`22 Mercer Raceabout: The First American Sports Car!

November 1st, 2023

I was recently engaged to appraise this very rare 1922 Mercer Raceabout. The vehicle has been owned by the same family for over 70 years, but it has sat unused in a barn since 1975. Period photographs suggest that the vehicle was “restored” in the late 1940s. It was also driven on the “Glidden Tour” in the early 1950s, which continues to be one of the most prestigious touring events in American automobile history. The Raceabout is considered by many antique automobile historians to be the first American sports car and it was in production from the 1911 through the 1922 model years. An expensive vehicle built in very limited quantities, the Raceabout was known for its powerful four cylinder engine, four speed manual transmission, staggered two-place seating, open body with no top, and race-winning reputation. Throughout the model run, no more than 150 Raceabouts were built per year. However, given that 336 Mercers of all six body styles/types were assembled in 1922, it is estimated that only 30 to 40 of these examples were Raceabouts.