(Photo credit: Merc9.com) – BangShifter Todd Staege gets the credit for tipping us off to one of the most awesome road racing cars we have ever seen in the form of the absolutely evil Merc9, a car that began life as a NASCAR Grand National stock car in the late 1960s, was rebodied in the early 1970s and has gradually evolved into the absolutely maniacal corner destroying and race winning machine you’ll see in the photos and video below. The heart of the beast is a 555ci Jon Kaase built Ford big block that makes more power than any road race car should have, especially one tipping the scales at some two tons! When you see the video below you’ll watch this car at vintage events on course with lithe little open wheel cars and it is fun to watch. Yes, the open wheelers dart around in the corners, but when the road straightens out and that Kaase engine starts to sing, those tiny ex-formula racers are looking at a Sherman tank of a car that is actually GAINING on them.
Matt Robison is the owner and driver of the car and has been road racing since the late 1990s. He’s a capable dude as he has wheeled the car to multiple podium finishes and front row qualifying sports at places like Sears Point, Laguna Seca, and Thunderhill Raceway. The car seems to live mostly in California and it is raced about a half dozen times a year as best we can tell. It is a truly wild piece with an engine offset in the chassis and the skeleton of a late 1960s NASCAR racer that has been updated with the latest in modern chassis technology to handle the corners, elevations changes, and stresses that no super super speedway racer ever sees.
Back when it was a freshly minted race car, the machine wore a Torino body, was owned by one John Nissen and driven by a man named J.C. Danielson primarily on the west coast as part of the Grand National West series. We did some research and found that JC Danielson qualified 28th for the 1976 NASCAR Riverside 500. Did he do it in this car? Maybe he did, we’re not sure if he was still racing for Nissen at this time. He was a DNF unfortunately and collected $890 for this efforts that day.
Stewart Hall of Hall Racing and Fabrication is the whiz behind the setup and engineering side of the car. When you visit the website linked below and check out the myriad of photos you will see his hard work on full display. One of the mind blowing things for us is the offset of the engine significantly to the passenger side of the car. Obviously this was done for balance and handling reasons but we’re guessing it is 6-8 inches over from the stock location. It looks crazy but when you see the car driving in the videos below, it obviously works! Other neat stuff is the fact that the exhaust actually runs through the inside of the car. You’ll see photos of the two huge pipes that collect into one singular dump that come through the firewall and run off the passenger side. Wild!
Perhaps the thing we like the best about the car is that the body remains that huge by large Mercury Cyclone which is immediately recognizable because of its pointy nose and giant rear quarter panels. It has not been shrunken, sectioned, or otherwise reduced to make it more slippery through the air Robison let Jon Kaase handle that problem by effectively turning the car onto a mega-horsepower air hammer. This thing is beyond BangShift approved. It moves deeply into the realm of the sublime. Now for the videos!
Without further adieu….check out these videos of the beastly Merc9 in action!