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Lot 681: 1922 Mercer Series 5 70hp Super Tourer

Collectors' Motor Cars and Motorcycles, Bonhams (3 December 2007)

Named after Mercer County in New Jersey, where their automobiles were produced in the former Walter plant on the banks of the River Hudson at Trenton from 1910, Mercer became one of the two most celebrated American sporting marques of the period, the Type 35 Raceabout sharing the trophies with the Stutz Bearcat. After huge backing from the wealthy Roebling family, who had built the Brooklyn Bridge but whose Washington A Roebling went down in the Titanic in 1912, there was a change of ownership in 1919, when the Mercer Automobile Company became Mercers Motors, and car production ended in 1925.
This Mercer, a Series 5 with Super Tourer accommodation for up to five on artillery wheels would have cost the first owner a princely $4000 when new in 1922, more than ten and a half times the price of a Ford Model T. Having been preserved within the collection of Michigan lumber man Barny Pollard for more than 60 years, this early example of a American ‘Power Car’ has been in receipt of restoration which, claims the vendor, has been sympathetically carried out whilst maintaining originality. He believes that the left-hand drive car, which could well be unique in Europe, is still to original factory-supplied specification and is likely to have done only around 32,000 miles from new.
The rakishly low coachwork has been repainted in factory-correct Mercer Green No 82 over black, the upholstery is in black leather and the calorimeter/mascot is adorned with geographically-appropriate Statue of Liberty. With long-stroke, L-head, 4-cylinder motor of 4846cc capacity and 4-forward gears, the Mercer will reportedly pull away from 300rpm and, with a claimed 72bhp at 2500rpm, both performance and handling are said to be comparable to a Bentley 3-Litre or any of the other ‘Big Four’ Tourers from Continental mainland rivals Horch or Adler. Paperwork with this Historic Vehicle tax disc eligible 1920s American includes an MOT Test Certificate, valid until 12 March 2008, and a VSCC Eligibility Document number 21515 to enable a new owner to enjoy a full calendar of events.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motor Cars and Motorcycles
Bonhams, Olympia, London,
Lot Number681
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration numberBS 9704
Chassis number18490
Engine number6397
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors