A particularly exciting type of American car was the 1911 Mercer type 35 Raceabout. This was a medium-sized two seater which exposed the driver and his passenger completely, and from all directions. It had slightly fatter tyres
than were usual for the time which helped to give it a rather more purposeful and solid appearance. There was no real coachwork at all, except that the engine was covered by a bonnet held down by a smart leather strap. A cylindrical fuel tank was mounted transversely behind the two seats and two spare tyres
were carried at the back.
The small seats and the exposed driving position combined with a long, swept-back steering column to give the car a racy appearance. The only consideration made to personal comfort was an absurd monocle-type windscreen clamped to the steering column. This type of car, although popular in America, was never a great success in Europe. A similar car was the Stutz Bearcat speedster of 1914. This was the Mercer's greatest competitor although, with its distinctly more tidy look, it would have appealed to an appreciably different type of person.