Nov 05 2016

John E. Roosevelt Family Photo Album: The 1909 Vanderbilt Cup Race at the Massapequa Turn

The fourth post from the John E. Roosevelt Family Album features photos of the 1909 Vanderbilt Cup Races taken at the Masspaequa-Hicksville Turn in Plainedge.

Gladys Roosevelt, the daughter of John E. Roosevelt and the second cousin of President Teddy Roosevelt, was the photographer of these rare images of the 1909 race.

The photos are courtesy of the Bayport Heritage Association and the Suffolk County Parks Department.
Howard Kroplick


#4 FIAT (Italy) driven by Eddie Hearne. Finished 13th. Broke crankcase during lap 5

#6 Apperson "Jack Rabbit" (USA) driven by Hugh Harding. Finished 8th. Broke steering knuckle during lap 11. Note: The Massapequa-Hicksville Road Motor Parkway Bridge in the background.

These two photos may show the "Jack Rabbit" breaking down at the Massapequa Turn.

#7 Chalmers-Detroit (USA) driven by William Knipper. Finished 3rd. Led most number of laps. Developed oil problems during lap 20.

#9 Chalmers-Detroit (USA) driven by Lee Lorimer. Finished 6th. Led race before breaking down with broken cylinder during lap 13.

#10 National (USA) driven by John Aitken. Finished 12th. Lost wheel during lap 5.

#11 National (USA) driven by Charles Merz. Finished 7th. Broke cylinder during lap 13.

#12 Marmon (USA) driven by Harry Stillman. Finished 9th. Cracked cylinder during lap 7. Note:The Central Railroad train in the background.

It is unclear the racer that was in front of the Marmon.

#16 Mercedes (Germany) driven by Spencer Wishart. Finished 4th. Running in 17th lap when race was called.

#17 Isotta (Italy) driven by Joe Seymour. Finished 10th. Broke axle jar during lap 6.

Gladys Roosevelt may have captured the end of the race for the Isotta.

#32 Marmon driven by Ray Harroun. Finished 1st in the Wheatley Sweepstakes, completing all 15 laps.

#41 Chalmers-Detroit driven by W.R. (Buster) Brown. Finished 5th in the Massapequa Sweepstakes, completing 9 laps.

#43 Chalmers-Detroit driven by Joe Matson. Finished 1st in the Masspaequa Sweepstakes, completing all ten laps. Averaged 58.4 mph.

 #45 Maxwell driven by Thomas Costello. Finished 6th in the Massapequa Sweepstakes, completing 1 of 10 laps.


Nov 09 2016 Robert Thomas 1:31 PM

Fabulous photos. Thank you for sharing them.

Nov 11 2016 S. Berliner, III 10:03 AM

O. K.  I’ll bite.  Wuzzar above Thomas Costello’s head in the #45 Maxwell?  Flying saucer?  Early Frisbee?  Kite?  Bumbershoot?  Also: “Finished 6th in the Massapequa Sweepstakes, completing 1 of 10 laps”.  6th in 1 of 10 laps?  Sounds as if the Stakes was a disaster (not that this ‘09 VCR wasn’t exceedingly rough on the cars).  Please tell or link us to the story.  Thanks for these fab photos.  Sam, III

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