For the uninitiated, Jay Leno’s Storage is an online and TV collection wherein American comic and tv host Jay Leno, former host of the Tonight Present, performs stay classic-car and motorbike opinions out of his “Large Canine Storage” in Burbank, California. Just lately one in every of our readers noticed a Chelsea clock on Jay Leno’s Storage — in an episode that featured a 1913 Mercer Raceabout roadster. Chelsea started making car clocks a decade earlier round 1903, manufacturing top-of-the-line dashboard clocks for the likes of Rolls Royce, Packard, and Studebaker, amongst others.
The primary Mercer was in-built Trenton, New Jersey, in 1909, and was financed by the Roebling household — the identical household that designed and constructed the Brooklyn Bridge. By 1913 the Mercer had a four-speed gearbox, which helped it to succeed in speeds of over 80 miles an hour. Whereas most Brass Period efficiency cars had enormous our bodies and engines, Mercer used a a lot smaller powertrain on a stripped-down chassis. As Leno demonstrates in his storage, past the hood and fenders there was virtually no physique (“a chassis with fenders,” he calls it). Thus, its lightness and agility additionally aided in its comparatively unmatched velocity and precision.
“Imagine me,” says Leno as he whizzes down the freeway within the Mercer’s open cabin, “100 miles an hour on this seems like the tip of the world. I can’t think about what it felt like in 1913. The Mannequin T barely went 42 miles an hour — that was their high velocity. On this we hit just a bit over 100 [mph]. So this was just like the Ferrari Enzo or the Lamborghini of its day: Quick, gentle, agile, terrific automotive.”
“You realize lots of people prefer to name the Corvette ‘America’s first sportscar,’ however in plenty of methods, I believe this actually is,” stated Leno of the Mercer. “As a result of it really beats all of the vehicles of the day, not by sheer velocity and energy, however by a steadiness of energy and dealing with.”
Leno touched upon the Chelsea dashboard clock solely briefly, when acknowledging that a lot of the automotive’s parts had been nonetheless authentic: “There’s nothing fashionable about this automotive. We haven’t up to date it in any means. The one issues I’ve performed is… the Mercer race vehicles had monumental brake drums on the again. My good friend… placed on the unique model racing brake drum. However aside from that, that is how she would have left the manufacturing unit. Clock… speedometer… you may see the oil flowing,” he says pointing to the previous oil sight gauge.
In the event you spot a Chelsea drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. And don’t overlook to snap a photograph and tag us on social media. Bonus factors for utilizing hashtag #ispyachelsea!