Celebrating the Spirit of Competition

Join us January 27th for Mercer Magic – a book signing with Clifford W. Zink

On Wednesday, January 27th, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m, the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum will host a book signing by Mercer historian Clifford W. Zink. Mercer Magic is the first complete history of the Mercer automobile. General Admission tickets to the event are $12 per person, and free for Simeone Museum members.

In the new book Mercer Magic, award-winning author and historian Clifford W. Zink tells the complete story of the Mercer automobile, built in New Jersey at the beginning of the 20th century and raced in competitions across the country in the days when car design was at the center of American technological innovation. Zink will give an illustrated talk about the history of the Mercer and sign copies of Mercer Magic.

The Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum will display its 1913 Mercer Raceabout Type 35J during the event. This car is a unique example of “America’s First Sports Car,” manufactured a century ago by the bridge-building Roebling family and are now highly prized by automotive connoisseurs.

Mercer Magic, the first “marque book” about the car, is published by the Roebling Museum, the industrial history museum located in historic Roebling, N.J. The book will be for sale at the Simeone Museum event. It can also be ordered on Amazon.com and by calling the Roebling Museum: 609/499-7200.

Mercer Magic tells the remarkable story of the Mercer Automobile Company, founded in New Jersey in 1909 by two industrialist families, the Roeblings and Kusers, to manufacture “a car in a class by itself.” In 1910, Mercer introduced its two-seater Raceabout, in its signature color canary yellow. Washington A. Roebling II, grandson of the Brooklyn Bridge builder, raced the Mercer in the international light car race in Savannah that year, just two years before he was lost in the Titanic disaster on his way home from a European driving tour.
Amateur and professional racers, including the notable “speed kings” Hughie Hughes and Ralph De Palma, won Mercer racing glory in numerous races across the country over the next several years, and a Mercer was the first American car to win the coveted American Grand Prize Race in 1914.

Mercer built about 5,000 distinguished cars during the company’s 15-year lifespan. The few that survive today are highly prized by private collectors and museums: in 2014 a Mercer Raceabout sold at auction for $2.5 million. Car aficionados have long recognized the Mercer Raceabout as America’s first sports car, and today it is a shining example of American ingenuity and style in the early years of the automobile industry.

Mercer Magic is a hardcover, full color book with 208 pages and 335 illustrations. Written with input from Mercer collectors, restorers, and descendants of the Kuser and Roebling families, and with new details on the car’s racing history, Mercer Magic is the definitive history of “America’s first sports car.”

Purchase Tickets:

About the Author:

Clifford W. Zink is a historian and preservationist and the author of five previous books including The Roebling Legacy, a history of the John A. Roebling’s Sons Company. which received a 2012 New Jersey Author’s Award from the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance, the History and Preservation Section of the New Jersey Library Association, and Special Collections and University Archives at Rutgers University Libraries.

About the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum

Since 2008, the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum has displayed the extraordinary 70-vehicle collection of racing sports cars assembled by Dr. Frederick Simeone, a retired neurosurgeon, in an 80,000-square-foot building in Philadelphia. In addition to the 1913 Mercer Raceabout, the collection includes Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, Corvette, Jaguar, Mercedes and other marques. For twice-a-month “Demo Days,” the cars are driven on the Museum’s grounds. Visit the Simeone Museum online at simeonemuseum.org

About the Roebling Museum

Opened in 2010, the Roebling Museum is an industrial history museum focusing on the engineering innovations of John A. Roebling, designer of the Brooklyn Bridge; the wire rope industry he founded; and the history of the company town of Roebling. The Museum is located in the former gatehouse of the John A. Roebling’s Sons Company steel and wire mill, which produced and erected the cable for the Golden Gate Bridge and the George Washington Bridge. Roebling Museum programming include a summer STEM camp for middle schoolers, Kids Create! engineering workshops, exhibits and public lectures. Visit the Roebling Museum online at roeblingmuseum.org

For more information contact:

Chris Webb, Simeone Foundation, 215.365. 7233
Varissa McMickens Blair, Roebling Museum, 609.499. 7200