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Steve Mellet and the Mirage sports racer.


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#1 Bladrian

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Posted 25 August 2002 - 10:25

:wave:

Steve Mellet (a SA pilot, if I remember correctly) used to race a very neat-looking sports racer, the Mirage, in the SA Springbok series. It looked something like a cross between a Lola and a McLaren, and it was pretty quick in his hands.

Does anybody remember this car, and if so, would they have any details about it? Mr Cloud, perhaps?

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#2 ry6

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Posted 25 August 2002 - 17:25

Steve's first Mirage (shall we call it Mk 1?) was a Lotus 23 looking car which had Alfa power. He ran
this in the 1965 SA Sportscar events.
When it finished races it did quite well.
For instance I note that it finished 3rd at the Rand Winter Trophy sportscar event behind Dawie Gous (Elva Porsche) and Keith Berrington-Smith (Lotus 23 Alfa). These were two very good driver/car combinations. Steve also beat a useful "rest of the field".

The next Mirage (the Mk 2?) was something else!

A short wheelbase low flat creation with a 5.3 liter v8 Chevy tucked into the tail.
It was a hairy, tail happy machine, but Steve drove it bravely.

It was built to compete with the Lola T70's and McLaren-Elva V8's driven by Doug Serrurier, Bobby Olthoff and the visiting end of season drivers like Paul Hawkins and Mike d'Udy.

I recall it running quickly in the opening laps of many races, but cannot remember it finishing in the points too often.

I knew Steve and contrary to popular opinion he was not a Mirage pilot although he worked for the South African Air Force.

The Mirage Mk 2 was sold to hot rod driver WesYork, who used it for a few hillclimbs. It ended its days lying in his back yard in a Durban coastal suburb, gathering rust.

#3 Ade Maritz

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Posted 26 August 2002 - 05:39

:up:

Thanks Rob - the second one was the one I was thinking of - and it definitely had a reliability problem.
Pity about it ending in Cockroach City - somebody might have been able to resurrect it, had it woumd up in Pretoria .... just the suspension uprights and hub carriers could have been useful.

Ah, well. Hindsight, eh?

#4 Felix Muelas

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 21:23

Rob Young has posted this photograph

Posted Image
fm