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Model Citizen recreates first Merc
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 17 November 2005
In the green hills of the Range the era of the vintage car is far from over.    Rex Redding, pictured, has already built a replica of one of the first cars ever designed and is fast on his way to completing two more.   Widely accepted as the inventor of the motor car, Karl Benz first unveiled his Benz 3-wheeler in 1885 at Mannheim, Germany.

Given his love of the mechanics of a bygone era, Rex, from north Maleny, a former cooling system engineer, has always dreamed about building one.   Rex had already built up a sizeable collection of vintage generators and had been wanting to try his hand at vintage cars for some time.    He'd even gone as far as putting in a sizeable bid for a three wheeled car at an auction.

"I put an offer in of $16,000 which was the highest at the auction,"  said Rex. "But the reserve came in at $100,000 so I let that one go!"   Yet it was a chance conversation with old friend Jack Warner which put him on the road to his dream of building a full scale replica of Benz's historic first offering.

"I'd always had a fascination with these early cars, but was unsure if I could pull it off,"  he said.    "I was talking it through with Jack and he said to go the next room and fetch a model car he had on display.   Once I bought it in he told me I could definitely build a replica of it and gave me the model there and then as a guide for the build."

So with just a 20cm model to go by, Jack began to construct his machine, which was built using a variety of unusual parts including a crow bar for the rear axle and 303 rifle cleaners for the rear wheel's spokes.

"I had to be creative but I haved a well equipped workshop and knew I could alter or manufacture the parts I needed." said Rex.   "I made tghe engine myself and fabricateds everything for it."

The car took about about a year to build and a further four months to tune and get the bugs out.   And Rex really seens to have caught the vintage car bug because he is already well on his way to completing two other replicas.

Nows there can't be that many Range citizens with three Mercs in the garage!

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 05 September 2006 )
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