Aug 15 2016

Mystery Foto #33 Solved: Cornelius Vanderbilt IV, Donor of the 1960 Vanderbilt Cup Trophy

This weekend's Mystery Foto challenged you to identify this member of the Vanderbilt family.

Mystery Foto questions:

-Identify this Vanderbilt

Cornelius (Neil) Vanderbilt IV (1898-1974), the great-great-grandson of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt. His Vanderbilt claim of fame was that he was married to seven women over a 55-year period.

-How was he related to William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. ?

Cornelius Vanderbilt IV's grandfather Cornelius Vanderbilt II was the brother of William K. Vanderbilt, whose son was William K. Vanderbilt, Jr.  Accordingly, Willie K. was Cornelius' first cousin once removed.

  • Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt ( 1794-1877)
  • Cornelius (Corneil) Vanderbilt II (1843-1899), brother of William K. Vanderbilt (1849-1920) who was the father of William K. Vanderbilt, Jr.
  • Cornelius (Neily) Vanderbilt III (1873-1942)
  • Cornelius (Neil) Vanderbilt IV (1898-1974)

-How was he associated with the Vanderbilt Cup Races?

Cornelius Vanderbilt IV was the donor of the trophy for the 1960 Vanderbilt Cup Race. The race was officially called the Cornelius Vanderbilt Race.

-What year was this photo taken?

The photo was included in the below press packet for the 1960 race.


Kudos to Greg O. and Chuck Rudy for correctly identifying Cornelius Vanderbilt IV.


Howard Kroplick

Profile of Cornelius (Neil) Vanderbilt From the book "Commodore Vanderbilt and His Family"

Cornelius Vanderbilt Cup/1960 Press Packet

1960 Program Guide

This was the only mention of Vanderbilt in the program. The copy incorrectly stated that Cornelius was Willie K's nephew.

1960 Vanderbilt Cup Race

Cornelius Vanderbilt IV presenting the Vanderbilt Cup to the winner of the race Harry Carter.

Harry Carter and the Cornelius Vanderbilt Cup

Cornelius Vanderbilt IV makes an appearance at the end of this short newsclip.


Aug 13 2016 Chuck Rudy 11:54 AM

Cornelius Vanderbilt IV.  If I have it correctly “The Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt had two sons, William and Cornelius II…...Willie K is the son of William, Cornelius IV is grandson of Cornelius II… Willie K was IV’s great uncle? 

If I read correctly the Vanderbilt family was not too fond of Grace Wilson, who became III’s wife, but it appears only Willie K accepted her as part of the family.

“The Vanderbilt Cup would not return to the United States motor racing scene for more than twenty years. In 1960, sponsored by Cornelius Vanderbilt IV, it was run as a Formula Junior event and held again at Roosevelt Raceway. In 1965, 1967, and 1968, the Bridgehampton Sports Car Races were billed as the Vanderbilt Cup.” IV brought the third generation Vanderbilt Cup into existence after Willie K then William K’s nephew, George Washington Vanderbilt III, revived and sponsored a 300-mile (480 km) race at the new facilities at Roosevelt Raceway in ‘37 and ‘38.

He passed in 1974 and this photo appears to be late in life…...I would suspect perhaps 1974 is my best guess.

Aug 14 2016 Greg O. 10:58 AM

-Identify this Vanderbilt
-How was he related to William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. ?

Cornelius Vanderbilt IV, nephew of Willie K.

-How was he associated with the Vanderbilt Cup Races?

‘Sixteen years after William K. Vanderbilt II passed away in 1944 of heart failure, race promoters were still trying to leverage the legacy of his great race. On April 2, 1960 the New York Region of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) announced yet another “revival” of the Vanderbilt Cup.  This time, the Vanderbilt family member was 62 year old Cornelius Vanderbilt IV, author, newspaperman and a nephew of Willie K.

The race took place at the SCCA New York Region’s new road circuit on the Roosevelt Raceway’s grounds. The course utilized a portion of the parking facilities and access roads for a harness racing track. The 11-turn, 1.5 mile course included a straightaway nearly one half mile in length.’

-What year was this photo taken?


Aug 16 2016 Ted 1:46 PM

I gave it a try and was getting nowhere,so I gave up,it was too complicated for me,I did come across some of the names said,but didn’t know who was who.

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