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Mercer Series 6 Six Cylinder Question


prewarpieces
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Ivan thanks for answering about the ’22 sporting. Pardon me for playing catch up but you answer generated a few more questions and clarifications.

The car was delivered new 8/31/1922 to Joseph Hertzman of Chicago he sold it to Carl Bjelland 3/9/1949. Carl sold it to Ed Gibes 9/6/1978.

 

So, I know Carl owned the car, but I know nothing else about him. Did he work for or have an association with mercer or the mercer dealer in Chicago? 

 

Who is Schillos?

 

Did carl work for him in 1922? 

 

Did you want to ask Carl about the deliver of this car or other mater RE mercer?

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Yes, my understanding is that Schillo Brothers were the Mercer dealer in Chicago, and Carl Bjelland was one of their key men, though I am not sure in what capacity.  I think Morris Burrows told me that CB delivered the car new to the original owner. ( It could have been Ralph Bailey or Ray Wolff).  If I recall correctly, Don Pedersen had a Ford A model in Portland Oregon. He was working as a doctor in possibly Milwaukee when Janet's father found the most deteriorated Mercer 6 imaginable, where it had been parked years before "in the big shed", as we say.  I think Don said it was in Cinncinati, where the sulphur dioxide content in the air was about the highest on earth.  The pressed steel structure of the chassis frame was rusted to almost nothing, but the spring hanger and similar components were fine.   Back-step a good while,  and Morris Burrows had gathered a good Series Six  chassis frame with intent to rebuild his 1917 touring onto it.  But of course the frame was completely different and nothing would fit.  Morris wanted me to have the good Series Six frame but I did not need it; so whenn Don's need arose I asked Morris to look after Don.  Don and Janet and little baby Eric visited Morris and Libby in Springfield Vermont, and carted home not only a good chassis fame, but also a perfect radiator shell.  Don's car was largely restored by Joe Kaufman as he could afford it.  I ended up with the useable remains of the rusty chassis, and I have new cannel and other parts pressed in straight form, ready to make a 115inch wheelbase frame using the 1916 to 1920s chassis blueprints that Ralph Buckley gave me in 1980.    Anyway, the two people who can best give you more accurate information about Schillo agency are Fred Hoch and Tim Kuser.   I realise that Carl Darby's mother was daughter of either of the Roebling brothers who largely ran the Mercer company after Washington Roebling went down with the Titanic after insuring that it was the women and children, with one crew member per lifeboat; before they west back to listen to the music until the ship went down.  He and his friend John Jacob Astor make you think of the lines from a WW1 poem:  "Joint heirs with Christ because they bled to save his weak ones, not in vain".   Washington Roebling's loss was tragic for Mercer, because it may have been his energy and abilities and social connections that could have seen the company survive and adapt to the changing needs of the times. I was never much interested in history, until in the final year of Agricultural Science at University of Melbourne we had a series of lectures by Emeritus Professor Sir Samuel Wadham on agricultural history.  He said  "Don't worry about Dates: Dates don't matter in History.  The importance of History is the Reasons things Happened".

When I visited Morris Burrows in September 1980 I did not know it but Bracco's 1951 sad and rusty B20 Lancia Aurelia coupe was  offered for sale for a pittance. In the 1951 Mille Millia then race was run over the winding mountainous roads in torrential rain for the first 850 miles.  He was second only to Villoresi's 4.2 litre V12 Ferrari by less than 3 minutes.  The tuned V6 Aurel;ia may even have been smaller that 2litres. In the last 150 miles the Ferrari was able to use its top speed advantage  to win by 20 minutes.    At Le Mans a couple of weeks later, Bracco won his class in the same car.  After the race, the Italians were clustered around the car which had its bonnet open. then Briggs Cunningham , who had his own cars in the racecame up, looked at the engine, and marvelled that they had time to clean down the engine already.  The Italian mechanics just laughed.   He wanted to buy that car right then; but the engineer in charge invited him to make an appointment to meet Gianni Lancia at the factory.   He bought a new B20, and a complete extra set of mechanical spares.  Bracco drove the same car in the Carrera in South America.  It ended up years later near Springfield Vermont in very rough state and I am glad I never knew and bought it.  It is beautifully restored in England.  ..... I did not need it anyway.   I have a 1953 B22 Aurelia 4 door pillarless sedan, which has similar handling and performance.  I rebuilt it from very rough state years ago:  and after finishing work on the brakes and a couple of other things I shall register it for road use again.  It is virtually contemporary grand prix technology in a family sedan, with all independant suspension, and inboard brakes at the rear.  It has such good acceleration, handling, and brakes that you spend little time below your cruising speed.     

I hope I can visit USA again soon .  Some idiot line bored the main bearings of my 1918 Series 4 Mercer without the block bolted down.  Ralph Buckley told me that noone had ever broken a crankshaft, but that is the reason I have not driven mine for forty years.

Regards, Ivan

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