Sep 07 2013

Images & a Trophy From the Greatest Vintage Car Event Ever Held on Long Island

The greatest vintage automobile event ever held on Long Island, in my opinion, occurred on October 9, 1954 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Vanderbilt Cup Race.  Pat Maz has forwarded two previously unpublished images of the event.



Howard Kroplick

 The 50th Anniversary celebration was organized by the Long Island Old Car Club and the Mineola Fair and Industrial Exposition. Events included participation of Old 16, veteran Vanderbilt Cup Race drivers and mechanicans, a parade of 78 vintage cars built before 1924, a lunch at the Garden City Hotel and another parade at the 1954 Mineola Fair.

The master of ceremonies for the event at the Mineola Fair was Henry Austin Clark, Jr. (right). Harold Kraft of Oyster Bay was holding a trophy presented to the Long Island Old Car Club. Nassau County Executive A. Holly Patterson was sitting to the left. Photo courtesy of Pat Maz.

Strange but true, I am the proud current holder of this trophy!

Henry Austin Clark, Jr. was seen showing an original 1904 time drop box to Vanderbilt Cup Race veterans Al Poole (center) and Joe Tracy (left). Photo courtesy of Pat Maz.

Highlights of the celebration were documented in this 10-minute film.  The film was made possible with the assistance of Walter McCarthy, who supplied  the Long Island Old Car Club film, and Jerry Helck, Peter Helck's son, who provided rare photos from the Helck Family Collection.


Sep 08 2013 p havard 7:08 AM

Thanks so much for the wonderful film. A great time capsule of people and cars.

Sep 08 2013 Guy Frost 1:28 PM

Absolutely the “coupe de coupe’ “.
Thanks to Jerry Helck and family plus Walter McCarthy, who still keep up the revs.  Bridgehampton Racing Heritage Group would like first dibs on a DVD copy for promotion of a future LI Motorsports Museum concept before its too late.

Sep 08 2013 Lou 1:36 PM

I 2nd that previous comment…..Really enjoyed that film….

Sep 08 2013 JeRita 7:14 PM

Howard another great piece of LI history that would have been lost without your dedication Thank You

Sep 09 2013 Ted 2:18 PM

Same here guys. Love that old time music

Mar 26 2020 Larry Trepel 1:52 AM

What a great film! Wonderful gathering of cars from a less hectic era on Long Island. I never knew Old 16 was owned by Peter Helck, such an extraordinary artist.

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