While working for the Austin Motor Company where he served his apprenticeship from 1932 to 1936 Reg Phillips cut a sober figure in his Austin Ulster as he competed in trials events in period trilby and over coat.
After the war Reg went on to become chairman of Fairley Steel and built a series of frugal competition vehicles, in the spirit of the pre war Shelsley Specials, initially for trials use, a one off Norton powered 500 F3 and then a series of Hill Climb cars including today’s featured Fairley Mercury.
Built in 1954 and originally powered by a flathead Ford Reg also referred to this vehicle as the £70 Special in deference to the cost of the components Reg both made and acquired for it.
Reg is said to have won some silverware with the car which became the Fairley Mercury in 1955 when the Flathead Ford V8 was replaced with a Mercury V8.
Reg replaced the Fairly Mercury first with a 500 F3 Cooper to which he fitted a transversely mounted 4 cylinder Climax that was in turn supercharged. Later Reg replaced the Cooper chassis with one of his own design and manufacture with which he captured fastest time of the day at Shelsley Walsh in August 1960.
Jim Payne is seen at the wheel of the Fairley Mercury at last weekends Chateau Impney Hill Climb.
Thanks for joining me on this “£70 Special” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Ferrari Friday. Don’t forget to come back now !