WHEN the Pebble Beach Motoring Classic starts on August 7, Johnny Crowell will don his leather cap and goggles and settle in behind the wheel of his 1925 Mercer Series 6 Raceabout, the last Mercer to exit the factory.
The Roebling family, with designer Finley Robertson Porter, debuted the Mercer Raceabout Type 35R in 1911.
The result was one of the most admired sports cars of its era: a stripped-down, two-seat speedster designed to be driven fast.
By 1925, they had perfected it; the Series 6 is the only model to be powered by a six-cylinder engine, and Crowell’s car, one of just two Series 6 Raceabouts in existence, is the only Mercer to have factory-installed four-wheel brakes.
“All the other Raceabouts went like hell but wouldn’t stop,” Crowell said.
“It was just made to race. It was the Ferrari of its day.”
In addition to Mercer, the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will feature Cars of the Maharajas, Saoutchik Coachwork, AC and AC (Shelby) Cobra, Fiat, Sport Customs and German Motorcycles.
Information and tickets at pebblebeachconcours.net.
It’s well worth the trip to California.