May 22 2017

Mystery Foto #20 Solved:A 1905 Meeting at William K. Vanderbilt, Jr.‘s Deepdale Estate Updated: 5/23

This weekend's Mystery Foto documented a Long Island meeting.

Mystery Foto questions:

  • Where was this meeting held?

Deepdale Estate in Lake Success.

  • Link the meeting site to the Vanderbilt Cup Races and/or the Long Island Motor Parkway.

The home of William K. Vanderbilt, Jr.

  • Identify one or more vehicles in the parking lot and its owners.

The racer (second from the right) was a Mercedes owned by Willie K.

As noted by the observant eye of Frank Mendyk, the automobile (on the far right) may have been  a tow car for Willie K's racers.

  • Did any of the vehicles participate in a race? If so, which race?

The Mercedes racer particpated in the 1905 Ormond-Daytona Automobile Races.

  • What year was the Mystery Foto taken? Provide a rationale.

1905 based the caption and the presence of the 1905 Mercedes racer.

Comments (7)

Congrats and kudos to Steve Lucas, Frank Mendyk, Greg O., and Ariejan Bos (see Bos' Bonus) for identifying the Deepdale Estate in Lake Success and recognizing Willie K's Mercedes Racer that he drove in the 1905 Ormond-Daytona Automobile Races.


Howard Kroplick


1905 Dated Mystery Foto. Courtesy of the book Eagle's Nest-The William K. Vanderbilt II Estate by Stephanie Gress.

Deepdale Estate, Lake Success, New York

Note: Deepdale's matching window arches with the Mystery Foto.

A 1927 aerial of the Deepdale Estate.

Deepdale Mansion. Courtesy of the Great Neck Library.

Deepdale today. Courtesy of Dave Russo.

1905 #1 Mercedes Racer, Ormond-Daytona Automobile Races

Note: the hood markings match the Mystery Foto.

The only known film of Willie K. racing.

The Tow Car for the Mercedes Racer?

Note: the #1 on this possible tow car

The tow car looks similar to a CGV owned by either Alva Vanderbilt Belmont or Mrs. E.R. Thomas. Ariejan Bos notes:. An important difference is the fact that the Belmont car is bonnetless, whereas the car on the Deepdale photo isn't.

 The above images may also be the C.G.V. automobile owned by Mrs. E.R. Thomas. Motor, January 1906. Submitted by Ariejan Bos.

Bos' Bonus (Submitted by Ariejan Bos)

The Motor World 1905, Vol. 9, p 909


May 18 2017 Joe Oesterle 11:58 PM

Garden City Hotel.  Immediately following the 1906 Race.  Willie K is fed up, wants to build his own raceway.

May 21 2017 Karen 12:43 AM

I believe the cars are lined up in front of the Garden City Hotel.  I think that the board meetings of the Vanderbilt Cup Races were held there.  I can’t say I know much about the cars. 
Sorry I missed the car show today. 

May 21 2017 Art K. 7:33 AM

Garden City Hotel which served as the headquarters of the Vanderbilt Cup Races.
That’s Willie K’s 1905 90 hp Mercedes with the oversized shield over the dashboard.
Other vehicles might have been owned by Foxhall Keene, Robert Graves and John B. Warden of the German race team who were at the hotel for a redrawing of the race order. 
Willie raced his Mercedes in the 1905 Ormand Beach as #1.
Photo taken in 1905 as that’s when the redrawing took place. 

May 21 2017 Steve Lucas 9:02 PM

This meeting was held at “Deepdale”, the estate of the founder of the Vanderbilt Cup Races and builder of the Long Island Motor Parkway, William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. The light colored racer facing away from the camera could be Willie K.‘s 1905 Mercedes that he used in the 1905 Ormond-Daytona Races. If that’s true, then I’ll date the photo as 1905. Maybe the meeting is to discuss plans for that year’s Vanderbilt Cup Race.

May 22 2017 Frank Mendyk 1:28 PM

The location of the meeting was at William K. Vanderbilt"s Deepdale mansion.  The time of photo I believe is between 1904 and 1908.  The meeting was held due to the Vanderbilt Cup races or the cup race on the new parkway.  The race car is that of Willie K’s 1903/04 90 HP Mercedes.  The car was raced at Ormond Beach, Florida by Willie K on 1/27/1904 where he received the speed record at the time.  The vehicle on the right of the Mercedes was most likely Willie K’s support /tow vehicle due to the #1 painted on the right side.  This is the same number of his Mercedes when he raced at Ormond.

May 22 2017 Greg O. 5:44 PM

Unsure about this one and had a very busy weekend that kept me away from researching so I’ll just go off the cuff. (Thanks again for Sunday Howard!)

This looks to be Willie K’s Deepdale mansion in Lake Success. In fact, Willie K appears to be all the way in the background walking on the left, but the resolution isn’t good enough to confirm.
The only recognizable car without looking it up would be Willie K’s Ormond-Daytona Beach Races Mercedes (2nd from the right) which would also help dating this photo at 1905/06.

May 22 2017 Howard Kroplick 6:04 PM

From Ariejan Bos:

The Friday mystery was a bit of a challenge this time. This is what I could find, so I’m curious how close I am grin

The cars are parked in front of Deepdale Estate, built in 1902 for William K. Vanderbilt Jr. The moment of the photo must be somewhere early 1905: the second car is William Vanderbilt’s 90 HP Mercedes still in 1905 Ormond-Daytona racing trim. Although it was the same car in which he set several records at the 1904 Ormond-Daytona meet, he was not as successful in 1905 and didn’t win a race. According to The Motor World ‘his star was in descendency’.

The other cars from right to left: possibly a circa 1904 Mercedes coupe (or limousine: in these early years both names were used for this model); next two identical cars which could be 1904 De Dietrich’s; in the distance probably a 1904 Pope-Toledo with its characteristic body shape. Although William Vanderbilt bought a 40 HP De Dietrich during the summer of 1905, it can’t be one of the cars on the photo as this new type had a honeycomb radiator.
I have no idea about the meeting taking place, but it could be related of course to the Vanderbilt Cup races: all makes on the photo participated in the 1904 as well as the 1905 (and 1906) races.
Best wishes,

May 23 2017 Art K. 11:19 AM

I missed the location! Drats!  Shame on me!

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