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  #1  
Old 23-08-20, 21:40
Hanno Spoelstra's Avatar
Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Default Mike Ebeling's cars #2: 1939 Ford Lincoln Mercury, UK

As you may have read, Mike Ebeling has passed away recently. He restored and owned quite a number of vehicles, two of which remain. As Mike has always been a fan of Canadian vehicles, I've offered his son Mark to advertise them on MLU Forum.

Mark is open to offers. If you are seriously interested, please contact Mark by email. Please let him know you saw it here.

Here's the second Ford. It has a remakable history and some well known previous owners:


1939 Ford Lincoln Mercury

V8, 3917cc

In 1939 the Ford Motor Company started the ‘Mercury’ range of cars to fill the gap between Ford and Lincoln. This is one of the first of these new cars fitted with a 3.9 litre V8 engine capable of 90 mph. It was bought by Sir Malcolm Campbell as a four door saloon. He commissioned Windovers to modify it for use as a personnel carrier to accompany ‘Bluebird’ on world speed record attempts. The seating arrangement was modified to carry six technicians and was designed so that the rear five seats folded flat to form a sleeping area in the rear. Windovers started as carriage makers in the 18th century. They still maintain Her Majesty’s coaches and carriages at Windsor.

Unfortunately, war intervened by the time Windovers had completed the new coachwork. When completed, Sir Malcolm Campbell used the car and had it modified for war use. However, in 1941 he met George Formby at a war time charity event at the Royal Albert Hall. George was on the eve of an entertainment tour of the Desert Troops and bought the car from Sir Malcolm as an ideal car for desert conditions.

See the attached file for a more detailed description of its origin, war history and list of previous owners:

Click image for larger version

Name:	ownership - Lincoln.jpg
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ID:	115733

Photos:

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ID:	115730 Click image for larger version

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ID:	115731 Click image for larger version

Name:	Lincoln3.jpg
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ID:	115732
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  #2  
Old 23-08-20, 22:27
Hanno Spoelstra's Avatar
Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
"However, in 1941 he met George Formby at a war time charity event at the Royal Albert Hall. George was on the eve of an entertainment tour of the Desert Troops and bought the car from Sir Malcolm as an ideal car for desert conditions.
I was hoping this is a picture of the subject Ford, but is isn't:

"ENSA Glamour Girls distribute cigarettes and beer to troops in North Africa, 26 July 1942."

Click image for larger version

Name:	ENSA_(Entertainments_National_Service_Association)_'glamour_girls'_distribute_cigarettes_and_bee.jpg
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ID:	115739

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entert...ce_Association


But here is a picture of the man on tour:

"GEORGE FORMBY ENTERTAINS NORTH AFRICA TROOPS, 1943
In an improvised theatre in the grounds of the (96th) General Hospital at Maison Carree, George Formby entertained wounded British Soldiers. The famous comedian is accompanied by his wife, Beryl. His tour of North Africa is expected to last for about eight weeks and in some places he will give as many as four shows a day. Picture shows: George Formby giving a performance."

Click image for larger version

Name:	GEORGE FORMBY ENTERTAINS NORTH AFRICA TROOPS, 1943.jpg
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ID:	115740

Source: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/i...ject/205087373
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  #3  
Old 24-08-20, 08:26
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Keith Webb Keith Webb is offline
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Default Wow

I hope it finds the right new owner. What an amazing piece of history.
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  #4  
Old 08-02-21, 17:31
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Default Mercury Eight Estate heads to auction

Follow the link to read the entire article, but here's how it came in the possession of the late Mike Ebeling:

Quote:
"Unique Mercury Eight Estate and rare Ford WOA2 head to auction
WWII era Mercury Eight Estate and Ford WOA2 'Heavy Utility' cars up for sale at the April 14th Imperial War Museum auction in Duxford, UK."

https://www.militarytrader.com/milit...ead-to-auction

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Name:	Screenshot_2021-02-08 Unique Mercury Eight Estate and rare Ford WOA2 head to auction.jpg
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"After five years of polite refusal, collector Graham Greenwell finally convinced Schellenberg to part with the Estate Car during 1995. The subject of a two-page article in Classic Car Weekly the following year, ‘GVM 926’ was enthusiastically used and improved by Mr Greenwell until 2008 when it was sold to the vendors’ late father, Mike Ebeling, for £30,000.

Renowned in historic military vehicle circles for the quality and accuracy of his restoration work, the late Mr Ebeling decided that the Series 99A was not to his exacting standards. Dry stored awaiting a ground-up refurbishment that never happened, he had got as far as stripping ancillaries and minor parts off the Mercury before ill health intervened."
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  #5  
Old 27-02-21, 23:20
Hanno Spoelstra's Avatar
Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Default

Here are two more pictures dating back to 1979:

https://flic.kr/p/dJXSBC

https://flic.kr/p/dJXSM7

It has a very interesting history and must be a unique vehcile, but I don't think it is a thing of beauty...
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  #6  
Old 30-03-21, 17:53
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Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Default 1939 Mercury Eight Series 99A Estate Car

And a link to the auction itself:

https://www.handh.co.uk/auction/lot/...car/?lot=52431

Quote:
1939 Mercury Eight Series 99A Estate Car

Click image for larger version

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ID:	121209

Commissioned by Sir Malcolm Campbell and later owned by George Formby

(Imperial War Museum Duxford, 26th May 2021)

