The Alco Black Beast

The restored racer that won the 1909 and 1910 Vanderbilt Cup Races and raced in the first Indy 500



Nicknamed “the Black Beast,” this was one of the most famous race cars of its era. A two-time winner of the Vanderbilt Cup, a major event in the early years of American motorsport, the car was the favorite to win the first Indianapolis 500-mile race in 1911.

Related Posts


  • May 30 2009

    Experience the Alco-6 Black Beast Racer’s Road Test

    On Friday, May 29, 2009, the Alco-6 Black Beast Racer was road tested for the first time since its return to the United States from Belgium on New Year's Day. Experience the excitement of riding in the 1909 Alco-6 Black Beast in this two-minute film.

  • May 22 2009

    Video: “Alco-6 Black Beast Restoration Update”

    The restoration of the Alco-6 Black Beast Racer will be completed by the end of June. This one-minute film highlights the progress that has been made over the last three months. Hear the engine roar!

  • May 15 2009

    Film “The Inaugural Indy 500 Race”

    In celebration of the Indianapolis 500 Race on Memorial Day, this film shows the first Indy 500 Race held on May 30, 1911. Highlights include:

  • May 14 2009

    Restoration Update: The Alco-6 Black Beast Racer

    The restoration of the 1909 Alco-6 Black Beast Racer is nearly completed. The above photo was taken last Friday, May 8, 2009. The Alco-6 has been invited to the upcoming Greenwich Concours on Saturday, June 6, 2009. Come and celebrate its return to the United States for the first time in 15 years.

  • Apr 28 2009

    The Alco-6 Black Beast Racer in the First Indy 500

    The Alco-6 Black Beast Racer participated in major automobile races throughout the United States from 1909 to 1911 including; two Vanderbilt Cup Races, the first Indy 500 Race, two Elgin Trophy Races, and one American Grand Prize Race. Until recently, the only Indy 500 image that I could find of the Alco was its

  • Apr 06 2009

    Brochure “Harry Grant’s Own Story”

    Richard, in 1911, American Locomotive Company published a promotional brochure The Vanderbilt Cup Race-Grant's Own Story. The brochure described Harry Grant's strategy in winning the Vanderbilt Cup Races in 1909 and 1910. He also gave credit to your grandfather:

  • Mar 13 2009

    The Alco Black Beast’s Last Great Race in 1911

    The Alco-6 Black Beast Racer's last great race was the 1911 Elgin National Trophy Race held on the Illinois course. In the above postcard, driver Harry Grant and his mechanician George Babcock are shown prior to a practice run. This was the only major race in which mechanican Frank Lee did

  • Feb 23 2009

    The Alco Team at the 1911 Elgin National Trophy Race

    From 1909 to 1911, the Alco-6 Black Beast Racer competed in 13 major races. The Alco's last race was at the Elgin National Trophy Race held on August 26, 1911. Despite finishing a strong second , the American Locomotive Company decided to quit racing two weeks later. Lee Ferbin of Springfield, Missouri has forwarded the above

  • Feb 15 2009

    Alco Mechanics at Work

    Over 250 people have come to see the Alco-6 Racer since its return to Long Island including Joyce and Richard Roman of West Babylon. Joyce is the granddaughter of Jens Thorvald Jansen, one of the Alco mechanics who prepared the car prior to its victory in the 1909 Vanderbilt Cup Race.

  • Feb 03 2009

    A Fun Alco Gathering

    Last Saturday, over 100 people gathered to see the restored 1909 Alco-6 Racer at its current home at 55 Lumber Road in Roslyn. Below are images from this very wonderful event.



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