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Henry Manney Special

aeronca65t

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I imagine many of you know who Henry Manney is. Especially if you read Road & Track back in the day, when the Bonds ran it (and, unlike now, it was a quality publication).

Anyway, here's s shot of old Henry in the Henry Manney Special at the Pebble Beach road races in 1952 (it's the second car in the photo). It's listed as having an 803 cc engine, which is the original size of the BMC "A" series engine.

I had never seen this before. Sure looks like he may have created a sort of prototype for the Frogeye/Bugeye. I wonder if Gerry Coker ever saw this car?

This photo come from the many new shots just posted at ~Tam's Old Race Car website~, which is a fantastic resource.

PEBBLE%20BEACH%20ROAD%20RACES%201952%20%2339%20%238.jpg
 
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That might be a Sprite prototype. He raced a Crosley Hot Shot and supposedly there is a Healey connection. (It looks more like a Healey than a Crosley which is why I say it might be a prototype).

"The Hotshot ended production in 1952, and the Sprite began in 1958. The Sprite was designed by Englishman Donald Healey, who has a Crosley connection through Austin"
 

HealeyRick

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LOL! Nice reference.

And yes, it may have some Crosley connection. It's really hard to tell.

Knew you'd appreciate the YOS reference. Henry Manney III was just a great writer and will be forever remembered for his line calling the E-Type "The Greatest Crumpet Catcher Known to Man"

And yep, it's a Crosley:

50-11-5-PB-MullinManney-620x448.jpg


Henry Manney in his Crosley Hot Shot leading Stan Mullin in his MG-TC. (Photo: Bob Devlin Collection)
 
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Look close, those are two completely different cars but I think the idea of mistaken identity was intentional. Think about it, if there was a connection and you are designing a car in a completely different category and want to be saved the embarrassment if it fails, you have it tested by an outsider that drives something strikingly similar.

Hint: his Crosley is LHD, the other is RHD. https://www.google.com/search?q=Hen...w.joesherlock.com%2Fblog-2012-07.html;750;393
 

HealeyRick

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Look close, those are two completely different cars but I think the idea of mistaken identity was intentional. Think about it, if there was a connection and you are designing a car in a completely different category and want to be saved the embarrassment if it fails, you have it tested by an outsider that drives something strikingly similar.

Hint: his Crosley is LHD, the other is RHD. https://www.google.com/search?q=Hen...w.joesherlock.com%2Fblog-2012-07.html;750;393

Doh! Good looking out. For some reason the pic you linked to didn't show up in your original post, onlu when I quoted it:

12-07-Mny2.gif


Back to the internets, I must solve this mystery!
 
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aeronca65t

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Part of my point was that it has an 803 cc.

That was never a Crosely engine size but it was the size of the first A series engine as used in the first A30 cars (some were actually called "Austin 7s")....so I'm wondering if that's an A series-powered car with frogeyes.

A mystery!
 

nomad

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The first Crosley engine's were made by brazing copper water jackets over the steel cylinders and didn't last long due to corrosion from using dis-similar metals. Perhaps the first A series looked like a good possible swap. Either to Manney or someone associated with Crosley. To me it looks like the "hot shot" must have influenced the design of the first bug eye.

Kurt.
 

HealeyRick

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A little more research came up with this. Manney's special was fiberglass-bodied and named "Georgette the Racer" - The September, 1952 issue of Road & Track stated: "
By this time, readers are familiar with such competition cars as Sterling Edward’s new Edwards Special – which runs a Chrysler engine in a Henry J chassis – Henry Manney’s newly developed (by McAfee Engineering) blown Crosley engine which is mounted in a special tubular frame, and Charles Manning’s Mercury Special.
All three of these cars have successfully employed fiberglass bodies. Any number of MGs and the like have used fiberglass components, such as doors, cycle fenders and assorted panel work." https://www.forgottenfiberglass.com...nd-american-enterprises-so-much-so-new-in-52/
 

jlaird

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May I point out the exhaust pipe in the last pic just above. Kinda makes you wonder, overall looks like a hot shot but then so much like a bugeye. However form follows function guys, I bet it is just a fluke and nothing more.
 

CLEAH

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It could not have been a Sprite prototype since Gerry Coker did not put pen to paper until 1956, and Q1 (the prototype) was completed around January 1957.
 
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aeronca65t

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I've met Gerry Coker. A lovely fellow. I wish I'd seen this so I could have asked him if he was aware of Manney's car.
Obviously, I don't think that Georgette was the official BMC/Healey prototype......I was just wondering if Henry's car provided some inspiration.
 
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Obviously, I don't think that Georgette was the official BMC/Healey prototype......I was just wondering if Henry's car provided some inspiration.

I'm wondering if its the result of a conversation between the two.
 

CLEAH

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Nial, I agree, it would be fascinating to know of Gerry Coker ever saw a picture of this car. As a young engineer toiling away at DHMC, I wonder if he got exposure to what was going on with sports cars in the US. Maybe Rick can find a picture in a publication that might have made its way across the pond. I would guess that Manney and Coker moved in different circles, but maybe not!
 

Bayless

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The Crosley engine was 750 cc. Its design made it hard to bore but it had a very short stroke that most likely could have been stretched to 803. In those days there was almost no limit to the hotrod stuff you could get for the little beast, even to the extent of titanium alloy rods. There is a Crosley special that races sometimes here at Hallett.
 
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The Crosley engine was 750 cc. Its design made it hard to bore but it had a very short stroke that most likely could have been stretched to 803. In those days there was almost no limit to the hotrod stuff you could get for the little beast, even to the extent of titanium alloy rods. There is a Crosley special that races sometimes here at Hallett.

When I was a kid, my dad's friend sold Willys jeep parts that were government surplus. He had several Crosley engines brand new in the crate. He told me that lots of folks hot rodded them as they would turn up to stupid high levels. IIRC, I believe he said guys used to put them in race boats. Musta been a small boat.
 
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