Copper and Brass take center stage on the 1965 Mercer Cobra Roadster.
A much-travelled one-off custom speedster is about to head up for auction in Monterey. The 1965 Mercer Cobra Roadster is described as 'based on a Mercer Raceabout' and was designed by Virgil M. Exner and his son. The intention of the Cobra was to show off the use and adaptability of brass and copper and it has served its purpose well. The Cobra has appeared on six continents at gatherings of car enthusiasts and auto shows.
The Cobra Roadster was built by Carrozzeria Sibona-Basano who used eleven different materials including alloys and finishes aimed to show off the diversity of applications of both copper and brass. The brass and copper components on the Cobra are covered with acrylic coating to prevent damage and discoloration. On the exterior, brass tunnels house the taillights. A pearl white paintjob gives the Cobra a classic look which contrasts neatly with the black leather interior. The interior trim along with the seatbacks and door panels were built with copper. The dashboard gauges sit in a copper housing.
The steering wheel was made with a strong chromium-copper alloy while brass makes up the 16-inch wheels. Designer Virgil M. Exner told RM Auctions: "Our overall aim was to create an interesting and stimulating design rather than one which simply follows the 'formula' of a flat, low snout with a horizontal air scoop and a squared-off bobtailed rear." The 1965 Mercer Cobra Roadster is set for auction on August 20th at Monterey. The Cobra is expected to go somewhere in between $800,000 and $1.2 million. Photos courtesy of RM Auctions.