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1909 Alco-6 Racer Featured at Plaza Autofest/Street Festival

The 1909 Alco-6 Racer, the famed car also known as “la Bete Noir” or the “Black Beast,” will be featured at the 25th Annual Great Neck Plaza Annual AutoFest and Street Festival to be held on Sunday, Oct. 11 from noon to 5 p.m.  The Alco-6 Black Beast Racer gained prominence for its consecutive victories in the 1909 and 1910 Vanderbilt Cup Races held on the Long Island Motor Parkway and for participating in the first Indy 500 Race held in 1911.

Jay Corn, Great Neck Plaza Business Improvement District (BID) vice president and AutoFest committee chairperson, is excited about this wonderful addition to the festival. “The Great Neck Plaza BID is proud to have such an iconic car headlining our Autofest this year. Participation is always great in these events and I am sure all participating car enthusiasts will appreciate this exotic addition. Current owner Howard Kroplick has kept this restored vehicle in immaculate condition, and will be showing the car at many events throughout Long Island.”  

Manufactured in Providence, Rhode Island, the Alco-6 Racer weighs 3,300 pounds, holds a 6-cylinder 100 horsepower engine and can achieve a speed of 120 mph.  In 1909, the vehicle cost $6,600. Today it is priceless.  

The Great Neck Plaza Street Festival and Autofest draws a crowd of thousands and showcases the sights, sounds and tastes that Great Neck Plaza has to offer. Additional attractions during the course of the five-hour festival include an antiques show and sale and a “clothesline art show” debuting the works of many local artists.   

Jeff Moss, Great Neck Plaza BID director, AutoFest committee member and owner of the very popular local restaurant Panchos Border Grill, noted, “The AutoFest and street festival is always a highlight event for us.  A variety of musical acts will provide the soundtrack for the day, including the regionally acclaimed Meade Brothers, the Barber Shop Quartet, What’s Next and DJ Dwayne Belgrave. Each of these musical groups offers a different style of music for adults, teens and kids to enjoy.”  

Kids will also enjoy carnival rides and games, pony rides and a petting zoo. Face-painters, magicians, clowns, stilt-walkers and Elvis impersonator Gene DiNapoli, will all be on hand to make the visit more enjoyable.  

International foods are always a mainstay of the AutoFest and Street Festival. Be sure to take advantage of the delicious and diverse food that Great Neck Plaza has to offer, many featuring discount prices for the street festival. There are a variety of restaurants offering Asian, Mexican, Greek, Continental, Italian, Mediterranean and American style foods.  

For more information, please call 829-1301. Information on the Alco-6 Black Beast Racer can be found at VanderbiltCupRaces.com.