|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
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
Girling disc brakes mounted inboard
48mm Hubs f & r
Rack and Pinion MOWOG Steering ;- Right hand drive
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
"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