Mercer Automobile Company was founded in 1909 at Trenton, Mercer County, New Jersey by a handful members of the prominent Roebling and Kuser families. Ferdinand Roebling, son of John A. Roebling, famous designer of the Brooklyn Bridge, was the president, and his nephew Washington A. Roebling II was the general manager. The secretary-treasurer was John L. Kuser, who, with his brothers Frederick and Anthony, had amassed a fortune from banking, bottling and brewing. The founders’ focus on the competition resulted in 35R Raceabout racing car. Its inline 4-cylinder T-head engine displaced 293 cubic inches (4,800 cc) and delivered 58 hp at 1700 rpm, in racing trim 85 hp at 2500 rpm. The Mercer Raceabout raced at various AAA events in 1910-1912 seasons. In the 1911 two yellow Mercers driven by Charles Bigelow and Hughie Hughes were entered for the inaugural Indianapolis 500 miles race. Hughes finished twelfth, Bigelow was flagged and classified 15th. Earlier that year Bigelow won the 1911 AAA season opener, Panama-Pacific road race in Oakland, California. Charles was also a travel writer and popularized the first road between Los Angeles and Salt Lake, giving it the name by which it was known for many years, The Arrowhead Trail. Built in various stages around 1910-1913, the route was proven definitely in 1915 when Bigelow drove the route repeatedly to publicize its viability. Between 1915 and 1916, he drove the entire route many times in the twin-six Packard he named “Cactus Kate.”

SeasonSeriesEvent
1911AAAIndianapolis 500
Driver No.Entrant
Charles Bigelow37Mercer Motors
Scale ManufacturerCollection
1:43Brian Phipps
Cat. No.QualityRarity