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Mercer Type-35J Raceabout, Chassis 1194

Mercer Type 35J Raceabout, Chassis 1194.  2005 Monterey Historic Automobile Races, by Wouter Melissen - Ultimatecarpage.com

The Mercer Type 35 Raceabout was considered to be America’s first sports car. Back in the day, a Mercer Raceabout could be taken from the showroom to the racetrack where it could generally beat all competitors.

Mercer built approximately 150 J-35 models between 1911-1914 in Trenton, NJ. In 1914, the car sold for $2,600. Today the remaining Mercer Raceabouts are considered among the most desirable of all brass-era cars.

This car is powered by a side-valve, T-Head, smooth running, 4-cylinder engine coupled to a four-speed transmission. The surprisingly quiet four-cylinder engine was the work of Finlay Robertson Porter, a gifted automotive engineer with a need for speed. An oil-immersed multiple-disc clutch enabled unusually smooth gear-shifting for this era. The 300 cubic-inch engine developed 50 horsepower and has a top speed of 75 mph. To improve the vehicles handling characteristics, the drive was placed low in the frame.