Estimate
£25,000 - £35,000
Buyer's Premium applies (subject to a minimum charge and VAT)

Lot details

Registration No: GVM 926
Chassis No: 99AF98810
MOT: Exempt

Supplied new to Sir Malcolm Campbell who commissioned Windovers to create its unique Estate Car body complete with rear seats that fold into the floor to provide a sleeping platform
Sold by Campbell to the legendary George Formby who used it during an ENSA tour with the Eighth Army (August - October 1943)
Thereafter the property of Earl Peel, Bill Logan (president of the George Formby Society), hotelier Mr Deakin, Bobby McIntyre's Sorn Castle Collection, Keith Schellenberg and Graham Greenwell prior to entering the current family ownership in 2008
Incredibly rich history and worthy of a place in a museum or major collection

A ‘hands on’ director of Lincoln Cars Ltd, Sir Malcolm Campbell MBE kept Blue Bird K4 (his World Water Speed Record achieving boat) at the company’s Brentford premises on London’s Great West Road. Well known to the senior Ford hierarchy on both sides of the Atlantic, he was able to secure a brand new, ‘overseas market’ example of the Mercury Eight Series 99A upon its 1939 launch (Lincoln and Mercury were both Ford subsidiaries). Intending it to serve as a Crew Bus for his Blue Bird escapades, Campbell despatched the Mercury to Windovers of The Hyde, Hendon. As well as fitting a voluminous Estate Car body, the famous coachbuilder ensured the rear seats folded into the floor to provide a sleeping area. That way, Campbell’s mechanics could take it in turns to get some rest while burning the midnight oil during one of his record-breaking adventures. Ever one to pursue an advantage, Campbell also had the Mercury Eight’s front suspension modified by Leslie Ballamy. Unfortunately, World War Two intervened before Campbell could use his bespoke Series 99A as intended.

A ferry pilot for the Royal Flying Corps in World War One, Campbell was deemed too old for frontline service when global hostilities resumed during September 1939. He nevertheless remained committed to the Armed Forces serving with both the Military Police and General Service Corps. Introduced to George Formby, then the UK’s best paid star, and learning of his promised trip to North Africa with the Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA), Campbell soon convinced him of the Mercury’s merits. Entrusted to REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers), the Estate Car was modified for desert work with a new livery, larger wheels / tyres and partially painted-out windows to lessen the sun’s glare. Formby took pains to familiarise himself with the Series 99A and was seen driving around Singleton for weeks before embarking upon a massive 53-day ENSA tour in August 1943 that encompassed Italy, Sicily, Malta, Gibraltar, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon and Palestine.

As well as providing accommodation for Formby and his wife Beryl, the Mercury was equipped with a ‘lean to’ tent for his pianist and valet or the occasional show girl to shelter in. By the time the ukulele-strumming star returned to England in October, he had entertained 750,000 troops, traversed a minefield, dined with Field Marshall Bernard Law Montgomery (‘Monty’) and been named the Eighth Army’s mascot.

A serial Rolls-Royce and Bentley owner, Formby sold the Estate Car to Earl Peel of Hyning Hall, Lancaster in 1946 who promptly had it road registered as ‘GVM 926’. A fixture on the Peel Estate up until the Earl’s death twenty-three years later, the Series 99A primarily served as transport for grouse shooting parties. Briefly belonging to William Logan – the first president of the George Formby Society – the Mercury then spent much of the 1970s ferrying guests around for Mr Deakin, a Lake District hotelier. Joining the burgeoning Sorn Castle collection in 1977 - which housed everything from a Sherman Tank to a De Tomaso Pantera Gp4 racer via Aston Martins, Bentleys, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Lancias and some wild American Muscle Cars – the Estate Car underwent a degree of restoration such as the fitment of a correct-type replacement 3.9 litre V8 engine.

Participating in a variety of historic military vehicle events including a sortie to Holland during 1986, the Series 99A was offered for sale by Sotheby’s two years later when the premature death of Bobby McIntyre, Lord Sorn’s son, prompted the collection’s dispersal. The Mercury’s next owner was British businessman Keith Schellenberg who was variously known to the public for participating in the 1956 and 1964 Winter Olympics, rolling a Vintage Bentley on the 1968 London to Sydney Marathon and his contentious ownership of the Scottish Isle of Eigg. After five years of polite refusal, collector Graham Greenwell finally convinced Schellenberg to part with the Estate Car during 1995. The subject of a two-page article in Classic Car Weekly the following year, ‘GVM 926’ was enthusiastically used and improved by Mr Greenwell until 2008 when it was sold to the vendors’ late father, Mike Ebeling, for £30,000.

Renowned in historic military vehicle circles for the quality and accuracy of his restoration work, the late Mr Ebeling decided that the Series 99A was not to his exacting standards. Dry stored awaiting a ground-up refurbishment that never happened, he had got as far as stripping ancillaries and minor parts off the Mercury before ill health intervened. There can be few cars with such a rich back story. Unique in so many ways, not the least of which is its bespoke Windovers coachwork, this historic Mercury is surely worthy of a return to its former glory and a place in a museum or major collection. Offered for sale with history file including copy correspondence between Sir Malcolm Campbell and Leslie Ballamy, a wealth of George Formby related literature and Sotheby’s Sorn Castle catalogue etc.

For more information, please contact:
Damian Jones
damian.jones@handh.co.uk
07855 493737
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