1965 Mercer-Cobra Roadster is expected to fetch between $800,000 – $1,2 million when it goes under the hammer at RM Monterey Auction on August 20, 2011. This rare car is the work of automobile designer Virgil M. Exner and son, and has been given a modern interpretation of a Mercer Raceabout, built by Carrozzeria Sibona-Basano on Cobra chassis.
Some eleven different materials, alloys and finishes were employed in both the interior and exterior to demonstrate the diversity of copper and brass. For practical purposes, brass and copper elements were covered with an acrylic coating to prevent discoloration and exterior moldings made of silicon bronze. Interior trim, seat backs, door panels and dashboard gauges are executed in copper while a high-strength chromium-copper alloy is used in the steering-wheel spokes. The 16-inch wire wheels have multi-piece brass covers.
Finished in pearl white with black leather interior trim and a full-width curved Plexiglas windscreen, the Mercer-Cobra was toured throughout the world at shows and technical gatherings to promote copper and brass use and adaptability, making appearances on six continents.
1965 Mercer-Cobra Roadster was purchased by concept-car collector Joe Bortz in the early 1970s and was later owned by collectors Jim Southard, Al Wright and Tom Barrett. It has been owned by the Lyon family since 1989 – over 20 years. [RM Auctions]