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John Gibbs built the the MAC 500 with help from Hector Nichols, during 1947/48, the name deriving from his father's garage business, Midland Autocar in Leamington Spa. It had a rear mounted JAP Excelsior engine driving through an Albion gearbox. The frame was derived from a Fiat 500 with a Raleigh three wheeler back axle. Total budget 200.

John and Hector pose with their handiwork, April 1948. Photo courtesy David Nichols

Construction seems to have been complete by the Summer of 1948, the first recorded appearance being at Brough on 4th July where sadly he failed to start his heat after damaging an inlet valve in practice. More frustration followed at the big meet of the year, the Grand Prix at Silverstone, a split fuel tank ending his race. John continued into 1949, with heavily revised bodywork, and started to achieve some reliability and places, the highlight being second to Jack Westcott's Cooper Mk III  at Lulsgate in April, however the production Cooper Mk II and III cars were now dominating and specials like the MAC inevitably fell back as the year progressed.

John was highly active in the Midlands section of the 500 Club but resigned in August 1950 citing pressure of work and seems to have given up competition at the same time..

 

Testing the car with its original body work, probably at Gaydon Airfield in the Summer of 1948

At Lulsgate with rather more sophisticated bodywork, probably 16th April 1949 where John finished second.

 

Some results for John and the MAC 500:

Brough 4th July 1948, DNS

Silverstone 2nd October 1948 British Grand Prix, DNF

Brough 10th April 1949, 5th in heat, 3rd in handicap race

Lulsgate 16th April 1949, 2nd

Shelsley Walsh 11th June 1949, 11th

Silverstone 9th July 1949, DNF in All-comers race 1, DNF in non-production car race

Prescott Hill 17th July 1949, 9th

Blandford 27th August 1949, 7th in heat 1, 9th in final

Prescott Hill 11th September 1949, 15th

Shelsley Walsh 24th September 1949, 10th

Brough 2nd October 1949, DNF

At Shelsley, June 1950

If anyone has any more details or photos of John or the MAC, please get in touch.

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