Oct 29 2018

Mystery Foto #43 Solved:#7 Chalmers at the Hicksville Road Turn During the 1909 Vanderbilt Cup Race

This weekend's Mystery Foto was a classic scene during a Vanderbilt Cup Race .

Answers to the Mystery Foto questions:

Identify the following:

  • The race and date of the photo.

The Vanderbilt Cup Race held on Saturday, October 30, 1909. Tomorrow is the 109th anniversaey of the race!

  • The race car, driver and mechanician.

The #7 Chalmers-Detroit drivem by William Knipper (driver) and Robert Muller (mechanician)

  • The location of the race car.

Knipper just left the Long Island Motor Parkway and turned onto a temporary banked road that connected to the Massapequa-Hicksville Road in Plainview.

  • The building on the right.

The Massapequa Lodge

What was the purpose of the sign on the left?

The banner alerted drivers that after completing their laps, they needed to continue on to the Bethpage Lodge, where their race cars were inspected.

Comments (12)

Congrats to Greg O., Brian McCarthy, Dick Gorman, Gary Cossabon, Tim Ivers, Art Kleiner (see Kleiner's Korner), Steve Lucas and Frank Femenias for correctly identifying the #7 Chalmers-Detroit during the 1909 race.

Kudos to Greg O. and Art Kleiner for identifying the purpose of the banner on the Long Island Motor Parkway.


Howard Kroplick




Kleiner's Korner (Submitted by Art Kleiner)

The Automobile, November 4, 1909

Holding the sign to a mirror reveals the copy:

"Exit for Contestants Finished"


Oct 25 2018 Greg O. 11:50 PM

-The race and date of the photo.
1909 Vanderbilt Cup Race
October 30, 1909

-The race car, driver and mechanician.
#7 Chalmers-Detroit (USA) driven by William Knipper. Finished 3rd. Led most number of laps. Developed oil problems during lap 20. Mechanician: Robert Muller

-The location of the race car.
-The building on the right.
The turn off the newly built Motor Parkway just after the Massapequa Lodge, headed toward Massapequa-Hicksville Road.

-What was the purpose of the sign on the left?
The banner read;  “Exit For Contestants” instructing drivers they were required to continue on the Motor Parkway to the Bethpage Lodge for an inspection after the racers finished their laps.

Oct 26 2018 John 7:56 AM

On the bank, between the Packard 30 and the Pierce-Arrow, is a car with louvers on *top* of its hood, which I’ve never seen ... anyone know what it might be?

Oct 26 2018 John 8:03 AM

Whoops, it’s not a Pierce-Arrow. To the right of the Packard I believe is a Peerless.

Oct 26 2018 Brian D McCarthy 3:16 PM

*Race & Date:  VCR 10/30/1909

*Car, Driver & Mechanician:  #7 Chalmers-Detroit ( USA ). William Knipper & Robert Muller. #3rd place for this race.

*Location of Race Car:  Their making the north turn towards Hicksville Rd. The curved temporary road links the LIMP & Hicksville Rd.

*Building on right:  Massapequa Toll Lodge

*Banner to the left:  Can’t make out all the words. Banner is above the LIMP continuing east. Perhaps it’s reminding the drivers to not continue eastbound on the LIMP and keep left to Hicksville Rd.

Oct 27 2018 Dick Gorman 10:42 AM

Mystery Foto #43… The photo is at the Vanderbilt Cup Race on October 30, 1909. Driver, William Knipper with mechanician, Robert Muller are in the # 7 Chalmers-Detroit racer. The location shown is Massapequa turn just after the end of the Motor Parkway portion of the course. Building on the right is Massapequa Lodge. The sign at the left marks the exit of Motor Parkway where the cars turn north bound to Massapequa-Hicksville road.

Oct 27 2018 Joe Oesterle 11:18 AM

I see the Massapequa Lodge sneaking into the right side of this picture.  The car is exiting the LIMP and heading north.  1909-1910.

Oct 27 2018 Michael LaBarbera 2:17 PM

Massapequa Lodge facing east, car turning onto the temporary road leading to Hicksville Road north on 107. Either 1909 or 1910 and I’ll bet its the Black Beast which I think won that race. Don’t know the driver but it definitely wasn’t Howard, who was probably too young to drive at the time….. : )

Oct 28 2018 Gary Cossaboon 8:08 AM

from your archives…
1909 VC race,  Oct.30, 1909
car #7 Chalmers-Detroit driven by William Knipper

love the challenges!
Gary C

Oct 28 2018 Tim Ivers 11:51 AM

Looks like the October 30th 1909 race at the Hicksville Road turn (Massapequa Lodge) in today’s Plainedge/Bethpage with William Knipper driving and Robert Muller mechanician .
The building is the lodge at that location and the turn was at the turn off from the concrete Motor Parkway to the northbound gravel Hicksville Road. The race was shortened in the 1909 and 1910 contests. The banner (sign) indicated an exit for contestants.

Oct 28 2018 Steve Lucas 3:44 PM

This photo shows the #7 Chalmers-Detroit with driver Billy Knipper and mechanician Robert Muller on October 30, 1909 during that year’s running of the Vanderbilt Cup Race. They are on the temporary road built to connect the LIMP with the northbound Massapequa-Hicksville Road with the Massapequa Lodge on the right. The sign reads “Exit for Contestants” and told the drivers they must leave the paved LIMP and take the temporary road to continue on the course.

Oct 29 2018 Art Kleiner 6:19 AM

The race and date of the photo. 1909 Vanderbilt Cup Race, October 30, 1930

The race car, driver and mechanician. #7 Chalmers-Detroit driven by Bill Knipper, mechanian, Robert Muller

The location of the race car.  Massapequa-Hicksville Curve - Intersection of Massapequa-Hicksville Road and the Motor Parkway.

The building on the right. Massapequa Lodge

What was the purpose of the sign on the left?  To notify the race drivers to exit onto the Motor Parkway via a temporary road after finishing their laps and go to the Bethpage Lodge to be inspected.

Oct 29 2018 frank femenias 2:39 PM

1909 Vanderbilt Cup Race looking west in Massapequa. The #7 Chalmers-Detroit driven by William Knipper (USA) with mechanician Robert Muller, has just left the Motor Parkway and is heading onto the temporary detour road towards Rt 107 North (Hicksville Road). The detour was put in just west of the Hicksville Rd parkway bridge. It was also used in 1910. Massapequa lodge in the background, future home of Motor Parkway police motorcyclist Thomas Zinzi, wife, and grandson Arthur Mauriello. I believe the banner was used to alert racers of the detour. Amazing this photo has survived 109 years!


Oct 30 2018 Brian D McCarthy 6:45 AM

Art - “The Automobile” image would be a tricky mystery foto minus the lodge building.

Oct 30 2018 John 12:32 PM

The car which I mis-identified as a Pierce Arrow is actually a Royal Tourist. Still not sure what the one with the louvers on the hood is.

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