Mercer was an American automobile manufacturer before World War II.
Washington Roebling was friends with William Walter, who had been making a small number of high-quality automobiles in New York City. The Kusers owned a vacant brewery in Hamilton, New Jersey, and brought Walter and his car factory there in 1906. However, Walter found himself deeply in debt by 1909, so the Roeblings and Kusers bought him out in a foreclosure sale. They changed the company name to Mercer, named after Mercer County, New Jersey. Talented designers and race drivers contributed to the new effort, and the focus became proving their product in competition.
The result was one of the most acknowledged sports cars of the decade; the 1910 Type-35R Raceabout, a stripped-down, two-seat speedster, designed to be "safely and consistently" driven at over (it was capable of over ). The Raceabout's inline 4-cylinder T-head engine displaced and developed . It won five of the six 1911 races it was entered in, and hundreds of racing victories followed. The Raceabout became one of the premier racing thoroughbreds of the era- highly coveted for its quality construction and exceptional handling.
In the 1914 road races in Elgin, Illinois, two Raceabouts collided and wrecked. Spencer Wishart, a champion racer who always wore shirt and tie under his overalls, was killed along with the car's mechanic, John Jenter. This prompted the company to cancel its racing program. The Raceabout's designer left the company that year, and subsequent designs did not live up to the glory and appeal the Type-35R had earned.
Earlier in February 1914, Eddie Pullen, who worked at the factory from 1910, won the American Grand Prize by racing for in a Raceabout. Pullen can be seen standing center (right of transmission) in photo. Harold Higgins (assistant machine shop foreman) stands at far left.
An independent effort to revive the marque in 1931 resulted in only 3 vehicles being constructed and displayed.