Jul 21 2015

Mystery Foto #29 Solved: The 1908 Briarcliff Trophy Race

These four photos from an unknown family scrapbook were taken during a 1908 race held in New York.

Mystery Foto questions:

  • Identify the race

The 240-mile Briarcliff Trophy Race held on April24, 1908

  • Where was the race held?

The race was held over a 30-mile Westchester course. The race was won by Louis Strang in a Isotta-Fraschini.

Photos of the Briarcliff Trophy Race from the Detroit Public Library

  • Identify the drivers and manufacturers for the #12 and #20 cars.

#20: Benz driven by Louis Bergdoll

#12: Thomas driving by Montague Roberts

Other cars/drivers identified by Ariejan Bos

#15: Panhard & Levassor drivn by George Robertson

#5: Stearns driving by Frank Leland


Congrats to Ariejan Bos, Art Kleiner (see Kleiner's Korner), and Steve Lucas for correctly identifying the race, drivers and race cars.


Howard Kroplick

#20 Benz driving by Bergdoll

#12 Thomas drivng by Montague Roberts

#5 Stearns driven by Frank Leland

#15 Panhard &Levassor driven by George Robertson

Kleiner's Korner (Submitted by Art Kleiner)

New York Times, April 12, 1908

North Castle Historical Society, 1981

New York Times, April 15, 1908

New York Times, April 25, 1908


Jul 17 2015 Ted 1:07 AM

Wow what great photos. Recognize them all,but where is it is and what race was it is the big question? They were all in that area.Seen it so many times too,mind boggling,got to work it and maybe get the answers

Jul 17 2015 Ariejan Bos 3:47 AM

These photos were made during the Briarcliff Trophy race, held on April 24th 1908 on a 30 mile course in Westchester County, New York (track shown in the February issue of MoToR). The race was won by Louis Strang on Isotta-Fraschini. On the photos we see (from top to bottom): Bergdoll on Benz #20 (photo taken just before the Start-Finish line); Panhard & Levassor #15, driven by George Robertson; Thomas #12, driven by Montague Roberts; and finally Stearns #5, with driver Frank Leland. A large collection of Lazarnick photos of the Briarcliff races can be found in the digital collections of the Detroit Public Library (DPL).

Jul 17 2015 Michael LaBarbera 8:07 AM

No clue except the hilly terrain suggests the north shore of LI ?  However i would love to see a “Then and Now” on this if you can.  Mike

Jul 18 2015 Art Kleiner 7:35 AM

Kleiner’s Korner documentation sent to Howard
Identify the race - April, 1908 Briarcliff Trophy (A.R. Pardington was the associate referee)
Where was the race held? - Westchester County, NY Identify the drivers and manufacturers for the #12 and #20 cars.
#12 - Roberts/Thomas
#20 - Bergdoll/Benz

Jul 19 2015 Ted 2:28 PM

As I said before I do remember this,but confused where and what race it was.In searching,my best guess would be the Sweepstakes Race 1908,Woodbury Turn and it was held in Levittown

Jul 19 2015 Steve Lucas 4:09 PM

This might be the 240 mile Briarcliff Trophy Race held on April 27, 1908 in Briarcliff, NY. If so, then the #12 car is a Thomas driven by Montague Roberts and the #20 car is a Benz with Erwin Bergdoll at the wheel.

Jul 21 2015 Ted 12:35 AM

omg,was I wrong,but it looked so much like a Long Island race,I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought it was L.I.,Michael thought it was too

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