Mar 24 2008

Fatalities Associated with the Vanderbilt Cup Races (1904-1910)


Bob Miller, the well-known Long Island Motor Parkway historian, has raised the question of the exact number of deaths that occurred during the 1904-1910 Vanderbilt Cup Races.

Bob, as you noted, the fatality count associated with the Vanderbilt Cup Races depended on who did the counting and what they are counting. The newspapers of the day would traditionally include any car fatality on that day on Long Island and blame it on the race.

As noted in my book, I did not include any fatality that did not happen on the race course. Thus, overall there were four deaths associated with the six Vanderbilt Cup Races held on Long Island; Carl Mensel (mechanician -1904), Curt Gruner (spectator-1906), Charles Miller (mechanician-1910), and Matthew Bacon (mechanician-1910). The two deaths in 1910 essentially put an end to the races on Long Island.



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