Jul 28 2015

Henry Austin Clark, Jr. and the Motor Parkway: “one for the road” (Circa 1985)

Through the 1980s, Henry Austin Clark, Jr. had a regular column Nuts and Bolts in Old Cars Weekly. Around 1985, he wrote this article "one for the road" on the Long Island Motor Parkway.

The article is presented below with a few minor corrections.


Howard Kroplick

Note: This photo was taken on the Old Courthouse Road Motor Parkway Bridge in Manhasset Hills, looking west.

Note: Henry Austin Clark, Jr. drove on the Motor Parkway in 1929 at the age of 12.

Note: I do not believe the Nassau County Board of Supervisors banned racing on public roads in 1906.

In 1908, the western terminus of the Motor Parkway ended at Merrick Avenue.

In 1909 and 1910, the course for the Vanderbilt Cup Race was different than the 1908 course.

Note: The Motor Parkway closed on Easter in 1938.

"As time goes by there are fewer people who remember the world's first limited access automobile road."

Join the 290 members of the Long Island Motor Parkway Preservation Society to help keep thehistory of the Motor Parkway alive!


Aug 02 2015 gene martin 11:12 AM

I worked for austie for four years at the museum when it opened,he knew his old cars no doubt,but i never saw him work on one! i was with him in the 1911 mercer at the bridge in 1950’ we are in the program.im told the mercer went to auction and sold for 2.3 mil but didn’t meet the reserve.i think austie’s son still has it.

                                                Gene Martin

Aug 02 2015 Roger A. Price 12:02 PM

Thanks for all that good stuff about Austin Clark.  I have fond memories of Austin and his museum in Southampton.  I used to visit there whenever I could.  He could be seen in his coveralls working on the cars.  The auctions were fascinating too.  Thanks again.

Aug 02 2015 Phil Alderman 4:02 PM

Hi Howard,

Austin Clark’s column in Old Cars was headlined, “Young Nuts and Old Bolts.” I have suggested to a number of people that a book about Austin Clark, similar to the book, “For the Love of Old Cars” would make for great reading. And, half of the book could reprint all of his old articles for Old Cars. Young Nuts and Old Bolts was the first thing I would read when the new issue of Old Cars would arrive in the mail.

Happy to see your weekly emails again.

Best wishes,
Phil Alderman

Aug 04 2015 Howard Kroplick 11:28 AM

From Gary Hammond:

Did you know that at the “1986 IAMC [International Automotive Media Competition], held as Automotive Journalism Conference at the Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada” Clark’s article was the winner of the Imperial Palace MOTO Award for “Newspaper Writing - Column”.


PS We had a great time up in Oyster Bay - what a collection!

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