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stude8

Great day at Roebling, NJ !

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A great day was had today at Roebling, NJ when members of the Mercer Motor Cars group attended the 100th Anniversary of the Mercer Automobile company founding. Mercers from 1910 to 1921 eras participated in the Patriots Day parade through the historic town of Roebling, NJ and later gathered at the newly opened Roebling Steel Cable Company Museum for an Ice cream social followed by a BBQ dinner of epic proportions.

20 plus vehicles of T head and L head versions were present and many participated on a 25 mile rally through scenic Roebling, NJ countryside lead by a 1913 Mercer T head raceabout model owned by Joe Freeman of MA driven by David Greenlees of Brattleboro, VT. The rally brought the great Mercer cars to the attention of local observers many of who had not seen such cars previously in the flesh.

The Roebling Museum has a room dedicated to Mercer racing hstory with many mural size photo blowups from 1912 -14 era races where Mercer was a strong contender to deal with. Other rooms illustrate the history of Roebling Steel Cable manufacture and the significant bridges the company built across America.

The new museum has produced an illustrated book of the Mercer car history that will be a welcome addition to all auto historical libraries.

More about how to obtain a copy of this book will be posted shortly.

Stude8

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I was thinking of you guys and the MERCER gathering all day today, glad you had a good turnout. Will you be posting some photos? Please post the book details.

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For 1937hd45

Today was the Mercer Centennial Car Show at the Roebling Museum grounds. Weather was perfect clear Sunny and a very large crowd of mostly local residents came to view the cars.

There were 21 Mercers on display, Six 35R raceabouts; 12 L head cars from Raceabouts to tourings and 3 other Pre 1914 models type 30's and a type "O".

I will post photos after we getback to Illinois, about a week to travel yet, I have over 300 images in the camera!!

I advised the Roebling Museum staff that they should post the mail order costs for their new Mercer Magic history book on this page. Watch for it soon.

Just for something extra to wait for, a video crew did record the events involving the Mercers (road tour, parade and show field) They also interviewed many owners and people with special connection to Mercer. This will be an excellent record of the Centennial events. It will take time to edit and finalize but if you weren't there it will as good as having been.

Stude8

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The contact information for the Roebling Museum and the new Mercer history book is as follows.

www.roeblingmuseum.org

or 609-499-7200 Atten: Martha Moore

the book title is:

Mercer Magic, The Mercer Automobile Company founded 1909.

24 pages (15 with color images)

Author Clifford W. Zink

Stude8

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As promised earlier here are several photos taken at the Mercer Centennial car meet in Roebling, NJ July 10-12, 2009.

There was a Patriots Day Parade on Sat July 11th and about 10 or 12 Mercer owners braved the 90 degree heat for the 1-1/2 hour parade at idle speeds with only one car suffering a vapor lock incident. After the parade cars present gathered on the Roebling Museum grounds for a closed car show display for museum patrons and Mercer Club members with 15 Mercers on display.

On Sunday July 12th an open show for Roebling, NJ residents and the public in general was held with 21 Mercers on display from 1910 thru 1922 models. Attendance for this event was much greater than expected with large crowds present numbering several thousand interested persons including some Roebling Family members.

I am posting photos from Saturday with less people around the cars, Sunday photos had crowds of folks around cars listening to stories from car owners of how they obtained and restored the Mercers.

Stude8

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A few more Mercer Centennial Reunion photos, the 1910 Roadster was one of 3 1910 cars that appeared.

The 1913 Mercer T Head Raceabout was a former Peter Helck car now owned by Joe Freeman of Boston, MA. Driver David Greenlees and navigator John Shanahan led the Mercer car tour on a 27mile route through New Jersey countryside.

Stude8

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Peter Helck lived only about 10 miles from me. That Mercer, as well as the Locomobile racer, was often tuned up and serviced by Tony Laporta Jr. in Copake NY. An old friend of mine who has since passed on. Good to see it out and rolling about. :) Dandy Dave!

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Great event!

The months/years of work done by Karl Darby and his friends at the Roebling Mueseum resulted in an outstanding affair.

Thanks Karl!

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Peter Helck lived only about 10 miles from me. That Mercer, as well as the Locomobile racer, was often tuned up and serviced by Tony Laporta Jr. in Copake NY. An old friend of mine who has since passed on. Good to see it out and rolling about. :) Dandy Dave!

Speaking of Tony, any idea what happened to his GJG race car?

Howard Dennis

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About 10 or 12 years ago I was browsing storage sheds at a place called Schaeffer & Long in Magnolia, NJ. In one trailer there was remains of a car called "The GJG", I'm not very well educated about East Coast early racing and don't know if there were more than one car called "GJG" but this is what was stored there at the time. Don't know if it was a customers car awaiting time in the shop or if it was a parts car donor chassis? I think the shop mgr was named Fred Hoch, a well regarded Mercer expert out there.

Stude8

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That's Tony's old car! According to what Tony told me over 40 years ago that was the only surviving GJG in existance. He went to look at an old 1920's Dodge touring back in the late 1940's and when he raised the hood there was that T head! Apparently all Tony ever had was the chassis and running gear and from your pictures that's the way it looked when I last saw it over 40 years ago. An elderly gentleman walked into Tony's shop in the 1960's and wanted to see the GJG. As Tony was showing it off the gentleman mentioned the welded oil pan and said he had put a rod through that hole at Sheepshead Bay race track in 1911. Not only did Tony have the only GJG, he had the factory race car and the original driver and son of the builder was confirming it! Tony told me he then knew why the T head had drilled and lightened rods and pistons. For years I've looked forward to the debut of this car and now it appears it still hasn't been awakened from a very,very long slumber. Thanks for rekindling some fond memories.

Howard Dennis

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I got to see the GJG while Tony still owned it and he told me the same story. Peter Helck had drawn some sketches of bodywork for the car. It had an odd radiator shape, don't know if Tony had one or Peter sketched it from memory or research. I'm looking forward to seeing it restored too.

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