Roger, thanks for the question all the way from the land of the Kiwi. In June 1960, an attempt was made to revive the Vanderbilt Cup Races with Formula Junior racers on a course created in the parking lot of Roosevelt Raceway harness race track in Westbury, New York. The donor of the trophy was 62-year old Cornelius Vanderbilt IV, a nephew of William K. Vanderbilt, Jr.
The one and a half mile course was laid out on the paved parking areas of the harness race track facility and included 11 curves and a 2,350 foot straight-away. The Vanderbilt Cup Race totaled 75 miles consisting of 50 laps.
The Formula Junior cars were single-seat racers limited to 1,100 c.c. in which only proprietary pushrod engines could be used. A record 40 Formula Junior racers were entered in the 1960 Vanderbilt Cup Race and attracted some of the world's best drivers of the era including; Carroll Shelby, Jim Rathmann (winner of the 1960 Indy 500), and Rodger Ward (winner of the 1959 and 1962 Indy 500s). Two Dagradas were scheduled to participate in the race; #666 driven by Allan Lance of New York, NY and #50 driven by Jerry Titus of Hicksville, NY.
On June 18, 1960, two qualifying heats of five laps (7.5 miles) were run to determine the pole positions for Sunday's big race. However, this press release of the results from the first heat indicates that the #666 Dagrada did not participate among the 14 cars in the heat as planned.
In the second qualifying heat, the #50 Dagrada driven by Jerry Titus was listed with the 13th best time of the 17 racers in the heat.
A total of 33 racers started in front of 37,300 spectators. Unfortunately, it is not clear which two starting racers did not participate in the two heats. Was one the #666 Dagrada? It is still a mystery to be solved.
The winner of the race was Harry Carter of Litchfield, Connecticut in a Stanguellini, averaging 74.95 mph. Chuck Wallace in a Scorpion DKW was second, followed by Jerry Truitt (Stanguellini), Newton Davis (Stanguellini), Pedro Rodriquez (Scorpion DKW) and Lewis Fink (Scorpion DKW). Jerry Titus' #50 Dagrada can be seen at the 45 second mark of this 1960 newsreel of the race. To date, I have never found a complete listing of the results of this race. The best tally sheet, although incomplete, is on champcarstats.com. But, neither Dagrada is listed.
In summary, two Dagradas were entered in the 1960 Vanderbilt Cup Race. Only the #50 Dagrada participated in the qualifying heats and definitely started in the 1960 Vanderbilt Cup Race. More information will hopefully be provided by other race fans.______________________________________________________
May 10, 2010 Update: The 40 racer entry list for the two qualifying heats for the 1960 Vanderbilt Cup Race as listed in the Program Guide, including the #666 and #50 Dagradas.
Hear and see a Lancia Dagrada at Monaco in this YouTube film.
More information and films of the Dagradas.
May 17, 2010 Update: Michael Lynch has forwarded this 1960 article on the Cornelius Vanderbilt Cup Race published in Road & Track.
The race was also described in this article published in "Sports Car".__________________________________________________
May 26, 2010 Update: This is the current summary of documentation on the 1960 Cornelius Vanderbilt Cup Race:
-40 race cars were entered- Documented in 1960 Program Guide
-31 race cars participated in the qualifying heats- Documented in race summaries
-33 race cars started including two cars that did not participate in the qualifying heats- No documentation
-14 race cars finished- Only partial documentation