One of my favorite photographs in the book Vanderbilt Cup Races of Long Island captured the moment Harry Grant and Frank Lee won the 1909 Vanderbilt Cup Race. A closer look of the photo is revealing:
The #8 Alco Black Beast was just a blur, crossing the finish line at over 75 mph. It average 62.8 mph throughout the race.
The Alco won the race at 1:32 PM, 4 hours, 25 minutes and 42 seconds after its start.
The gentleman on the railing likely bet on the Alco to win the race. Note the sign on the Press Box promoting the new extension of the Long Island Motor Parkway to Jericho Turnpike in Mineola.
The omnipresent referee William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. can be seen at the start-finish line, wearing his goggles and a coat due to the cold weather and drizzle.
The photograph was used as the basis for this gouache painting by Carlo Demand (1921-2000). Demand is recognized as one of the foremost illustrators of transportation and a charter member of the Automotive Fine Arts Society.
Links to related posts on VanderbiltCupRaces.com and the Internet:
Archives: 1909 Vanderbilt Cup Race, Long Island, New York
Archives: Alco-6 Black Beast Racer
Archives: Harry Grant
Biography: Carlo Demand
Book Review: Carlo Demand in Motion & Color by Gary Doyle
Carlo Demand Artwork For Sale
Index: Archives on VanderbiltCupRaces.com