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Mercer Race About - Buried Treasure - Keno Bros.


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Man Rejects $250,000 Offer For Antique Car on 'Buried Treasure' (VIDEO)

They went on and on about how he destroyed the value of the car by redoing stuff.

An earlier pic in the show showed the car in bad repair and multiple colors yet they went on and on about how the repainting of the car and the refinishing of the speedo, dashboard, etc. destroyed the value of the car.

Anyone see it on fox last night?

Any thoughts?

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Saw an ad for the show but did not catch it. Was that Mark Hyman in the episode trying to buy the car?

These shows can be entertaining but as far as destroying value, beware of any of these "generalist" type shows, heck for that matter just because something is professed on TV or in print does not make it so.

Seeing the car for a few seconds on the ad, I would think it is worth somewhat more than $250K.

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FOX Broadcasting Company - Buried Treasure on FOX - Official Site

In the photo section are a bunch of pics of the Mercer.

Looks nice.

Yes, that was Harmon.

They flashed a picture of the car (which was bought by the gentleman's grandfather in the 30s that appeared to show the car with several colors of paint. Not all black.

For the record, the Keno Brothers are car judges at Pebble Creek.

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I watched it.

The Keno Brothers said they grew up with a Father that was in the old car hobby and that they own old cars themselves.

But then treated the restoration of the car like it was rare antique furniture.

"Restoration destroys the value". :confused:

I think it would have to be an exceptionally preserved original car to be worth more than a restored one.

I understand there is a movement in the car hobby that looks at an original car with more respect than has been given in the past. But still...

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Hi gang, cars of this quality are rarely for sale. This one has been in the same family for many years and is most likely going to stay in it. People who own cars like this can generaly afford them, unlike all the rest of us who can only enjoy things like Mercers as spectators. {Substitute Simplex, Stutz, Lozier, Pierce Arrow etc. as is your pleasure}.

When cars like this change hands it is usually in an estate, and at auction. The $250,000.00 offer is probably about right, a nice one sold last year for about $300,000.00 so $250 from a dealer in a so so market environment is about all a person would expect.

The devaluation due to restoration comments are to be taken with a grain of salt. We aren't talking about 1955 Chrysler's here. If there is a totally original good condition L head Mercer existent then it is the exception and obviously a special case apart from all the other examples.

All I have to do is pick the correct lottery ticket, and this can be more than an academic discussion. All the best Greg in Canada

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The owner of the car has been advertising it for sale for some time now at 425K. It is really not a buried treasure, but a car that has been on the market and well known about. I have seen the car and the restoration is not that great-lots of new Home Depot hardware, amateur paint, upholstery, poorly detailed etc. It looks good in photos but in reality probably should be redone. The mechanicals were just painted and not rebuilt.The restoration was definately not done by a knowledgable car restorer.

That being said, it is a real L-head raceabout, not made up from parts or a converted touring car.

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The owner of the car has been advertising it for sale for some time now at 425K. It is really not a buried treasure, but a car that has been on the market and well known about. I have seen the car and the restoration is not that great-lots of new Home Depot hardware, amateur paint, upholstery, poorly detailed etc. It looks good in photos but in reality probably should be redone. The mechanicals were just painted and not rebuilt.The restoration was definately not done by a knowledgable car restorer.

That being said, it is a real L-head raceabout, not made up from parts or a converted touring car.

If that's the case, I would have taken the Keno's offer.

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Thanks "Motoringicons" for your first hand opinion of the car. It sounds like the owner has a very optimistic value in mind. It makes the $250,000.00 offer seem pretty spot on. No doubt the owner got the car on the show to try to drum up a little hype surrounding it's market value. It would be interesting to see what it eventually sells for. It's still a dream car for most of us, especially needing what could be a $75,000.00 + restoration. Mercer; cars for the exclusive few when new, and even more so today.

All the best Greg

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The owner of the car has been advertising it for sale for some time now at 425K. It is really not a buried treasure, but a car that has been on the market and well known about. I have seen the car and the restoration is not that great-lots of new Home Depot hardware, amateur paint, upholstery, poorly detailed etc. It looks good in photos but in reality probably should be redone. The mechanicals were just painted and not rebuilt.The restoration was definately not done by a knowledgable car restorer.

That being said, it is a real L-head raceabout, not made up from parts or a converted touring car.

If that's the case, I would have taken the Keno's offer.

I would bet he caught hell from the Wife afterwards, considering the medical bills he stated the family was up against.

Sentimentalities don't put food on the table.

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I understand "Chasing Classic Cars" is coming to the rest of us unwashed masses who do not spring for HD sometime this fall.

