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  • Offered from The Jody Scheckter Collection
  • Built by Scheckter during his tenure as a fabricator with Merlyn (Colchester Racing Developments Ltd.)
  • Raced by Scheckter for the Merlyn factory team during the 1971 season to three victories
  • Participated in the 1972 Monaco Grand Prix Formula 3 race weekend
  • Retained by Merlyn until 1989
  • Presented in its appealing Lucky Strike livery

Having been successful in Formula Ford, Merlyn instructed Colchester Racing Developments—its chassis constructor—to start work on the Mk21 to compete in the 1971 Formula 3 season. Chassis 318 was initially built for Jean-Pierre Cassegrain, an up-and-coming driver who performed well in the Monaco F3 race the previous year. When his sponsorship money failed to materialise, Merlyn offered the seat to a young South African driver called Jody Scheckter, who had already made an impressive start in the 1971 season in Formula Ford with the “Magic Merlyn”, a third-hand Merlyn Mk 11a (also part of The Jody Scheckter Collection and available for bidding at RM Sotheby’s Monaco auction).

By this point driving chassis 318, Scheckter was instantly competitive and placed 3rd in his debut race at the BARC Forward Trust F3 at Croft Circuit on 8 August 1971. He later claimed victories at Oulton Park, Thruxton, and Mallory Park during the rest of the season. Competing on 12 occasions, Scheckter took three victories and three podium finishes. For the 1972 season, the South African moved to McLaren and was replaced by Peter Lamplough as team driver. Motorsport historian Allen Brown writes that Lamplough is reported to have had issues with the Merlyn Mk22, and instead drove Scheckter’s Mk21 on several occasions, but suffered a crash at Monaco in 1972, breaking his leg. He returned to racing in September that year, but instead drove the Mk22.

The damaged Merlyn was not repaired and remained with Clive Howard at Colchester Racing Developments from 1972 to 1989, when the car carrying the identity of chassis 318 was sold to Reg Skeels. His son, Alf, recalled that the car arrived from Hayward as a rusty frame, with the suspension and bodywork in poor condition. Reg and Alf restored chassis 318 to an extremely high standard and fitted a 1,600 cc Ford DBA inline-four engine. Alongside Mike Littlewood, Alf competed in historic events with chassis 318 from 1991 to 1994. The Skeels later sold the car to a Georges Legein in Belgium in the mid-1990s, who also raced but allegedly preferred his other Merlyn Mk21 and did not field chassis 318. Legein sold the Mk21 to Jody Scheckter in January 1999.

Presented in the period-correct Lucky Strike livery, chassis 318 has a fascinating history, having been driven by Scheckter to the podium on six occasions and part of his personal collection for over two decades. This Merlyn Mk21 is highly eligible to compete in any historic Formula 3 event.

Please note this lot has entered the EU on a temporary import bond, which must be cancelled either by exporting the lot outside of the EU on an approved Bill of Lading with supporting customs documentation or by paying the applicable VAT and import duties to have the lot remain in the EU.

Veuillez noter que ce lot est entré dans l'UE sous couvert d'une autorisation d'importation temporaire, qui doit être annulée soit en exportant le lot en dehors de l'UE avec une lettre de débarquement approuvé accompagné des documents douaniers nécessaires, soit en payant la TVA et les droits d'importation applicables pour que le lot reste dans l'UE.

To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/auctions/mc24/.

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