Apr 16 2008

Calling All Vanderbilt Cup Race Families

VanderbiltCupRaces.com has heard from several relatives of participants in the Vanderbilt Cup Races including George Robertson, Frank Lee, Al Poole and Harry Grant. If your relative participated in the Vanderbilt Cup Races as a driver or mechanician, leave a post or contact us and I will send you complimentary images for your family.


Apr 24 2008 Peter Hepburn Shriver 8:09 AM

I just finished your book and enjoyed it very much.  I am giving away several copies as well. I am the only grandson of George Robertson.  I’d like to learn more about the races.  thank you.

Apr 25 2008 richard w. lee 7:11 PM

hello. i am the great grandson to frank lee, who raced with harry grant as his mechanic,i still have some old photos but you may already have what i have…

Apr 25 2008 jan m.lee 7:15 PM

I am the great granddaughter of Frank Lee. It’s great to see the pictures I remember as a child seeing in my great granparents home. Good job! Now where can I find the book?

Apr 28 2008 Howard Kroplick 11:31 PM

Wonderful to hear from the Vanderbilt Cup Race families! I will be emailing you a selection of photos of your grandfather and great grandfathers.



May 04 2008 B Michael Shanley 8:24 PM

Hello Howard Kroplick,
Thank you for putting together so much wonderful information on the Vandy races and the early footage! Fantastic. I have a direct connection to the Vanderbilt cup- my great Grand Uncle, B M Shanley purchased the 90 hp Mercedes- Willie K from WK V jr shortly after the race in 1904 Ormond Beach- yes the car that adorns the trophy was raced by my family until 1917. 
The 90 HP fell short of victory in 1905, but I have great photos of BM Shanley, WC Shanley (My Great Grandfather) and WK Vanderbilt, Jr at the 1905 races in Ormond. 

I have continued the tradition by racing Ford GT350 Mustangs- 1966 and 2006!  NASCAR Stock Cars and I currently own the fastest growing motorsports team in the USA, with over 6,000 active drivers in two years!  I was born in Manhassett - so the island is always home turf, if you have any more events, please let me know.  I am very sorry to have missed the last - but I was racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway!! 
I will get your book shortly and please - again- let me know if you have any more events- I attended the racing celebrations for Ormond and Fords 100 yr celebration! 

Best to you and THANK YOU For your effort in preserving the true beginning of Motorsports in America!
B Michael Shanley

Here is some of the history on the races- and Dick Punnet has got many more photos for me! 

30th January: 20 miles - Handicap
1   Herbert L.Bowden           Mercedes           0:18:40.0, 66.4 mph
2   Samuel B.Stevens           Mercedes 60         0:18:50.0
3   Walter Christie       Christie           Finished
4   Bernard M.Shanley     Decauville
5   Joe Tracy           Peerless
19th November - Weequahio Park, Waverly, NJ. 0.5 mile dirt oval.
    Bernard M.Shanley     Mercedes           0:01:17.8, 46.27 mph, 2 laps
    Bernard M.Shanley     Mercedes           0:02:37.0, 45.86 mph, 4 laps
    Bernard M.Shanley     Mercedes           0:03:57.5, 45.47 mph, 6 laps
    Bernard M.Shanley     Mercedes           0:05:17.2, 45.40 mph, 8 laps

5 miles - Under $6500
1   Bernard M.Shanley     Mercedes           0:05:56.2, 50.53 mph
2   J.H.Armory           Speedway 24         10 laps


31st January: 25 miles - E.R.Thomas Cup
1   Arthur MacDonald           Napier 90         0:15:23.0, 97.51 mph
2   William Wallace       Fiat 90           0:15:34.0
3   Harry Fletcher       De Dietrich 80       0:15:36.8
4   Paul Sartori         Fiat 90           0:16:01.0
5 8 Bernard M.Shanley     Mercedes 90         0:16:25.6

31st January: 10 miles - Major C.J.S. Miller Trophy
1   Arthur MacDonald           Napier 90         0:06:15.0, 96.00 mph
2 6 Edward R.Thomas       Mercedes 105       0:06:18.2
3 8 Bernard M.Shanley     Mercedes 90         0:07:25.4


B. Michael Shanley


May 05 2008 Howard Kroplick 12:19 AM


Thanks for posting on VanderbiltCupRaces.com and your positive feedback.

