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


  • 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.

  • Jan 27 2009

    Newsday Reports ‘Beast’ race car on display

    Sunday's Newsday published an article on the temporary display of the restored Alco in the lobby of the Waterfront Building at

  • Jan 24 2009

    The Alco-6 Racer Gets Fired Up

    On Saturday, January 24, 2009, the restored Alco-6 Black Beast Racer was fired up for the first time since its return to the United States.

  • Jan 20 2009

    When the Alco Black Beast Warmed Up for the First Indy 500 on the Motor Parkway

    Mark Dill has discovered an Indianapolis Star article published on May 21, 1911 describing how Harry Grant warmed up the Alco Black Beast for the first Indy 500 Race. The Alco reached a speed of over 107 mph on a practice run on the Long Island Motor Parkway.

  • Jan 15 2009

    Video: The Alco Black Beast Racer Arrives On Long Island

    The restored 1909 Alco-6 Black Beast Racer arrived on Long Island on Tuesday, January 13, 2009.



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