The Mercer Raceabout, born in 1911, stands as irrefutable proof that the sports car concept originated in the United States. Boasting a thundering T-head 4-cylinder engine, standard exhaust cutout, and rudimentary seating for a driver and passenger, it was the first car series built for speed and racing triumphs.
The Roebling brothers, aided by engineer Finley Robertson Porter, crafted around 800 Raceabouts between 1911 and 1915, allowing customers to seamlessly transition from factory to racetrack with promising chances of victory. Racing legends like Barney Oldfield and Ralph de Palma embraced Mercers, contributing to their racing legacy.
In 1915, Mercer introduced Deiling-designed L-head fours, evolving the Raceabout with a 298 cubic-inch side-valve 4-cylinder engine. The redesigned body enhanced protection from the elements, featuring sides, fenders, and a full-width flat glass windshield. Beyond the Raceabout, Mercer offered the ‘Sporting,’ an elegantly advanced sports touring car. Despite shifts in ownership, Mercer’s commitment to performance endured, leaving an indelible mark on the American sports car landscape.