Apr 09 2016

Amazing Photos of the Alco Black Beast During the 1909 Vanderbilt Cup Race

Brandon Sails, Art Director for the Saratoga Automobile Museum, has forwarded these previously unpublished photos of the Alco Black Beast during the 1909 Vanderbilt Cup Race. The photos are courtesy of the Alco Historical & Technical Society.


Howard Kroplick

Old Country Road Turn in Westbury

Broadway in Hicksville

Winning the Race at the Start/Finish Line on the Long Island Motor Parkway


Apr 09 2016 Chuck Rudy 8:31 PM

Well done Brandon!  I’ve dealt with Brandon at the SAM several times.  Very devoted to automotive racing history, and automotive history in general.  If you’re every in the Saratoga Springs territory it’s worth a trip to the museum.

Apr 10 2016 frank femenias 12:36 AM

Awesome ‘new’ photos of the Bete Noir Beast. I believe these pics would’ve remained buried deep if not for this website’s exposure.  The last pic at the finish line used photography methods resulting in everything being reversed. Regardless, this new photo angle has prompted changes to come even closer to the Official Stand’s approximate length. The support beams now clearly appear to be closer to 8 foot centers instead of 12.5 centers as previous reported.

Apr 10 2016 frank femenias 12:46 AM

And any news on those bicycles leaning on the guardrail? They appear identical and to be motorcycles instead (for official use?), but I dont see the throttle on the handlebars

Apr 10 2016 Ron Ridolph 3:19 AM

Hi Howard:

    JUST   GREAT STUFF !!!!!!    Cheers and Best !!!!  Ron Ridolph

Apr 10 2016 James Spina 6:58 AM


Apr 10 2016 Roger Price 9:56 AM

Wow, how fortunate that those terrific photos of the Black Beast are available.  They’re incredibly sharp for their age.  I really enjoyed them.  Thanks for posting them.

Apr 10 2016 Ted 1:45 PM

You’re right about that Frank,are they bicycles or motorcycles and why are they their? Good for mystery weekend. Bicycle would’nt be very practible.

Apr 10 2016 Ted 1:53 PM

You’re right about that Rogerj

Apr 10 2016 S. Berliner, III 2:15 PM

WOW, indeed!  You must be thrilled!  Best detail on the mounting of the twin spares I recall seeing.  Thanks, Brandon!  O.K., HK, before and after - are any of those houses in Hicksville still around?  Sam, III

Apr 17 2016 Gary Hammond 9:58 AM

The 2 “bicycles” together appear to be 1909 Indian 5 horsepower twin light motorcycles.  Note the torpedo-style gas tank underneath the upper frame rail, and probably green factory paint with “Indian” logo in center of the tank.  The loop frame holding the engine was new in 1909.

Apr 17 2016 Rich 10:53 AM

... the best photos posted to date!

Apr 21 2016 R Troy 12:43 AM

We drove to Montreal a few months ago for a family event and stopped at SAM on the way home; what a great choice!  Really nice museum with a great collection.  I happen to work for Sears, and was surprised to find an early Sears car there in the collection.  And I was very surprised to see exhibits about Long Island there.

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