Jan 04 2014

Vanderbilia: The 1905 Locomobile Model Owned by the Helck Family

In 1948, prominent artist Peter Helck commissioned  a model of the 1905 Locomobile that participated in the 1905 Gordon Bennett Race, the 1905 American Trial for the Vanderbilt Cup Race and finished third in the 1905 Vanderbilt Cup Race. In  all three races, the car was driven by the team of driver Joe Tracy and mechanician Al Poole.

The model was built by Helck's neighbor Orrin Brusie of Millerton, New York. This remarkable model remains today in the Helck family. Tim Helck, grandson of Peter Helck, has provided  the below images of the model.

Special thanks to Jerry and Tim Helck for contributing to this post.


Howard Kroplick




Model photos forwarded by Tim Helck

The label of the base of the model.

Joe Tracy (left) met with modelmaker Brusie (right) as part of a 1948 Popular Science article on the model. Photos courtesy of the Helck Family Collection.

1948 Popular Science article "Model Recalls Days of Road Racing"

Original photos for the Popular Science article (Courtesy of the Helck Family Collection)

Blog Update: January 5, 2014: Photos of the 1905 Locomobile Gordon Bennett Racer Submitted by Walter McCarthy

Walter McCarthy: "I enjoyed the photos of the model.  I think it may have been this car."      


Jan 04 2014 Jim Andrews 10:13 PM

Peter Helck and Orrin Brusie lived in Millerton, NY, not in Middleton, NY.
What happened to the Old 16 Locomobile model that appears in Peter Helck’s Johnnie Walker ads?

Jan 05 2014 frank femenias 1:55 AM

WOW! That Loco model is Outstanding! Truly exquisite with weathering and all. A true work of art!

Jan 05 2014 frank femenias 2:09 AM

I think Joe Tracy or Al Poole would professionally know of any imperfections in the model. I don’t believe there were any. Models today are not made the same as then. Truly excellent work!

Jan 05 2014 Tom Cotter 9:49 AM

Fabulous model!  I hope to see it one day.

Jan 05 2014 Howard Kroplick 11:45 AM

From Dr. Jack Binder

The photo is of Lake Success. Shown is Lakeville Road, the Motor Parkway. The date is pre1952- Probably 1930s.

Jan 05 2014 Howard Kroplick 11:46 AM

From Robert R.

Great images of the Locomobile.

But when I saw the car, it was famously known as “Old Number 16.”

Did he own two cars?


Jan 05 2014 Howard Kroplick 11:49 AM

Robert, the 1905 Locomobile was a different car from the 1906 Locomobile which became “Old 16”.

Jan 05 2014 Howard Kroplick 11:53 AM

From Jan H.:
Love the model!

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