You have quite the racing heritage. I have many images of the 1904 and 1905 Ormond Daytona Beach Tournaments and believe several include your relatives. I will check through my 20,000 image database and email them to you later this week. Have you also seen the film of the 1905 Ormond race?

Great to hear you are also race a Shelby Mustang. I own a white 1966 Shelby Mustang GTH-350.




Jun 08 2008 melinda andrews 6:12 PM

We need to protest the information suplied above by Mr. Peter Hepburn Shriver.

We are the living relatives to George Robertson and my mother was his daughter

Perhaps Peter is a long lost relative?...

Jun 08 2008 Tom Grant 8:06 PM

I just ordered the book.  What a great website.  I am Tom Grant,. a great nephew of Harry Grant.  My Grandfather was Harry Grant’s brother.  Thanks again for your efforts.  Be well, Tom

Jun 10 2008 Howard Kroplick 10:18 PM


There were at least two George Robertsons who were involved in auto racing in the early 1900s and sometimes confused.

George Hepburn Robertson (1885-1955) was the winner of the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race. He and his wife, Lillian, lived at 440 East 23rd Street in New York City and had three children, George Robertson, Jr., Joan Robertson Shriver of Summit, New Jersey and a son, Crawford of Garden City, New York. George Robertson, Jr. died serving with the US Army in Germany during the last weeks of World War II.  He was shot while on a balcony, probably by a sniper. Crawford’s wife Betsey still lives on Long Island.

George Francis Robertson (?- 1940)was a mechanic on some of the early Ford racing cars. I believe he spent much of his life in Texas.


Howard Kroplick

Jun 10 2008 Howard Kroplick 10:23 PM


Thanks for the feedback on the website. I will be sending you some additional images and information on your Great Uncle Harry Grant, winner of the 1909 and 1910 Vanderbilt Cup Races.


Howard Kroplick

Aug 26 2008 Johannes Larsen 5:21 PM

Dear Mr Kroplick,
A close friend of mine and fellow racer once showed me a fascinating scrap book about her grandfathers pursuit as a driver for the Fiat team, her maiden name is Parker and her grandfather drove the second finish car in the 1909 VCR. I am now trying to piece together his other starts, for example his participation as a relief driver for the #18 car driven by Eddie Hearne in the first ever Indy 500 (1911).Any leads you may have would be greatly appreciated.
Sincerely Johannes.
PS Also I have raced the GT350 (Hertz) extensively on european tracks. It is an exciting car to drive.

Sep 01 2008 Howard Kroplick 8:20 PM


Grandpa was Edward Parker who drove the #14 Fiat to a second-place finish in the 1909 Vanderbilt Cup. Here is an image of Parker driving during the race: http://www.vanderbiltcupraces.com/index.php/drivers/driver/parker .

This is also a link to Edward Parker’s driving record from 1909 to 1911: http://www.champcarstats.com/drivers/ParkerEdward.htm

I truly have a blast driving the 1966 Shelby Mustang GT350H and will bring it to the upcoming Centennial events on Long Island on September 14th and October 19th.



Sep 12 2008 B Michael Shanley 8:16 PM

Hello Howard
Great to see the events before I miss them, I will try to get down this year and bring some of my collection of photos, and my GT350 proto-type!
I would love any photos and this web site is fantastic!! Great to see all the postings and excitement- my true love of motorsports, the people and the stories!- OH and the speed!!
Tell me how I could view the 1905 Ormond Beach film, See you in October!
Bernard Michael Shanley
PS - there seems to be a direct connection to the early VC racing and the Shelby GT350?? My best buddy Billy Andrews, is in Freeport, and has build more Shelby Cobra’s than any builder in the country!

