In celebration of the 105th anniversary of the Fourth Vanderbilt Cup Race held on October 24, 1908, here are several of my favorite race images photographed near the grandstand and press box/officials' stand in the Hempstead Plains (now Levittown).
Start of the Race
Chairman Jefferson De Mont Thompson (left), referee William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. (middle) and starter Fred Wagner (right)
Willie K and retired driver Joe Tracy. Note Willie K. shaved his mustached before the race.
At the Starting Line
#1 Locomobile driven by Jim (Joe) Florida.
Evenual winner #16 Locomobile driven by George Robertson and Glenn Ethridge
#17 Renault driven by Emil Stricker being pushed by Willie K.
#19 Thomas driven by P. Howard Gill.
#17 Renault and the #20 Knox driven by Wiilliam Bourque. The grandstand held 5,000 spectators.
During the Race
#5 Mercedes driven by William Luttgen in front of the press box/officials' stand.
Willie K. watching the #5 Mercedes being refuled. The car was owned by Willie K. and was the same car that broke the one-mile land speed record in 1904.
Willie K. and Chairman Jefferson De Mont Thompson speaking to driver George Robertson.
The #7 Matheson catching fire in front of the grandstan pits.
A view of the race looking west.
A view of the race looking east.
George Robertson taking the green flag and becoming the driver of the first American car to win a Vanderbilt Cup Race.