In 1910 the Roebling family began building the Mercer Model 35 Raceabout, which is often called America's first true sports car.
This 1914 Type 35 J Raceabout has VIN #1989 and has only had four owners since new. The Mercer Raceabout didn't have much of a body in its 1911-1914 glory years - only fenders and a hood. No more than 150 were sold in any of these years. This example is one of the last Raceabouts built by mercer in 1914.
The car is powered by a side-valve, T-Head, smooth running, 4-cylinder engine coupled to a four-speed transmission. The surprisingly quiet four-cylinder engine was the work of Finlay Robertson Porter, a brilliant automotive engineer with a taste for high performance. An oil-immersed multiple-disc clutch enabled unusually smooth gear-shifting for this era. The 300 cubic-inch (4916 cc - 4.9-liter) engine developed 50 horsepower and has a top speed of 75 mph. The 3,200-pound car sold for $2,250 in 1911.
The Mercer Raceabouts lived up to their name as they set numerous speed records. The second owner of this car modified the engine in order to compete at Daytona Beach in 191 when the car was timed at 112 mph, a world record speed that still stands for Mercer cars. It was restored in 1941 by Pennsylvanian Samuel Baily, a noted car collector.