May 12 2014

Mystery Foto #67 Solved: The First East-West Transatlantic Flyers Arrive in NYC in a 1928 Chrysler

My favorite co-author Al Velocci forwarded this week's Mystery Foto from the Peter Kanze collection.

Answers to the Mystery Foto questions:

-Identify the automobile

The car appears to be a 1928 Chrysler Crown sedan of the 72 series.

-What year was the photo taken?

May 1928, taken near the Queensboro Bridge

-How is this car associated with the Long Island Motor Parkway?

The Chrysler has a 1928 Long Island Motor Parkway license plate #789 .

-Bonus question: Who was in the car? Hint: The people are linked to an aviation achievement.

The passengers were the flight crew for the first successful East to West Transatlantic flight made from April 12 to 13, 1928.


On April 12, 1928 Baron Ehrenfried Guenther Freiherr von Huenefeld (a.k.a The Crazy Baron), Captain Hermann Koehl (Germany) and Major James C. Fitzmaurice (Ireland) left Baldonnel Aerodrome near Dublin, Ireland bound for Long Island City but landed in Newfoundland in their Junkers W33L monoplane named "Bremen 2504." Thirty six hours thirty minutes later on April 13, 1928 they crash landed on a frozen lake at Greenly Island, Newfoundland (off the coast of Labrador), successfully completing the first East to West transatlantic flight. The weight of their aircraft broke through the ice, partially sinking and damaging the propeller, but was later recovered. During the rescue mission the American pilot, Floyd Bennet died from double pneumonia. The three transatlantic pioneers were rescued to later attend a jubilant reception on May 17th in New York City where two million people turned out to greet them. President Calvin Coolidge presented them with the Distinguished Flying Cross making them the first non-Americans to receive that honor.

Totally unrelated bonus question: What does Howard Kroplick have in common with Billy Joel on May 9, 1949?

Howard and Billy were both born on the exact date- May 9, 1949


Congrats to Walt Gosden, Art Kleiner, Walter McCarthy, Sam Berliner III, Hugh and Greg O. for identifying the Chrysler.

Kudos to Ted, Mike Cahn, Art, Hugh and Sam Berliner III for recognizing the historic importance of May 9, 1949.

Shout out to Frank Fememias for identifying the Queensboro Bridge.

Thanks Al & Peter!



Howard Kroplick

1928 Chrysler Crown sedan of the 72 series

Photo courtesy of Peter Kanze.

Courtesy of Art Kleiner

Motor Parkway plate #789

1928 First East to West Transatlantic Flight

The Bremen flight crew (left to right) consisted of pilot Captain Hermann Köhl of Germany; the navigator, Major James Fitzmaurice of Ireland, and the owner of the aircraft, Ehrenfried Günther Freiherr von Hünefeld of Germany.

The Bremen was a German Junkers W33 type aircraft.  As seen here, the Bremen left Baldonnel Aerodrome, Ireland on April 12, 1928 and headed to Mitchel Field on Long Island. They quickly went off-course.


Thirty six hours and thirty minutes later after leaving Ireland, they crash landed on a frozen lake at Greenly Island, Newfoundland (off the coast of Labrador). The flight is considered the first successful East to West transatlantic flight.

The Bremen had approximately two hours of fuel left. Phot courtesy of Leslie Jones Photography.

On May 17, 1928, two million people turned out to salute the Bremen flight crew for a Broadway ticker tape parade. Click here to see a clip of the ticker tape parade.

The Bremen belongs to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan but is currently on display in a hangar at the Bremen Airport Museum where it has been completely restored.

May 9, 2014

From Deb Lees

Happy birthday was song twice by 20,000 fans last Friday. Billy and I thank everyone for their birthday wishes!


May 09 2014 Ted 1:08 AM

A lot of people should know the bonus question, I heard you mention it a couple of times, when saying you’ll be going to His Concert to celebrate His Birthday, jokingly saying, ‘They’ll BE Singing Happy Birthday To Me” it’s My Birthday

May 09 2014 Mike Cain 10:36 AM

I don’t have a guess on the car but if May 9, 1949 is your birthday Howard then I wish you a Happy Birthday! Keep up the great work on preserving Long Island history.

