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Image result for mercer race car 1917 | Cycle car, Car racer, Racing

 

One article states only about a dozen authentic pre 14 Mercers have survived to this day. It would be interesting to know what the authors definition of authentic is but I would think some known provenance would provide authenticity. Which begs the question, how many non-authentic pre 14 Mercers are out there? And what are  their stories

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3 hours ago, AHa said:

Image result for mercer race car 1917 | Cycle car, Car racer, Racing

 

One article states only about a dozen authentic pre 14 Mercers have survived to this day. It would be interesting to know what the author's definition of authentic is but I would think some known provenance would provide authenticity. Which begs the question, how many non-authentic pre 14 Mercers are out there? And what are  their stories?

 

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They are possibly meaning Mercer  " Raceabouts "specifically . It has long been suggested that a number of todays raceabouts started life as other less sporting models .

Same situation with Stutz Bearcats.

 

Greg

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For those who don't know, this is Peter Helck's car. He no longer owns it of course but the new owner has kept the patina. The car was repainted in the early 40s as I understand it. The specs for the Mercers is 4.43 x 5 B&S with a compression ratio of 7 to 1 from the factory, rated at 60 hp according to a Hemmings Article.

Ferdinand W. Roebling Sr. | Hemmings

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70+ Best Racing before WW I. images in 2020 | racing, race cars, vintage  racing
 
 
 
 
 
I wanted to revisit this car, which was posted earlier. I wish I knew how to enlarge it and repost it, maybe one of you guys can. The car though, is an underslung chassis. I didn't notice that before and the right front spring is out of its housing. I can't find any information on what kind of car it is but it appears to be a 1907 American. If so this is a very rare car.
 
This may be the same car.
44 Underslung Photos and Premium High Res Pictures - Getty Images
 
And this colorized version is from The Vanderbilt Cup website.
2015-12-02_22-47-22_edited-1sssss.jpg

image.jpeg

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The car below is identified as a 1907 Acme on the web but I can't find any pictures of an Acme with an underslung chassis so I am relatively sure this is a 1907 American Traveler, 50 hp car. And I am pretty sure it is the same car pictured above.

1907 Acme Model 16 50 hp Runabout specifications, fuel economy, emissions,  dimensions, power, torque

Luckily we have the F.C. Deemer honeymoon car to compare it with.

 

Back to back: 1907 American Underslung vs 1907 Renault - PreWarCar

There are four exhaust holes in the side of the hood to correspond with the four exhaust openings of the above car. The race picture above also shows the crank handle support indicative of the American as you can see in the picture below.

 

1909 American Underslung Traveler | Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum

You can also see the front of the springs is held by a shackle, so the spring is not out of its housing above, it is held by its shackle. Very interesting. The car also has the same front axle.

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Here is a map of the route that the Vanderbilt Cup Race in its first year of 1904 took that was reprinted by the Long Island Old Car Club . The L.I. OCC was a local group of enthusiasts of cars of pre WWII era more specifically 1935 or earlier. Most of the cars used by members for the events and celebrations were of the brass era. When the club was in existence as late as 1988 there would be anniversary celebrations of the Vanderbilt Cup Races - 50th, 55th, 60th, 80th etc and all would be driving events to try to cover parts of the original route of the races that were still there. The last major anniversary run and following dinner was in 1988 and 1938 was the cut off date for cars invited to attend, it celebrated the 80th anniversary of the 1908 race when Locomobile won that race ( and the car that won the race was in attendance) For that anniversary there were 100+ pre 1938 cars in attendance , the newest was a 1938 Packard conv coupe. I was active on the committee that organized the anniversary runs and dinners as was Austin Clark, Bill & Pat Tyrrel, Joe Bowra, and Joe and Mary Wulfkin..

vanderbiltracecourse1904001.jpg

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typo, name addition (see edit history)
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Here are the two 1906 Locomobile race cars pictured together at a race camp preparing for the American Elimination Trials. Both were numbered 12 at this time but in 1908, in the Vanderbilt Cup Race, one was numbered 16, with the other carrying the number 1. They were said to be identical cars  but had slight cosmetic differences. Both cars remain today, the number 16 largely unrestored and displayed in a museum and the number 1 restored and in private hands. The history of both cars is well known. The number 16 of course, won the 08 Vanderbilt Cup Race with the number 1 car placing second. It is amazing to realize Locomobile took first and second place in this historic race. This was the first time an American built car won a race against European cars.

image.png.814c93f7b2d1a1afa49c3085ba012d0c.png

 

These two cars were special built race cars, not production model cars, for modified racing. There were several categories of racing in the early days and cars were grouped together in what was considered to be fair races. The cars were mostly divided by cubic inches. The Vanderbilt Cup, referenced in this post and the one above, was mostly about who could build the greatest race car.

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In 1908 Locomobile also stripped down two stock model "40" cars and won the Fairmount park race. Below is Joe Florida in the losing car. This car came in 9th. George Robertson was the driver of the winning car.

Picture-21.png

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Here's another view of this unique race car. I'm not knowledgeable enough to be certain, but this might be 999. It was said there were no springs on this car but you can clearly see springs on the front axle. I find the truss rod under the frame most interesting.

image.png.dafb800168ddb45dee4139c7b4dfa3dc.png

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This car is a six cylinder racer. The original 999 was built and wrecked and rebuilt and altered and sold and altered and altered. But it was always a four cylinder car, as was its twin, the 'Arrow'. Both cars seem to look different in almost every original era photo, and there is even some confusion over which car was which from time to time. Around 1906, Henry Ford started tinkering with a six cylinder idea, building this prototype engine and pushing the model K into production. I believe this may be that first Ford six cylinder car. It was at sometimes called the "new 999", so calling it the 999 may not be wrong. Not many photos exist of the car in its early form. Its racing history was very short. I think it may have only completed one or two showings. Frank Kulick was finishing up a practice run in preparation for a big race when something went wrong, a wheel or tire failed and Frank with the car went over a berm and though a fence at a very high rate of speed! Except for the engine, the car was almost totally destroyed. Frank was thrown a considerable distance and barely survived!

This was the famous race/run of legend where no ambulance was available, and Henry Ford borrowed (?) a nearby new model K six cylinder car, nearly destroyed the rear seat to make a bed and transport his good friend Frank Kulick to the nearest hospital! Frank was saved, but walked with a limp for the rest of his life.

Henry Ford swore off racing forever, not the first time, and wouldn't be the last. A couple years later, Frank asked Henry to rebuild the six cylinder race car. So, the car was rebuilt around the engine that had been left in a corner of a storage room at the Ford factory. It again wasn't raced very much, and was soon replaced by the model T based racing cars around 1910 through '12. The rebuilt car exists to this day in the Henry Ford museum, however, last I heard, is not on public display. There have been recent photos of the car posted in recent years on the MTFCA forum. I may need to go look for them?

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That frame does not appear strong enough to carry the weight of that motor. Notice the truss rod between the two front wheels.

434385.jpg

Evidently, as with Ford's other race cars, this car was remodeled many times during its short tenure. The motors and chassis were changed so much they can hardly be viewed as the same car. The car above certainly appears similar to the first picture I posted but may be a variation. The motors evidently ranged from 406 ci to over 1000 ci.

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Evidently, Ford entered the 6 cylinder racing circuit in 1904, 2 years before the model K Ford came out, but later put a model K motor in a similar chassis. From a historical perspective, the 1904 car had nothing to do with the model K Ford but through the years, things became more muddied. Similarly, the nomenclature, 666, may or may not have been used with this car.

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