Oct 22 2011

From the Noel Gish Collection: Postcards of the Vanderbilt Cup Races & Long Island Motor Parkway

Noel Gish has a collection of Long Island postcards which he used to help teach Long Island history to his classes at Hauppauge High School. Noel, now president of the Board of Trustees of the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum, has forwarded some of his favorite Vanderbilt Cup Races and Long Island Motor Parkway postcards:

1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race Grandstand

1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race Grandstand  A second look at this postcard of the Hempstead Plains grandstand south of the Motor Parkway indicates something is wrong. Cars in the 1908 race ran counter-clockwise, not clockwise as in the image.


 Flipping the image horizontally and the correct view is seen looking west.



   Two unidentified cars were battling on the Motor Parkway.



1908 Woodbury Turn

  This rarely seen postcard shows the Woodbury Turn on to Jericho Turnpike. The race may be the Motor Parkway Sweepstakes held two weeks prior to the Vanderbilt Cup Race in 1908.


 The Chalmers #J11 at the Woodbury Turn. Driven by W.R. Burns, this Chalmers won the 1908 Jericho Sweepstakes held prior to the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race on the same course.


Great Neck Motor Parkway Bridges

  "View Along the Long Island Motor Parkway. 1st Bridge After Great Neck."

This view is often identified as looking north at the New Hyde Park Road Motor Parkway Bridge. Al Velocci now believes this was Smith's Farmway Bridge located east of the Great Neck Lodge.  

 "View Along the Long Island Motor Parkway. Looking West Near Great Neck."

 Note the original wood posts marking the boundaries of Motor Parkway. The most likely identification for this highway bridge is Old Courthouse Road- one of two Motor Parkway bridges still standing in Nassau County. 

Massapequa Lodge


 The Massapequa Lodge was one of the three original toll lodges built in 1908 and designed by John Russell Pope- who later designed the Jefferson Memorial.


Nibbe Farmway Motor Parkway Bridge

  This is a view looking south  of the Nibbe Farmway Bridge under construction in 1908.



 "Motor Parkway Through Nibbe's Hollow. Central Park L.I."

 The completed Nibbe Farmway Bridge can be seen behind the trees.


Thanks, Noel for forwarding copies of the postcards! If you wish to share your collection on VanderbiltCupRaces.com, please send an email to me at [email protected].


Links to related posts on VanderbiltCupRaces.com and the Internet:

Archives: 1908 Motor Parkway Sweepstakes, Long Island, New York

Archives: Bethpage (Central Park)

Archives: Long Island Motor Parkway Toll Lodges

Index: Archives on VanderbiltCupRaces.com


Oct 23 2011 Thomas Abbe 10:08 AM

Howard, Thanks for sharing, we all saw the Ruxton being restored in Parker’s garage when Long Island Mini Enthusiasts stopped in on Spring Fling 2007. I did not know he died in April this year. The elegant Ruxton seems a fitting tribute to the man. Tom

Oct 28 2011 Joe Oesterle 1:31 AM

Dear Howard, I stopped the ROW near the Old Courthouse Rd bridge the other afternoon to compare the landscape.  I do believe the photo can be the same bridge.  I picked out the area where I believe the photographer would have been, and it is now thick brush.  But it was a bit disheartening.  I first found that part of the parkway when I was about 14 years old.  It was this beautiful remnant, where you could clearly see the parkway and it’s cement extensions (what I called the sidewalks) running up and over hills.  The LIPA trucks have left huge tire tracks of mud.  There was even a truck up there as I was walking around. 
I could never tell you enough how much I love your website.  Thanks for sharing so much.

Oct 31 2011 Howard Kroplick 11:14 AM

Hi Joe:

Old Courthouse Bridge is the only “highway” bridge (Motor Parkway goes under the bridge)that makes sense “near Great Neck”.

Thanks for the comment and feedback!


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