Mar 25 2019

Mystery Foto #12 Solved: #6 Hotchkiss driven by Elliot Shepard Jr. in the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race

This weekend's Mystery Foto was a Vanderbilt Cup Racer who had a major impact on Long Island history.

Answers to the Mystery Foto questions:

  • Identify the driver and the race car

Elliott Shepard, Jr., Willie K's cousin, driving the #6 French Hotchkiss

  • In which Vanderbilt Cup Race did this race car compete?

1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race

  • What was the impact of this driver and racer on Long Island history?

Shepard struck and killed a spectator near Krug's Hotel during the seventh lap of the 1906 Race. This accident resulted in the development of the Long Island Motor Parkway.

Comments (7)

Congrats to Greg O., Steve Luca, Dick Gorman and Tim Ivers for correctly identifying Shepard's 1906 #6 Hotchkiss.

Kudos to Don C. Boulton for collecting images of the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race engines.


Howard Kroplick


Exclusive Images of Shepard's Hotchkiss Engine

Formerly from the Don C. Boulton Collection

Driver's side

Passenger's side

Elliott Shepard Jr.

1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race

Ob Old Westbury Road passing under the Oyster Bay LIRR Bridge

Taking the North Hempstead Turnpike Turn in Roslyn

Replacing a tire.

Horseless Age10/10/1906:
"The 130 hp Hotchkiss car, driven by Elliot F. Shepard, representing France, struck a man named Gruner near Krug's corner and killed him instantly. The car skidded into the crowd that pressed upon the course just east of the railroad crossing near Mineola, and a short distance from the dangerous turn at Krug's corner. "

At the Jericho Turnpike Start/Finish line in Westbury

Shepard's #6 Hotchkiss can be seen at the 47 second and 1:17 marks.


Mar 23 2019 Greg O. 6:23 PM

-Identify the driver and the race car
#6 Hotchkiss driven by William K.Vanderbilt Jr.‘s cousin Elliot Shepard

-In which Vanderbilt Cup Race did this race car compete?
Finished 15th in the 1906 race.

-What was the impact of this driver and racer on Long Island history?
Killed spectator in Mineola during Lap 7 creating the need for the LI Motor Parkway to remove a portion of the race off public roads.

Mar 24 2019 Steve Lucas 5:25 PM

I think that might be Elliot F. Shepard, Jr. in a French Hotchkiss racer which only competed in the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race. The impact of this racer and driver is that he “impacted” with spectator Curt Gruner in Mineola causing his demise. This led to W. K. Vanderbilt developing plans for a private motor speedway and the building of the Long Island Motor Parkway.

Mar 24 2019 Dick Gorman 9:42 PM

Mystery Foto #12… The driver is Elliot Shepard, Jr. driving the 130 HP French Hotchkiss. He was competing in the 1906 Cup race. During the race the Hotchkiss hit and killed a spectator near Krug’s Hotel on Jericho turnpike. This accident led to an outcry for more safety at these races… and that there should no longer be racing on public roads. This situation giving birth to the idea of a road built specifically for autos and racing… thus leading to plans for creating the Long island Motor Parkway.

Mar 24 2019 Tim Ivers 10:48 PM

Elliot Shepard driving a Hotchkiss in the 1906 race.  He was a cousin of William K. Vanderbilt.
His car struck and killed a pedestrian during the race at Jericho Turnpike, which prompted Vanderbilt to begin construction of a closed racecourse (the LIMP).
This race marked the first time a checkered flag was used at the finish line.

Mar 24 2019 S. Berliner, III 11:25 PM

Looks like Louis Chevrolet in a strangely shrunken FIAT.  :ยท)  Sam, III

Mar 24 2019 frank femenias 11:40 PM

Unable to find information on this racer but the driver looks similar to Foxhall Keene, and more like Joe Tracy. Also a long shot with just few hints to go by, the location (looking north) looks alarmingly similar to the Motor Parkway ground breaking ceremony site in Bethpage (Central Park). Could this racer be pointing east on Motor Lane? There should be RR tracks at the center of that patch of grass but I don’t see it.

Mar 25 2019 frank femenias 12:02 AM

And the tree-lined Motor Parkway in the back ascending towards the Stewart Ave bridge. Hoping there is captioning on this photo.

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