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21raceabout

9th Annual Mercer Associates Meeting at Hershey - New Location

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The 9th annual Mercer Associates meeting will take place at Hershey Fall Meet on Thursday, October 10th, at 3pm in the Red Field spaces RWN/RWM 20-25.  As in the past, the meeting is an informal gathering for owners of Mercer automobiles and honorary members of the Mercer Associates.  Looking forward to catching up with all of you on the news from the past year.

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I came upon this photo of my Grandfathers Mercer Runabout. Has a 1917 New Jersey plate on it. Does anyone have any insight to this car. I still remember him talking about it as his pride and joy.

Thanks,

Doug Montagna

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The photo is of  a Mercer Raceabout with a 300 cubic inch 4 cylinder "T" head engine (intake and exhaust valves operate vertically on opposite sides of the cylinders).  The Runabout model was a bit more "civilized" with a cowl and doors.  The Raceabout of this vintage is highly coveted by enthusiasts today and is one of, it not the most valuable cars of this era.  The Raceabout was, as apparent by the photo, a very racy affair, low slung and powerful, that most experts consider to be America's first sports car.  Owners could take their new Mercer off the showroom floor, remove the fenders and go racing with the expectation of winning - just as your grandfather appears to have done.  The grandfather of former NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon ran his Raceabout known at the "Gordon Special" in races on the West Coast.   It's designer, Findley Porter, once said that "we built racing cars for the street".   It was hand built in Trenton NJ by the Mercer Automobile Company which was backed by the Roebling (Brooklyn Bridge fame) and Kuser families.   If you have any other pictures or memorabilia I'm sure we would all like to see it. 

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Great picture with lettering on bottom right identifying it as a 1911 Mercer. Some modifications have been done including removal of cowl lamps, addition of what appears to be electric lights and perhaps a battery box on running board. Can't see any pumps on passenger seat which is strange. The stern looks of the occupants  are perhaps indicative of a windy ride that will surely change their neat attire and hair. Based on existing 1911 Mercers, this one , unfortunately, is not a survivor.

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