Also heard that Dick Shappy, a pretty well known collecter here in New England is coming out with a show called, "Dick Shappy, Collector car Rock Star" or simillar. Spoke with him a couple of times and he seems like a really nice guy, lots of brass, early motorcycles and Classic era stuff. I am really hopeful that the show is good and it lasts.

Who paints a Mercer in anything other than Princeton Yellow anyway? :D

OK, I guess I could live with the colors...

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TG ...Just how is it you know so much about Mark's various fetishes?? :D He is so strange I couldn't even guess.

The funny thing about this thing is the owner of this car sent me a request to 'Make an offer'' and when I said I don't Guess $$$$. He said he had 'no idea'' what he wanted. Very un-true.

Several years ago a "Famous Low-ball Mooch'' made me an offer on one of my cars....... after that I would tell others that XX XXXX(he was a Dr.) offered more money than that......

Perhaps this owner will see this and quit sending me mail ....... Worse things have happened :rolleyes:

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  • 7 months later...

Maybe I'm resurecting a dead thread here but I just wanted to explain to those who debate the paint that a Mercer Raceabout with a two tone paintjob frame/ body or body/ fenders is not only acceptable (AACA Judging) it is common. In fact under Hares motors command it was the rule, not the exception. My unrestored 21 has remnants of the same layout as Mr. V's car, though with other colors, and has stripling on the body that matches the frame and running gear.

Original documents from Mercer Motors advertised the Raceabouts in Yellow, Grey, Blue or Gunmetal. But Hares motors advertising states that if specifications were funished two months prior to shipping date one could get their car painted in any of the standard colors at no extra charge.

I have viewed Mr. V's photos taken during the work and would say that what he did was by no means a restoration, but more a preservation, in the military we call it a "clean and treat" which is done to stop corrosion from running rampant.

By the by, he has lowered his asking price online recently, but it's still higher than the auction price that the Libaire car went for.

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  • 1 month later...

For purposes of closure I thought I'd chime in here as the purchaser of the car under discussion. Now that I have had the car and it's had a couple months in the hands of a marque expert, I can lend some perspective both on the Keno brothers' comments and on the commentary resulting from the show. The bottom line is: yes, this is a really valuable, significant car that the owner restored to the best of his ability using materials and techniques not appropriate for a first rate restoration. Probably some original material and finish was removed forever.

HOWEVER: Good Grief. This was one of those incredibly rare situations where an important car lived in the same family for 80 straight years! It was cared for, preserved and sheltered all that time as a cherished family heirloom. It was purchased directly from Vince Galloni, the ex Mercer employee who for many years was the reigning authority on Mercers, and who provided several wheelbarrows of spare parts, manuals and documents. It is quite possible I am the fourth or even third owner of this 90 year old car, which has never lived more than 10 miles from the factory where it was built. The chassis and body numbers match, the engine # is in sequence, and it has the rare "RA" chassis stamp prefix.

Finally, while the prior owner may not have added lots of value with his restoration, he certainly didn't diminish value. It had already been painted non-original colors, the dash was painted grey, and over the years, plenty of typical 'upgrades' had been performed eg Watson Stabilator shocks (I've seen on Duesenberg etc, not original to Mercer), oil and grease cups replaced with Alemite and Zerk fittings, brake light switch added, Model A muffler grafted on, the original seat leather was long gone, etc. In other words, this was never going to be a preservation class car. It is, however, about as good as it gets for a great-running driver that is a prime, deserving candidate for a full concours restoration: complete in all the important respects, documented provenance, no rust or rot, lots of period spares and accessories including a rare top...

I'm biased of course, because I obviously paid more than the offer the owner turned down in the video segment. But I think that while the offer by Mark Hyman was a reasonable 'wholesale' price, the owner was justified in waiting for a 'retail' buyer.

There are only 30 or so L-head Raceabouts, and they just don't change hands much. I'm very happy with the car!

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Congratulations on the purchase of a great car! I agree with your comments with regard to longevity of ownership. Also I love the unique nature of the location and history of this particular car. I would bet that my friends on the board were reacting more to the show itself then the car. These sorts of shows bring out a negative reaction from most of us. Often some of the participants may be innocent but the producers of the show need to exaggerate or twist things to drum up interest (well at least what they think will be interest).

Anyways, great car and good luck with it.

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Yes, congrats indeed. Now you have the tough task of deciding what to do with it - the old restoration is part of the car's history, although as you have indicated, it seems a freshening could get it closer to it's original state. Have you decided what to do yet & will you be showing it anywhere this year, like at the Monmouth (I believe) NJ Concours?

