The 30-minute program on the Vanderbilt Cup Races on the Velocity Channel’s AmeriCarna series shown this week was really outstanding.
Since the program was initially broadcast on March 4, 2014, over 2,500 new viewers have visited VanderbiltCupRaces.com.
Here is a "behind the scenes" account of the making of this program.
Note: The episode will be rebroadcast on the Velocity Channel on Sunday at 3:00 pm.
A three-minute preview:
Question: What is AmeriCarna?
This 10-part series on Discovery’s Velocity channel features racing icon Ray Evernham (left) “chasing down cars that had a profound impact on shaping our national identity.” Evernham is considered one of the greatest crew chiefs of all time with 47 wins and three championships with Jeff Gordon. He is co-owner of the AmeriCarna series with Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports (right). Among the featured AmeriCarna guests in its first year were Ron Howard, Mike Love and Brad Paisley. The series has been renewed for a second season.
When and where was the Vanderbilt Cup Race episode filmed?
The episode was filmed on April 27-28, 2013 in Roslyn, Huntington, Westbury, Old Westbury and Lebanon, New Jersey.
Waterfront at Roslyn, Roslyn, NY
Primary filming took place at the Black Beast Garage at the Waterfront at Roslyn
Ray was surprised at the size of the 680 cubic inch 6-cyclinder engine.
Showing Ray the manual fuel pump.
Ray was a wonderful, friendly interviewer . We had a lot of fun, which I believe showed up in the filming.
Ray gave a big smile when we joked that the mechanician was the most important person on the racing team…just like a crew chief.
Where did the Black Beast go for a ride?
I took Ray for a two-mile trip through the historic Village of Roslyn.
Which historic Vanderbilt Cup Race locations did we visit?
Ray and I visited three historic Vanderbilt Cup Race course locations; the 1906 Hairpin Turn in Old Westbury (left), the 1904 and 1906 grandstand location in Westbury and the 1908 Ellison Road railroad bridge in Westbury.
The house at the Hairpin Turn in Old Westbury remains basically unchanged since 1906.
Next stop was the “sacred ground” of the Start/Finish line and grandstands for the 1904 and 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Races.
The same view as seen in 1904.
Why did Ray decide to visit Chrysler’s Chrysler?
Ray Evernham was fascinated that I was restoring Walter P. Chrysler’s 1937 C-15 TownCar. Chrysler had once worked as a plant manager for an Alco locomotive factory.
After spending a day with me, Ray visited Steve Babinsky’s Automotive Restorations facility in Lebanon, New Jersey. The Chrysler can be seen in the middle of the photo, taken almost one year ago.
Steve is showing Ray the unique spring loaded automatic window and door locking system of the car.
How did Ray get to see the Vanderbilt Cup Trophy?
Persistence! After weeks of trying, they received a go ahead.
I really enjoyed watching Ray’s excitement on finally tracking down the Vanderbilt Cup trophy.
Another highlight was seeing the Harry Grant and the Alco on the trophy.
It was wonderful to see the closing credits with one of my favorite photos in the background of Willie K. at the 1905 Vanderbilt Cup Race.