May 09 2014 Michael LaBarbera 10:56 AM

Well 1928 seems to be a giveaway and it has a LIMP tag, the winged hood ornament is eluding me, but maybe it is Charles Lindbergh’s return to USA in 1927 since all the Gawkers are jockeying for position to get a look (photo possibly taken in Queens). The Motorcycles look like Indians or Harleys of the mid 20s. And happy birthday, Mike

May 09 2014 Walt Gosden 2:02 PM

Happy Birthday Howard.
The car is a 1928 Chrysler (not an Imperial but a smaller series), photo was taken in 1928 judging by the Motor Parkway plate and the license plate. Have no idea who , or what the event, but viewing all the police and the low number on the plate it has to be a big shot .

May 09 2014 Ted 5:06 PM

Howard- Happy Birthday and have a great time at the concert, which you already on your way their

May 09 2014 Ted 10:29 PM

As for the year of the photo, I would say 1928, because of the license plate on top. I can’t read what it says at top of that plate. so can’t say it’s a LIMP one, but if it is, it would be the answer to how the car is associated LIMP. I can read the bottom plate, it’s N Y 11. Another thing, isn’t the LIMP plate usually on the left side of the front bumper?

May 10 2014 Art Kleiner 7:21 AM

Would say the car is a 1928 Chrysler Model 72 based on the similarity to the picture shown here courtesy of,9106/1928-Chrysler-Model-72_photo.aspx

Picture taken is 1928 as per the Motor Parkway Tag which connects it to the Motor Parkway.  Lots of police around the car - possibly a celebrity inside, Walter Chrysler himself maybe, or police chasing down a prohibition runner!. 
Bonus - happy birthday Howard!

May 10 2014 Ted 11:39 PM

I can see you had a good time at the concert. You weren’t joking about singing Happy Birthday to you

May 11 2014 Walter McCarthy 12:55 AM

Late 20s Chrysler

May 11 2014 S. Berliner, III 6:15 PM

From the wing├Ęd radiator cap and the unique downward-slanted upper bar of the bumper, it’s a 1927-28 Chrysler Imperial and it’s probably got Lindy in it.  Both the NYS license plate and the LIMP toll plate read 1928.  Happy Birthday, Howard!  Sam, III

May 11 2014 Greg O. 10:53 PM

A very tough one coming up with anything on this photo!

Going on guesses and some of the obvious, I’ll go with it being a 1928 Chrysler. The connection to the LIMP would be the 1928 parkway plate on the grill. Lindbergh was the aviatoin ‘rockstar’ of that year, so might that be him in the car, (he’d need the plate for the trip to the Long Island Aviation Club no doubt!)

May 12 2014 frank femenias 4:36 PM

Happy Birthday Howard! Another good mystery here. Totally guessing it’s Charles Lindbergh in a 1928 Bentley in L.I.C. Queens. Looks like the frame work for the Queensboro Bridge (Ed Koch Bridge) in the back. They’re heading to Queens Blvd (Hoffman Blvd) towards the Motor Pkwy western terminus to end the ride at the Aviation Club in the Hempstead plains. It’s 1930. Stumped again. :p

May 12 2014 Ted 8:18 PM

A lot of good answers, especially Art Kleiner, with the picture

May 13 2014 frank femenias 12:48 AM

Fantastic historical aviation story here guys. Keep ‘em comin’!

May 13 2014 Ron Ridolph 3:44 AM

Hi LIMP’ers:

  Most of you missed the ID of the car.  The New York License plate on the car-
see number 14-39 is an official plate.  The auto is probably some person high
up on the chain such as a Commissioner of something.  Side note:  Growing up
in Amityville NY,  the police department had 3 patrol cars and their plate numbers were:  44-16, 44-17 and 44-18…..Ron Ridolph

May 13 2014 Art Kleiner 3:48 PM

Thanks,  Ted.  Took a bit of searching to find that pic.  The car is actually the same as in the picture following mine.  Just facing the other way as the doorway and large bay window are the same just reversed!  Howard, where was the second picture found?

May 13 2014 Howard Kroplick 11:41 PM

From Hugh:
Hi Howard, The car in the photo could be a 1926 or 1927 Chrysler 70 sedan [no real change]

Likely taken in 1927 with Park Way permit plate good into 1928.  In 1928 Chrysler changed the fenders to the clam shell style like 1930 Model A Ford used. If it is in 1927 might be Charles Lindbergh related.

Same birth date?

May 14 2014 Ted 11:48 AM

Thanks Art, I noticed what you’re saying

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