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Yes, congrats indeed. Now you have the tough task of deciding what to do with it - the old restoration is part of the car's history, although as you have indicated, it seems a freshening could get it closer to it's original state. Have you decided what to do yet & will you be showing it anywhere this year, like at the Monmouth (I believe) NJ Concours?

It has been getting a 'safety and reliability' overhaul, restoration of original muffler, correct interior by Leif Drexler, many minor adjustments/corrections. Then I plan to drive for a year or two, and eventually a total restoration.

I've had lots of collector cars over the years but was never into shows, we are more of a motorsports/racing family. But I will bring the car to a July 28th event at the Roebling museum here in NJ. Then later possibly show it once I learn the ropes. Probably oughta go to a few shows first to see what its all about:)

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For purposes of closure I thought I'd chime in here as the purchaser of the car under discussion. Now that I have had the car and it's had a couple months in the hands of a marque expert, I can lend some perspective both on the Keno brothers' comments and on the commentary resulting from the show. The bottom line is: yes, this is a really valuable, significant car that the owner restored to the best of his ability using materials and techniques not appropriate for a first rate restoration. Probably some original material and finish was removed forever.

HOWEVER: Good Grief. This was one of those incredibly rare situations where an important car lived in the same family for 80 straight years! It was cared for, preserved and sheltered all that time as a cherished family heirloom. It was purchased directly from Vince Galloni, the ex Mercer employee who for many years was the reigning authority on Mercers, and who provided several wheelbarrows of spare parts, manuals and documents. It is quite possible I am the fourth or even third owner of this 90 year old car, which has never lived more than 10 miles from the factory where it was built. The chassis and body numbers match, the engine # is in sequence, and it has the rare "RA" chassis stamp prefix.

I'm very happy with the car!

How very nice to see the current owner weigh in on a discussion .... :cool:

The real value in your purchase lies in the history you outlined above,

which certainly makes it a genuinely rare find !

Thank you for your comments,

Jim

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ersatS2, Congratulations on your MERCER acquisition! From what I can see in the photos it looks like a great car, and the known history sure adds to its overall appeal. I helped a friend restore his 1922 Raceabout back in 1970, then got a ride in another many years later, both cars were consectively numbered. Hope to see your car on the Show Field at Hershey. Bob

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Hi,

I am currently restoring a 1922 Lamco bodied Model T with a Roof OHV set up. One of the original Lamco body colors was Mercer Yellow.

Can you provide me the correct paint code to use ?

Thanks,

Paul

Here is a 1920 L Head Mercer in the correct "Mercer Yellow" color. Photo taken at Mercer Centennial Meet in Roebling, NJ a few years ago.

Stude8

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Very, very awesome for the new owner to add a little closure to this thread. Great stuff!!

I really agree with alsancle's comment about the producers getting a grip. The cars are the drama... no need to make up other stuff.

For purposes of closure I thought I'd chime in here as the purchaser of the car under discussion. Now that I have had the car and it's had a couple months in the hands of a marque expert, I can lend some perspective both on the Keno brothers' comments and on the commentary resulting from the show. The bottom line is: yes, this is a really valuable, significant car that the owner restored to the best of his ability using materials and techniques not appropriate for a first rate restoration. Probably some original material and finish was removed forever.

HOWEVER: Good Grief. This was one of those incredibly rare situations where an important car lived in the same family for 80 straight years! It was cared for, preserved and sheltered all that time as a cherished family heirloom. It was purchased directly from Vince Galloni, the ex Mercer employee who for many years was the reigning authority on Mercers, and who provided several wheelbarrows of spare parts, manuals and documents. It is quite possible I am the fourth or even third owner of this 90 year old car, which has never lived more than 10 miles from the factory where it was built. The chassis and body numbers match, the engine # is in sequence, and it has the rare "RA" chassis stamp prefix.

Finally, while the prior owner may not have added lots of value with his restoration, he certainly didn't diminish value. It had already been painted non-original colors, the dash was painted grey, and over the years, plenty of typical 'upgrades' had been performed eg Watson Stabilator shocks (I've seen on Duesenberg etc, not original to Mercer), oil and grease cups replaced with Alemite and Zerk fittings, brake light switch added, Model A muffler grafted on, the original seat leather was long gone, etc. In other words, this was never going to be a preservation class car. It is, however, about as good as it gets for a great-running driver that is a prime, deserving candidate for a full concours restoration: complete in all the important respects, documented provenance, no rust or rot, lots of period spares and accessories including a rare top...

I'm biased of course, because I obviously paid more than the offer the owner turned down in the video segment. But I think that while the offer by Mark Hyman was a reasonable 'wholesale' price, the owner was justified in waiting for a 'retail' buyer.

There are only 30 or so L-head Raceabouts, and they just don't change hands much. I'm very happy with the car!

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