Nov 26 2011

Film “The Greatest Vintage Automobile Event Ever Held on Long Island”

In my opinion, the greatest vintage automobile event ever held on Long Island occurred on October 9, 1954 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Vanderbilt Cup Race. The event was organized by Long Island Old Car Club and the Mineola Fair and Industrial Exposition.


Highlights of the celebration have been made available through the courtesy of Walter McCarthy, who supplied  a Long Island Old Car Club film, and Jerry Helck, Peter Helck's son, who provided rare photos from the Helck Family Collection.

The celebration featured multiple events including (Note the location of the event in the film):

-A parade of over 70 vintage cars built before 1924 over the original 1904 Vanderbilt Cup Course (0.12 to 4:57)


-Peter Helck's "Old 16" Locomobile which won the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race (6:33 to 7:10)








-The Vanderbilt Cup trophy on loan from the Smithsonian Museum (5:04 to 6:17)









-The appearance of five Vanderbilt Cup Race participants; driver George Robertson (left) and his mechanician Glenn Ethridge (right). An above, driver Joe Tracy (right) and his mechanician Al Poole (center)and driver George Arents, Jr.(left). ( 5:48 to  6:13)  and (6:33 to 7:10)





-A lunch at The Garden City Hotel, the headquarters for the Vanderbilt Cup Races held on Long Island from 1904 to 1910. (4:59 to 6:19)





-A parade at the Mineola Fair held in 1954 at Roosevelt Raceway (9:42 to 10:04)






This is my ten-minute film  of "The Greatest Vintage Automobile Event Ever Held on Long Island". Many of the vintage cars have been identified with the assistance of Walter McCarthy:




Links to related posts on

The 50th Anniversary of the First Vanderbilt Cup Race on October 9, 1954

1954 50th Anniversary of the First Vanderbilt Cup Race Brochure

Archives: Vanderbilt Cup Race Centennial and Anniversary Events

Driver Profile: George Hepburn Robertson

Driver Profile: George Arents Jr.

Archives: Joe Tracy

Archives: Old 16 Locomobile

Archives: Vanderbilt Cup Trophy

Index: Archives on

Archives: Monthly Highlights (2008-2011)


Nov 26 2011 Howard Kroplick 11:42 PM

From Ramona:
“Great footage. I enjoyed it. My grand daddy serviced Ward Melville’s vehicles back in the day. Thanks for sharing !”

Nov 27 2011 jeremy Rosenblad 3:12 AM

Wonder how many of those old cars are still around esp the 1897 Delahyde Brake and the early 1909 Mercedes.

Some of the other cars that were not tagged looked familiar though id need to go through some pricing and manufactures catalogs to track them down. Thankfully you can do this easily on Google since they digitized alot of early books.

Nov 27 2011 Walter McCarthy 8:22 AM

Hi Howard, Great job on the 1954 film!  All captions were correct as noted in the program, but it should probably be noted that Austin Clark owned 8 or 10 of the cars at the event.  He would loan cars to employees and friends for special events to make the event more successful.  Regards,  Walter Mc

Nov 27 2011 Howard Kroplick 9:55 AM


I was thinking the same thing when putting the film together. Where are these cars 57 years later?

I also notices that the spectators’ cars parked on Jericho Tunpike are now highly collectible!


Nov 27 2011 Howard Kroplick 10:02 AM


Thanks again for the film and your assistance in identifying the cars.

Which of the cars were owned by Austin Clark but were listed under employee’s or friend’s names? The 1915 White Calliope was ccertainly one. Right?


Nov 27 2011 penny 12:21 PM

Bravo Howard. Job well done. Wonderful film.

Nov 27 2011 Howard Kroplick 11:29 PM

From Catherine B:

“Well, Howard, what a fine movie you have put together about the 1954 commemoration ! Amazing. 
Also very interesting to read about the Jericho meeting and the doctor’s armband and family.

Nov 28 2011 Jerry Shapiro 12:53 AM

Hi Howard, I really enjoyed your film. Thank you.

Dec 06 2011 Linda Jones 7:13 AM

Howard great job on the film where are some of the European cars that were in the race?

Mar 07 2013 Howard Kroplick 5:24 PM

From Darby Mack:
“George Arents was my Great grandfather good stuff.”

Leave a Comment