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  #1  
Old 07-21-2008, 07:27 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Location: Lafayette Indiana
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Oddball car sighting

Yesterday on the way back from South Bend with the autocrosser, I took the back roads. Just outside of North Judson I spotted a sleek looking low slung coupe with lines that I did not recognize but I thought it might possibly be Italian.

At the nearest opportunity I made a u turn with my truck and trailer and made my way back to check it out.

It was at a little old concrete block building which had a lot of old vehicles sitting around mostly inoperative, with a long wheelbase scout traveler right next to it.

It was sitting with its sleek rump down on the ground and the front up on some bbs type five lug wheels. I quickly decided there was no way it was a long lost Ferrari or Maserati show car gone astray. The side windows were large with a small operating area, and the windshield was very low and sleek and was a two piece made from flat glass with a dividor. The nose and tail were low and sleek and it had flying buttresses in back and a small vertical window like a Ferrari Dino or a Late Mr2 or Fiero. Opening the rear deck I decided it must have been VW based since there was no bottom in the "Trunk". The Fiberglass body was very heavy and reminded me of my uncles fiberglass boat from the late fifties. The shut lines on the doors and other operable panes was very tight. The side glass swept up toward the roof at the rear of the drivers compartment.

The taillights resembled the 53 Studebaker tail lights and the peak above them swept upward as it went toward the front of the vehicle and had a peak just beside the rear window of the passenger compartment that had a rather nice looking air intake scoop at its base.

Below the pointed nose was a low grill with incongruous plastic gridding from a flourescent light fixture (or so it seemed).

There were no name tags to be found anywhere, but the door latch looked familiar even though I could not place what car it must have come from.

I was on my third trip around the beast when a fellow came out to see what all the racket was about (The cummins was clattering away). He looked to be my age or a little older. I said hello and that I had stopped to look at the car. He was friendly and had no apparent guns. We chatted for a while and he said it was a Mercatt (I have no idea of the spelling). He said the fellow who built it in 1963 made a dozen of them. I asked about the door handle and he said he thought it was vw beetle (it was).

We chatted for ten minutes and I drove away.

It was a great looking car from what I could tell. Anybody know anything about them? I would love to google and find a picture of one sitting up level.

Sorry I didn't think of taking a cell pic.

Tom W

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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #2  
Old 07-21-2008, 08:34 AM
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Sounds like a kit car - I do a run up and down Texas Hwy 290 and I occassionally come across this wierd Ferrari-fiberglass-large-winged contraption. How'd the autocross go? You did it in your 280?
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:49 AM
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  #4  
Old 07-21-2008, 11:28 AM
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was it a bradley GT



maybe a bricklin?

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  #5  
Old 07-21-2008, 11:29 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 865sp300e View Post
Its definately not that!

Thanks anyway.

Tom W
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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #6  
Old 07-21-2008, 11:30 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDon View Post
was it a bradley GT



maybe a bricklin?

Neither one of those. Possibly better looking than either of them too.

Tom W
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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #7  
Old 07-21-2008, 11:31 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by POS View Post
Sounds like a kit car - I do a run up and down Texas Hwy 290 and I occassionally come across this wierd Ferrari-fiberglass-large-winged contraption. How'd the autocross go? You did it in your 280?
I took the 280 and as usual had a good time. I posted about it on the limited slip thread (final word on 123 limited slip).

Thanks for asking.

Tom W
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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #8  
Old 07-21-2008, 11:32 AM
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Just want a clarification. If I understood correctly, this vehicle has a two-piece windshield composed of two panes of flat glass. Correct?
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  #9  
Old 07-21-2008, 11:47 AM
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I do think the front glass is two pieces
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  #10  
Old 07-21-2008, 01:13 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Correct. two perfectly flat pieces of glass with square edges and a metal dividor in the center. very low lying too. sleek.

Merclat? I have a hunch the guy might have built boats too.

Tom W
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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #11  
Old 04-13-2010, 06:16 PM
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Tom, am I still eligible to win a prize?

Mosler Raptor:

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  #12  
Old 04-13-2010, 06:36 PM
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Were the taillights tall, vertical and somewhat narrow?
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  #13  
Old 04-13-2010, 07:36 PM
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Astra GT?


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  #14  
Old 04-13-2010, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooka View Post
Were the taillights tall, vertical and somewhat narrow?
Yes. Pointed on top but blunted somewhat. Similar to a 53 studebaker tail light.
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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #15  
Old 04-13-2010, 08:13 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirNik84 View Post
Astra GT?


No, my car was a rear engined vw based car.

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[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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