Mar 04 2008

Film “1904 Vanderbilt Cup Race”


The 1904 Vanderbilt Cup Race was the first international road race held in the United States. Eighteen cars from France, Germany, Italy and the USA competed for William K. Vanderbilt, Jr.'s 30-pound Tiffany cup on 30 miles of public Long Island roads. George Heath representing France won the race averaging 52.2 mph in a 90-hp Panhard. In one of the earliest sports films ever made, the race action was captured by cameramen G.W. Bitzer and A.E. Weed of the American Mutoscope & Biograph Company in Westbury and Plainedge. Note the last segment where 21-year-old driver Albert Clement, Jr. was seen protesting the race to referee William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. The original film was preserved by the Library of Congress Paper Print Collection. This edited film includes subtitles to describe the action, cars and drivers. One correction: William Luttgen was driving the #18 Mercedes not a FIAT.

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