Sep 14 2008 Howard Kroplick 12:03 AM

Bernard Michael:

Wonderful post! I have a copy of the 1905 Ormond Beach film and will place it on the website in the near future. One link to the Shelby and the Vanderbilt Cup Races is that Carroll Shelby drove in the 1960 Cornelius Vanderbilt Cup Race held at Roosevelt Raceway.

Look forward to seeing you in October. I will be bringing my Shelby Mustang 1966 GT350H to the time trials at the Nassau County Museum of Art.


Dec 28 2008 Virginia Latta Curulla 2:21 PM

My uncle, Clyde Virgil Latta, was mechanic with Eddie Rickenbacker, mentioned 14MAY1916 in the Indianaolis Star newspaper.  I knew little about Clyde’s racing days until I recently started to research my father’s racing exploits in the early days of the Pacific Northwest.  I’m always looking to learn more.  Clyde died in 1937, so I didn’t know him personally.

Jan 11 2009 Howard Kroplick 12:34 PM

Hi Virginia:

I will try to track down photos of your uncle in my collection.



May 24 2009 John W. Parker III 1:06 PM

Great site, I am now digging out the family tree.

May 24 2009 Howard Kroplick 2:45 PM

Hi John:

I assume that you are related to Edward Parker who raced the #14 Fiat in the 1909 Vanderbilt Cup Race.


Nov 10 2010 Dianne Watkins 9:43 AM

Please help me to find out more about my Grandfather, Andrew C. Balfour, Sr. who was hired by the Whitney’s to be their chauffeur and mechanic in Oyster Bay out of New Orleans in the 1900’s.  He was about 21. It was said that he was the “first chauffeur” in New Orleans and he was a mechanic.  We have a photo of grandpa seated in car 11 of the Vanderbilt Cup Race in his chauffeur’s attire.  I have a number of Oyster Bay photos.

Mar 01 2011 Samuel B. Stevens III 1:12 AM

Dear Howard, I am so delighted to find your bloq. I have at this moment the cup awarded to my grandfather, S.B. Stevens, for 1st place in the 10 Mile Handicap race in 1904. He also participated in the Vanderbilt Cup races and I have a trophy (unengraved) presented to my grandfather for his efforts in the Vanderbilt Cup. At this moment I cannot remember the date of this particular trophy. One of his other claims to fame is that he imported the first two Rolls-Royce automobiles to come to America. Look forward to hearing from you.

Sam Stevens III

Mar 02 2011 Howard Kroplick 1:32 AM

Hi Sam III:

Always great to hear from a Vanderbilt Cup Race family member!

I will do some additional research on your grandfather. I believe he owned the “X” car that ran in the 1905 Vanderbilt Cup Race:





Mar 25 2012 Nancy 12:55 PM

Very interesting site! My great uncle Joe Cleary was riding mechanic for Bob Burman in the 1915 Vanderbilt Cup Race in San Fransisco. They were in the #30 Case car which ended up in wrecking after 44 laps. Been doing research on him for years. I have the newspaper article for this race in his scrap book and the token brass medallion & case given to all race participants made by Shreve & Company. Any photos of the #30 would be fantastic as I’ve yet to find one. Thanks, nancy

Dec 15 2015 Sue J 6:43 AM

Am trying to find out about a Mrs George W Robertson who lived at 410 Eight Avenue Asbury Park who in 1937 ordered a Rolls-Royce Phantom III.  Does anyone know if she was connected to the Robertson of Vanderbilt Racing fame or if she was a widow Any help gratefull received.

Sue - realcar . co . uk in North Wales

From Howard Kroplick

FYI, Vanderbilt Cup Race driver George Robertson’s middle initial was H.

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