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Colchester Racing Developments

Colchester Racing Developments Ltd, founded by Selwyn Hayward and continued by Clive Hayward, produced Merlyn racing cars from 1960 till 1979.

During this time we built up our own machine shop to manufacture race car components. Machining and engineering for customers became a successful addition to the business and eventually CRD Tool and Engineering Ltd was formed.

After more than 37 years of trading the decision was taken to close CRD Tool and Engineering in November.

Clive continues to run Colchester Racing Developments Ltd. The manufacture and supply of all genuine Merlyn parts, including chassis repair and fabrication work, is not affected by this change.

Simon Brown (Trackstar Racing Services) remains the Merlyn build specialist in the UK, he and Clive are the points of contact for any Merlyn based requirement that you may have.

Clive Hayward: 07860 602334 ǀ Simon Brown: 01903 714535

Merlyn in 2014

It seems no time at all since the end of the 2014 HSCC season and the 2015 season is with us already.

Merlyns had excellent results in both the Historic Formula Ford races at the first 2015 meeting at Thruxton with Ben Mitchell winning both races, Max Bartell finishing 2nd in race 1 and 3rd in race 2 and novice Richard Mitchell finishing 2nd in race 2.

Sadly Merlyn lost two very good friends during 2014. Jonathan Williams, who raced a Formula Junior Merlyn and an F2 Merlyn died in hospital in Spain and Denis Welch who had such great success with the MK5 Junior Merlyn in historic racing died as the result of a racing accident. Both were lovely people and will be sadly missed by us all.

Although it wasn’t a Merlyn driver who won the HSCC Historic FF Championship in 2014, Max Bartell managed second place in the Championship and Merlyn drivers had plenty of success throughout the season. Michael O’Brien winning at Silverstone and Brands Hatch, Max Bartell at Snetterton, Sam Mitchell both at Cadwell Park races and Callum Grant at both Croft races and Brands Hatch Indy.

Congratulations to Jono Baines who won the 2014 HSCC Classic Car Championship in his MK20 Merlyn Formula Ford.

Early in the season Callum Grant won both 2014 Thruxton Formula Junior races in great style in the MK5 Merlyn now owned by Jon Sykes. In doing so he regained the lap record for Merlyn. This record had been held previously for many years by this same car whilst driven by Mike Littlewood.

Historic Formula Ford 2013

Congratulations to Sam Mitchell for winning the 2013 HSCC Formula Ford Championship  and of course the Merlyn trophy in dad’s Merlyn MK20A. Sam didn’t have the best start to the season, but put all that and most of his competitors behind him to score six wins.

Sam first competed in Formula Ford in 2012 and won the Formula Ford section of the Classic Racing Car Championship. 2013 saw Jono Baines take that honour in his Merlyn MK 20, well done to him.

Well done also to Daniel Pickett who was Historic Formula Ford Novice Champion with his MK20 Merlyn.

2013 saw only a few entries for last year’s champion Callum Grant and a single start for Callum McLeod both drivers scoring wins in Merlyn MK20.

It was nice to see Kevin Stanzl bring out his Merlyn MK 20 again after quite a few years and together with the stalwarts keep Merlyns as the most popular entrant.

50 Years

2011 was the 50th year of Merlyn Colchester Racing Developments and saw Ben Mitchell in Dad’s MK 20 pushing Benn Simms hard for the HSCC Historic Formula Ford Championship, but not quite making it. Still I’m sure that Mum was pleased to see the Merlyn Trophy return to the Mitchell’s home.

2012 started badly and saw the passing of Selwyn who died at the age of 78 on 3rd of March following a long illness. Selwyn had set up Colchester Racing Developments, designed the cars, built the first cars and throughout production was always ready to dive in with the welding torch when necessary. Selwyn was buried close to his home in his beloved South of France where he has lived since 1984.

On a happier note Callum Grant has had a fantastic year in his MK20. With 2 races remaining he cannot be overtaken in this year’s HSCC Historic Formula Ford Championship and in September he passed his driving test!

The final 2012 HSCC meeting at Silverstone saw Stuart Baird take his first win this season in his MK11A to give him 4th place in the championship. Newcomer Josh West was third and a down on power 2012 champion  Callum Grant was 5th. An amazing 11 Merlyns finished in the top 14 places. 

Sam Mitchell won the Formula Ford category of the 2012 HSCC Classic Racing Car championship in Dad’s MK20 with Martin Haines 2nd in his MK20. 

Joao Paolo Campos Costa won the French Historic Championship in his MK24 with Thierry Gallo 3rd in his MK20.

2009 Grandstand Motorsports HSCC Historic Formula Ford Championship Win


Very few would dispute that Westie deserved this year’s championship after second place last year and several setbacks this year.

Snetterton qualifying was cut short when another car climbed onto and over the back of his. Nevertheless after repairing the damage and starting at the back of the grid Westie managed a second and a first in the two races.

Despite the removal of his nose cone by another competitor at Brands, Westie managed a hard fought second place.

A first lap incident at Mallory Park involving several cars saw Westie going off heavily and spending several days in hospital having damaged his arm and back. Having to wear a back brace meant Westie would miss the next two rounds at Oulton and Brands.

Once again the championship went to the last round of the season at Silverstone and Westie was determined to compete. His own car had not been repaired so he borrowed Mike O’Brien’s MK20 Merlyn and finished fourth to take the Championship.

This year Westie’s son Ben has been competing in his Dad’s car and after Mallory, in Simon Hadfield’s Merlyn and has won the Formula Ford section of the Classic Racing Car Championship. We look forward to seeing Ben in the Historic FF series next year.

If you have any interesting Merlyn photos that you would like to offer for the gallery, particularly period photos, please email them to us.

If you’ve acquired a Merlyn please let us have details for our register, we don’t pass on details to any third party without your permission.

If you have a Merlyn for sale perhaps we can include it in our news section for you.

Copyright Colchester Racing Developments Ltd