May 05 2009

The “X” Mercedes Racer in the 1905 Vanderbilt Cup Race

A total of 116 cars participated in the Vanderbilt Cup Races of Long Island from 1904 to 1910. Only one car raced without a number- the "X" Mercedes driven by American Al Campbell during the 1905 Vanderbilt Cup Race. As seen in this photo, the "X" car is making the "New Hyde Park Turn" at Lakeville Road and Jericho Turnpike.

The reason for the "X" was pure superstition. Campbell had drawn the bad luck number 13. Instead of placing the "hoodoo" number of his car, Campbell chose the big "X". Did it work? ....Nope, the "X" racer finished dead last (19th) when its gasoline tank fell off during the second lap.


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