Mercer Magic: Roeblings, Kusers, The Mercer Automobile Company, and America’s First Sports Car

Trenton industrialists Ferdinand and Charles Roebling and Anthony and John Kuser founded the Mercer Automobile Company in 1909 to build “a car in a class by itself.” Mercer factory Raceabouts won many regional and national races culminating in Trenton native Eddie Pullen’s victory in the American Grand Prize Race in 1914. Amateur sportsmen driving their own Raceabouts won numerous local races around the country and made the stock Raceabout America’s first successful sports car. Mercer introduced “streamline” models in 1915 and built a total of about 5,500 cars before the factory closed in 1924. As a former employee noted, “Those cars sold as fast as we could make them.” Today Raceabouts and other Mercers are amongst the most highly prized antique automobiles in museums and in private collections, including several in New Jersey.

Clifford W. Zink

A computer projector is required for this program. Program not available in Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem, Sussex, or Warren Counties.

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