his friends, John Lewis, Jerry Simon, and Richard Neale. On the racing circuit, the car proved its potential and soon a production version was offered for sale.
The prototype was constructed in 1960 with the second car, the MK2, coming available in 1961. The Cooper racing cars had proven to the world that the mid-engine placement was the superior configuration and soon many other marque's were following the design. Merlyn's first rear-engined car was the MK3 Formula Junior car. In 1962 the MK4 sports racing car was introduced and powered by a Ford 1100cc engine. The design and technology continued to advance and by 1967 Merlyn had created the MK10 Formula 3 and Formula Libre car. The design of this car was used in creating the Formula Ford MK11.
Merlyn had a rich racing history but they are most remembered for their Formula Ford cars. They were one of the earliest producers of racers for this series and soon they were outselling their competition. Tim Schenken navigated an MK11 to many racing successes which helped boost sales for the small and capable car.
The MK11A brought with it many enhancements and refinements.
Merlyn also created Formula Atlantic cars, Formula 3, and track midgets. Jim Russell purchased a number of the Series 17, 20, and 24 racers for his racing schools located in the US and the UK. The Mark 17 was very similar to the MK11, but with a MK20 body.
In 1979, due to a number of circumstances, Merlyn ceased the production of racers. Their final car was the MK31. CRD Tool and Engineering were later formed with most of the employees moving over to the new business.By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2010