Feb 02 2019

The Alco “White Beast” in 1909

Ray Holmes has forwarded this never-before-published photo of Harry Grant in the Alco "White Beast". Based on 1909 articles also provided by Ray, the photo was likely taken before the Lowell Trophy Race held on the Merrimac Valley Course, Massachusetts on September 8, 1909.

Ray Holmes:

Great Vanderbilt Cup site! 

I very recently picked up a this photo of Harry Grant and was wondering if you might have any insight into where and when it was taken. I've seen a variation of this photo, cropped tightly on Grant's upper body and face turned to camera, used in at least a couple of newspapers alongside news of Grant's 1909 Vanderbilt Cup win.

Is the car the Black Beast? Seems it is, but I've never seen it with horn, lamp, fenders etc. 

On the reverse of the photo written in period ink is "Harry F. Grant and his 6 cylinder ALCO car entered for the Vanderbilt Cup." There are also a couple of marks on the reverse that look to be editor's grease pencil, but no photographers stamp or anything else. 

Thanks much!


Howard Kroplick

1909 New York Herald

1909 Automobile Topics

1909 Lowell Trophy Race, Merriimac Valley Course, Massachusetts, September 8, 1909

Finished 7th in field of 17. Was running first until three laps from the finish when blown ttire tore off chain.


Mar 01 2019 Roger 8:56 AM

I have a photo of the ALCO Camp at the Elgin Road Race. I could email you a copy if you are interested. My email is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Thank you, Roger

Howard Kroplick

My email address is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Thanks!

Leave a Comment