Dec 07 2011

Old Cars Weekly Article: “Always Austie: Remembering old car hobby icon Henry Austin Clark, Jr.”


The December 15, 2011 issue of Old Cars Weekly features an article "Always Austie: Remembering old car hobby icon Henry Austin Clark, Jr." by Geoff Graham.

Click here for a pdf of the article which features "photos courtesy of the Walter McCarthy Collection, as posted on VanderbiltCupRaces.com".

 

Henry Austin Clark, Jr., family and friends at the opening of his Long Island Automotive Museum in Southampton on August 5, 1948.

 


 

Henry Austin Clark, Jr at the Long Island Automotive Museum in 1948.  The Long Island Automotive Museum in 1948.


 

 

 

Gary Cooper and Henry Austin Clark, Jr., in 1965.

 

 


Henry Austin Clark Jr. in a Southampton Parade in his funny car.

 Henry Austin Clark Jr. in a Southampton Parade in his funny car.
 

 

 

Henry Austin Clark Jr.in 1992 returns to the "Iron Range" after the museum closed.

 

 

Links to related VanderbiltCupRaces.com posts and the Internet:

Archives: Long Island Automotive Museum

 

 Film “The Long Island Automotive Museum”

  AACA Discussion on Henry Austin Clark, Jr.

 

Index: Archives on VanderbiltCupRaces.com

Archives: Monthly Highlights (2008-2011)

 

 



Comments

Dec 11 2011 Walt Gosden 3:18 PM

I worked for Austin as his librarian at his home in Meadow Spring for two straight years in the mid 1970s and during vacation time from teaching until his demise. Although he is referred to as"Austie” in articles and in person by some he never called himself that name during the nearly 25 years we were close friends. He always introduced himself as Austin when he called on the phone or met someone for the first time. We shared many ‘adventures’ together: attending AACA annual meetings in Philadelphia,SAH meetings at Hershey, trips into MADSACAS, IMPA meetings in NY City or to Jimmy Ryans jazz club on 54th St. until it closed because they sold the building. Iron Range Days were by invitation (phone call or post card) that Austin enlisted my help to do, and were open to friends who could in turn invite friends they could trust. It was great to go to luncheons at the Main Maid Inn to join Rudy Creteur of Rollston or be on the same team of people with him (including Walter McCarthy) in the Long Island Old Car Club that for decades hosted runs and dinners to celebrate the anniversaries of the various Vanderbilt Cup Races.The last major one we worked on was in 1988. I was the one who made up the bid paddles for him for his last car auction. This year marks the 20th anniversary of his passing, and I still miss my friend Austin. He was my mentor and an inspiration.

Dec 11 2011 arthur einstein 4:11 PM

I second Walt’s comment about Austin’s name.  I first met him in the early 1960’s just after Castro had appropriated the Cuban American Sugar company which was the origin of the family’s fortune.  We had many drinks together over time - during which he told me about his career as a spy during WWII.  He claimed to have been stationed in London.  His job was to frequent the bars and finger people with loose lips.  He claimed to have been picked for the job because his looks were ‘ordinary’.  A mutual friend said he looked like a grown up Campbell Kid.  Perfect. I vividly remember a ride in the Packard Twin-Six at the museum.  Also a show at Floyd Bennett field where he rounded up an assortment of enthusiasts (me included) and took us home to Glen Cove for an impromptu party to the intense annoyance of his wife.  I met Peter Helck at that party and have a nice letter from him as a souvenir of the occasion.  The most knowledgable old car guy I ever met.

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