Local Real Estate Comments and Ramblings


1965 "Mercer" Cobra

1965 "Mercer" Cobra CSX 2451

  mercer cobra

From the time before I was born to about age 20 or so my dad had one of the finest car collections anywhere in the country.  Over those years I had the chance to see and drive many of the worlds most unique automobiles.  Without a doubt one of the most memorable was the "Mercer" Cobra.  AC Cobra chassis number csx2451

Mercer Cobra Interior   Mercer Cobra metal

The Mercer has been on my mind lately since it just sold at the RM Monterey Auction.  I have a link below to the RM site which has a ton of photos and very detailed history.  Here are the basics.   In the early 1960's famed auto designer Virgil Exner wrote an article and did 4 car designs for Esquire magazine.  The designs were his concept of what 4 classic American cars would look like if they were built at that time.  Stutz, Packard, Dusenberg, and the Mercer.

Mercer Raceabout
The brass era of automobiles.  Early 1900's Mercer Raceabout was the
original inspiration for the "Mercer" Cobra

The Copper Development Association saw the article and thought the the Mercer design would be a great way to showcase the use of their metals.  Think about the promo bikes that they build on "American Chopper" add two more wheels and put the whole thing on an the chassis of the most iconic car of the day, the AC Shelby Cobra, and this is what you get!


The car is longer and heavier than the standard 289 Cobra.  It does not have the speed or handling of the Cobra and wouldn't be expected to.  I think the fact that the car ran and drove at all was an afterthought.  This was built as a showpiece.  Some Cobra purists don't like the car because,well, it doesn't look like a Cobra.  Tough beans! It is an extreme design meant to capture the imagination and in no way was really meant to practical. The Mercer Cobra is without a doubt one of the most unique vehicles produced in the 60's and is a fantastic piece of Automotive history.

My opinion for  what its worth is that the $660,000 sale price was a bargain.  OK, for those of us who live in the real world, $660,000 for any car out is insane and saying $660,000 and bargain in the same sentence is nonsense.  However, in the collector car world where rare cars are treated as works of art I believe that the buyer got a great deal!

Ron Hudspeth

A very young me along with Atlanta newspaper columnist Ron Hudspeth and the Mercer Cobra
Notice the retractable headlights are open for this pic. You can tell by the hair and fashions this was definitely the 70's

Mercer Cobra
That me standing by the left front fender with my hand in my pocket...

Every once in a while I write about the James Southard Collection.  Dad had some great cars it brings back great memories for me.  I have even had a few current owners of some the cars contact me and share current photos.  So if you are a current owner or historian with one of his former cars feel free to contact me!

Cobra, Shelby,duesenberg,Bugatti,delage,aston-martin,lagonda,rolls royce, hispano suiza, issotta franschini, Bentley, Alfa romeo, jaguar




Bob Southard
Broker - Owner  Atlas Realty Service LLC #75911
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Comment balloon 2 commentsBob Southard • September 08 2011 10:23AM


Hi Bob - thanks for a great post, awesome links and really interesting history. It took me back to some really fun times in my young adulthood, obsessed with cars and doing a bit of SCCA racing. I vaguely remember the Mercer Cobra - what a beauty!
Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) almost 9 years ago

Wow, great looking car and very informative post. Car made out of copper. Anything to prove the value of their product.

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) almost 9 years ago

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