"The Mercer Project"
The making of a "MERCER" model
|There is a story behind my decision to build a model
of the Mercer. My son who shares my interest for cars has in his
bookshelf the magnificent series of "Cars Collection". One day
he had put one of these books on his desk. I happened to open it and
found myself facing the famous U.S. roadracer Mercer T35 Raceabout.
mere sight of the picture of this marvellous car made me instantly
decide to build a model of it. At that very moment I don´t think I
quite realized the amount of work I would have to carry out for the
coming next years manufacturing every single part of a complete car
exept for the tyres and the spark-plugs !!
My local bicycle-dealer was able to supply me with
six exellent tyres 12 ½ inches in diameter. They set the scale to 40 %
of the original car. Thus the wheelbase of 106 inches became 106 cm in
my model and the track turned out 56 cm !
Since there were no drawings of the old Mercer
available I had to make a set of them myself ! I glued together sheets
of paper on a large desk and drew two circles with the wheel´s diameter
106 cm apart. Looking at pictures of the Mercer I could then draw the
side-view of the car.
I repeated the process for a top-view. With these
simple drawings I started the
|With the six tyres in my hand I found it a good idea
to start with the wheels. I made a pattern and had all six rims cast in
light-alloy. The wooden spokes were made of birch-wood. Since the Mercer
only has brakes on the rear wheels those spokes have a different design.
It proved quite easy to form them using a radius-mill on the
rotary-table. Click on the picture !
|Machining and drilling took considerable time. My
workshop looked like there was mass-production going on ! Here the
dividing head is used to bore the holes for fixing the spokes.
|The frame in milling process. It was made of
ordinary steel-tubing 20 x 40 mm. The bent-down forward parts were
hammered by hand over a 20 mm piece of profiled steel and then welded to
the front part of the frame. Note that the front springs have been
|Front axle in milling process. The axle has been cast
in light alloy. Note the front spring on the milling table.
Front axle with spring, steering arm
|Front and rear spring have been assembled and the
"Mercer" is for the first time on its wheels.
|Radiator, crank-case, gear-box, rear axle banjo,
running boards and rear fenders have been asembled.