Vanderbilt Cup Races Centennial Celebration

The fifth annual Centennial Celebration of the Vanderbilt Races scheduled for Sunday, October 19, 2008

In the spirit of England’s Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Pebble Beach Concours, this year’s Vanderbilt Races Celebration will again be held on the grounds of Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn, New York. The races will feature timed demonstration runs, among many other celebrations of the original race and the Vanderbilt family.

Original Vanderbilt Cup Races
At the turn of the 20th century the superiority of European automotive craftsmanship cast a long shadow over America’s fledgling car industry. To encourage American automobile manufacturers to challenge European quality, 26-year old William K. Vanderbilt Jr., heir to a railroad fortune and a pioneer race car driver, organized America’s first international road race, modeled after those held in Europe. He donated the Vanderbilt Cup, which was awarded to the winner of the race. The six Vanderbilt Cup Races held on Long Island from 1904 to 1910 were the greatest sporting events of their day. These colorful, exciting, and dangerous races drew huge crowds from 25,000 to over 250,000 spectators.

A total of 84 drivers participated in the six Vanderbilt Cup Races held on Long Island from 1904 to 1910. American-born drivers accounted for 71% of the participants and 4 victories. French drivers made up only 10% of the participants but won 2 races. George Heath, born in the USA, won the 1904 Vanderbilt Cup Race for France in a Panhard. The most successful driver was American Harry Grant who won the two races that he entered in an Alco (1909 and 1910). Louis Chevrolet, whose name would eventually become one of the most famous brands in American car history, entered the most Vanderbilt Cup Races of any driver. His highest finish in four races was 10th in the 1905 race.

Vanderbilt Cup Races Centennial Celebration
Now, in a unique setting reminiscent of the early 20th Century, 100 years of automotive evolution will be celebrated with Timed Demonstration Runs for cars with a racing heritage and Concours de Provenance for vehicles with unusual history or significance.

An exhibition of Vanderbilt Cup Race paintings, “Vanderbilia” and films will be on display in the museum including the Tiffany plaque given to George Robertson- winner of the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race. Sponsors, vendors, competitors, car clubs and the public are invited to enjoy formal gardens and massive sculptures in rolling woodlands, just 20 miles from New York City.

The Vanderbilt events will begin at 9:00 am on Sunday, October 19 with Awards Ceremonies at 3:30 pm on the great lawn at the Frick Mansion. Spectators will be charged $10 per car for access to Vanderbilt events and the museum grounds.

Entrance to Nassau County Museum of Art is on the north side of Northern Boulevard, 1/2 mile west of Glen Cove Road.

For more information, visit Entrant inquiries, contact Guy Frost at (516) 621-2745; Public Relations inquiries, contact Cindy Meitle with CAR PR, USA at (480) 277-1864.

[Source: Vanderbilt Races Centennial Celebration]