Dec 21 2010

Bethpage Plainview Road Curve on the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race Course

Harley: "I know there was a very sharp curve north right at Route 135, which then heads north before appearing to cross to Bethpage Park. When I saw it 20 years ago, it appeared to be banked. Sincere thanks for your labor of love on the Parkway."


Harley, as seen in this 1926 aerial, the section of the Motor Parkway that you described is yet another curve in Bethpage. It can be seen north of Powell Avenue (bottom) and to the west of Plainview Road (middle).


The March1908 survey of the section shows the curve and where Plainview Road was relocated with the building of the Motor Parkway.


This is the Bethpage "Plainview Road" Curve under construction as seen on June 6, 1908. Since water was not readily available, the parkway contractors dug wells every mile or so along the construction zone. On the right is a typical well setting with a pump station and elevated water storage tank.



This is the same scene a few weeks later. Note that the curved section of the roadway was banked and elevated similar to Harley's memory. In the distance beyond the curve, forms are being put in place for the pouring of concrete embankments of the Motor Parkway Bridge over the relocated Plainview Road.



The completed curve can be seen in this photo taken during the 1908 Motor Parkway Sweepstakes held on the opening day of the road on October 10, 1908. Note the completed Plainview Road Motor Parkway Bridge with spectators on the right.


The curve can be seen looking west from the base of the Plainview Road Motor Parkway Bridge. Lewis Strang is driving the #P46 Renault in the Motor Parkway Sweepstakes.


As seen from the top of the Plainview Road Motor Parkway Bridge, the #J11 Chalmers-Detroit and #P42 Isotta are competing at the curve during the race.


Here is the #M34 Lancia racing at the curve during the 1908 Sweepstakes. Note the spectators on the hill in the background.


A White Steamer was used as an ambulance during the race.

Links to related posts on

1908 Motor Parkway Sweepstakes

Historic Motor Parkway Sites in Bethpage

Archives: Long Island Motor Parkway- Nassau County

Survey Maps of the Motor Parkway


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