Presenting the entrant from Erin…
Whaa ra, I wanna ra, whaa ra, I’ll ra’ll them all
This is the ErinSport TI-76, the only Group 5 version of the Merna. “TI” stands for “Turbo Injection”. It came about after the Civera Silhouette project came to and end and the engineers who had worked on the project decided a new venture was required. They got their hands on the recently introduced Merna Mk 3 and went to town. This was the result.
The Mk 3 Merna came about during the 70s simple design phase, where minimalism and rectangles were desireable.
Some cars from this period worked out. The Merna didn’t. And indeed, it’s regarded as one of the dullest, if not the dullest car the company has ever made.
It drove well (ish) and the engines were decent. Plus, it came with the option of RWD for some sportier models. But the styling was too conservative for it’s own good. I mean for god’s sake, look at the tailights.
It’s why the TI-76 was almost a necessity to save this car from dullness. Other than the fact that this dull hatchback would keep making money for the company all the way up until 1983, there really isn’t much that is particularly remarkable about it.
The TI-76, however, wasn’t much better. Despite its fame within ErinSport’s history, it was never a good race car, and certainly never as solid as the Civera. It exploded, caught fire, was unstable, was far too powerful and was very unreliable. And yet the company somehow managed to run with it for 4 entire seasons of IMSA and in the DRM from 1977 to 1979.
This livery was the one used for the '78 IMSA season. It’s a classic ErinSport factory design, with angled lines typical for the team during the 70s and the usual turquoise colours.
ErinSport wishes the best of luck to all entrants, and would also like to apologise in advance to any competitors we damage in the inevitable crashes this car causes.