Robin Hanauer's Mystery Car:  The "Sebring"

From Robin Hanauer:  "The Sebring (as we've always called it.)  We bought it from a classic car dealer in Florida in 1997! He described it as a Prototype Race car and dated it 1956 on the bill of sale. There were some old scraps in the file and a couple of old bills of sale. One describes it as a D-Jag Replica and the other as a sports car special 
constructed from junk parts in 1955!"

More from Robin Hanauer:  "Info which came with the car: Built by Watson? May have been called the Watson ****** Stores Special Raced in Club events in the early 1960s  De Dion and car remains may have come from J. Chamberlain ???? Another name may have been connected or raced it ; J. Sheppard??????????."
"It was red late 60s early 70s at least. May have always been red. Previously carried a straight 6 ohv American? engine Carries number 99 and ran in C modified or possibly D modified. Ended up BRG with grp D-type Jag nose and tail sections and a Chevy V8.  It certainly had various engines and evidence of differing engine mounts. A straight six Ford? unit is shown in these photos taken in the early 1970s"
2" main tubes
Double wishbone front suspension with coil spring dampers units 
MG uprights
Splined hubs
Lockheed disc brakes
Rear De Dion suspension
with Alloy hub carriers  (All identical to Lotus IX / X )
Twin radius arms with coil spring dampers units
Salisbury diff.
Girling disc brakes mounted inboard
48mm Hubs f & r 
15" wheels
Rack and Pinion MOWOG Steering ;- Right hand drive
Wheelbase 7'5"
Track f : 50" - 4'2"
Track r : 48" - 4' 0"I
"A notary's sale receipt records this car as built of junk parts in 1955. I believe these were possibly taken from a Lotus but am not sure. 1955 - 1974 ????? - 1974 Owned by John D. Whitton 1974 - 1976 Owned by Dan Erwin. Bought 13th June 1974 1976 - ????  Owned by Gordon Fairbanks. Bought car 14th march 1976.   Notary : Judson R Wilson, Florida. 1997 Advertised by Wire Wheel Classic Sports Cars,  Fort Pierce, Florida  00561 595 3000 Hayes Harris.   Acquired by us."
"When we got the car home a friend of my father's who quite enjoys sleuthing did some research and decided that it had probably started life in the UK and been modified here before going to the States. The Special he thought it probably was featured Lotus de Dion rear suspension, Lister front suspension and tubular chassis. It originally carried a Climax 1100 engine and MG gearbox and was built by or for Rowson in the mid 1950s. There is an advert describing the car in this form in August 1958 Motor Sport of which I have a copy. Cetrainly the dealer in the United States was adamant that a very nice English Smiths chronometric tachometer with trip must remain with the car as it was one of its original instruments; perhaps a clue to English origin?"
"It has sat at the back of our garage for the past decade and has been slightly surpassed by other projects. I always felt it had the most potential and, perhaps, the most interesting history. Photos posted here show it in 1972 in the US and on arrival at our place in the UK in the late 1990s."

"I hope inclusion on your site reveals more of it's history, be it good or bad!"  If you can help Robin with the origin of this car or add to its history:    Please email me!

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