May 13 2013

Mystery Foto #15 Solved: William K. Vanderbilt Jr. on the 1906 American Elimination Trial Course

The Mystery Friday Foto has been solved: It was Willie K driving his 1903 Mercedes at Krug's Corner in Mineola during the 1906 American Elimination trial (Updated March 21, 1906.)

Answers to the Mystery Friday Foto questions:

Identify the following:

-The race: 1906 American Elimination Trial held on September 22, 1906

-The location:Krug's Corner, Jericho Turnpike & Willis Avenue, in Mineola

-The car: 1903 Mercedes owned by William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. Likely, the same Mercedes that broke the one-mile land speed record in January 1904.

-The two people in the car: Willie K. and Dr. Louis Lanehart, the chief surgeon for the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race

Congratulations to Joe Oesterle, Jean-Ives Lassaux (thanks for the book plug!), Greg Oreiro, Ted, Steve Lucas, James Spina, and Ariejan Bos (thanks for the additional jpegs & info) for getting most of the mystery correct. Frank, I really enjoyed your Teddy guess!


If you have a suggested Mystery Foto, please send a jpeg to me at .


Howard Kroplick

Click on the images to enlarge.

Dr. Louis Lanehart, Chief Surgeon for the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race

As submitted by Ariejan Bos, the obituary of Louis Lanehart as published in the New York Tribune, April 26, 1920.

Willie K and his 1903 Mercedes at the 1904 Ormond-Daytona Automobile Races. Willie K. broke the one-mile land speed record going 92.3 mph.

As submitted by Ariejan Bos, William K. Vanderbilt Jr. and an unknown passenger checking out the 1905 Vanderbilt Cup Race course.


May 10 2013 Joe Oesterle 1:29 AM

This was easy for me.  Krugs Corner.  I have this exact picture in my mind every time I drive by there.

May 10 2013 Jean-Yves Lassaux 6:36 AM

Hi Howard,

Well, for those who have your book, just have a look page 69… wink


May 10 2013 Greg Oreiro 7:54 AM

Finally! One that’s sadly not an aerial, but easy enough for me! Most of it I knew, but I had to cheat and look up the years of the race and the year of Vanderbilt’s Benz…

-The location
Jericho Turnpike and Willis Avenue in Mineola

-The race
1906 Elimination Trial or Cup Race (they drove through and cleared the track for both)

-The car
Vanderbilt’s 1903 Mercedes that broke the one-mile land speed record

-The two people in the car
Willie K and Dr. Louis Lanehart

May 10 2013 Joe Oesterle 12:38 PM

To be more specific than my previous answer, this is when Willie K heard the crowd was so out of control he decided to do a lap around the course himself to check it out.

May 11 2013 Ted 12:19 AM

I wanted to answer sooner tha this,but had a very busy day,being it was such a nice day out,I did alot of things outdoors,but guess what? I think I have all the right answes to this mystery.The race was in 1906,the location was,without a doubt in my miind,seen it so many times,Krug’s Corner on Jericho&Willis; Ave.,the car is a 1903 Mercedes and last but not least the one and only Willian K Vanderbilt Jr and Dr. Lanehart. This one seemed to be a very easy one for everyone,we see it at your presentations.

May 12 2013 Steve Lucas 1:25 PM

Todays’s mystery foto shows Willie K. Jr. driving his 1903 Mercedes with Dr. Louis Lanehart as a passenger at the intersection of Willis Ave. and Jericho Tpke. heading east (the famous Krug’s corner) during the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race. This is the same car that Willie K. used in setting the 1-mile land speed record of 92.4 mph 2 years earlier at Ormond Beach, FL. While not competing in the race, Willie K. was out checking on race course conditions.

May 13 2013 frank femenias 2:09 AM

I have some clues but my wildest guess is: It looks like Willie K burning rubber with President Teddy Roosevelt as a passenger! at Krugs Corner in Mineola and they’re heading east on Jericho Tpke leaving Willis Ave, in the first Cup race in 1904. This could very well be the photo of the world’s first pace car right here on Long Island. I hope I’m right, now that would be cool. :D

May 13 2013 James Spina 12:34 PM

It would be easy if I had your terrific book here since this pic is in it with all the vital info on the car and driver, etc. Suffice to say: they’ve just rounded the corner of Willis Ave on to Jericho Turnpike and have literally passed the spot where one of my favorite haunts, Willis Hobby…will eventually locate!

May 13 2013 Howard Kroplick 11:07 PM

From Ariejan Bos:

This should be the solution, and as it was not that difficult this time, I tried to gather some additional info.

The photo shows William K. Vanderbilt Jr. in his Mercedes making a last
round before the start of the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup race. He is
accompanied by Dr. Louis N. Lanehart, chief surgeon of the surgical
staff of the Automobile Club of America. The location is of course
Krug’s Corner at Mineola.

Dr. Lanehart died in 1920 at the age of 61 and in his obituaries can be
read, that he worked closely with Mrs. W.K. Vanderbilt Jr. to organize
Nassau Hospital.

The mystery photo raises however also some questions.
1. If I compare this photo with another 1905 photo in your collection (see
attachment), I doubt if these persons next to W.K. are the same?

2. The Mercedes has on the mystery photo something directly below the
radiator, which is absent on the other. I don’t know what it is. It
differs from the perforated radiator support of other Mercedes racers,
having always more holes than this one.

3. Moreover you can see that on both photos the car carries only one
lamp holder, but on the mystery photo a ‘thing’ on the holder seems to
be present, which doesn’t look like a lamp?



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