The Mercer is one of those legendary automobiles, known even to casual automobile enthusiasts. Although the company built a variety of body styles, it was best known for its open cars, such as this runabout.
The company cemented its reputation for building fast cars from its very beginnings in 1910. Mercers performed superbly in both professional and amateur races. Though they were not big cars, they were fast.
The Mercer Automobile Company was formed in 1909 by Washington A. Roebling II, whose family built the Brooklyn Bridge. In April 1912, at the age of 31, Roebling perished in the sinking of the Titanic. The company was sold in 1918. The company was able to hang on until 1926, when financial difficulty meant it was to close its doors forever.
The first Mercer automobile, the 1910 Model 30, used a 30 horsepower L-head four-cylinder engine, but this was redesigned by Finley Robertson Porter as a t-head four-cylinder for the 1911 Model 35 Raceabout. The L-head engine was re-introduced in 1915 and continued to be used until the company stopped building the Raceabout in 1923. Although the early Raceabouts were instantly recognized by the almost completely stripped down bodywork, the driver of this Series 4 model was much more protected, having even a proper windscreen.