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Vanderbilt Cup Celebration To Feature Famous Racer

100 Years Later, The ‘Black Beast’ Will Take a Spin

Don’t forget, the Sixth Annual Centennial Celebration of the Vanderbilt Cup Races, a festival of over 100 years of speed and glamour, will take place this Sunday, Aug. 30 on the grounds of the Nassau County Museum of Art.

The highlight of this year’s event is the celebration of the centennial of the Vanderbilt Cup victory of American driver Harry Grant in the ALCO Racer. The legendary “Black Beast” racer would win the cup again in 1910 and then compete in the inaugural Indianapolis 500 race, which was held in 1911.

One hundred years later, a circle of sorts has been completed. This famous car has returned to Long Island, where it now has an East Hills owner. Car enthusiast, historian, and author Howard Kroplick is the proud owner of the ALCO, which has been the recipient of a restoration project. Howard is the author of The Long Island Motor Parkway and Vanderbilt Cup Races of Long Island, which as the titles suggest, both cover the phenomenon that will be celebrated this Sunday.

Howard will be on hand to fire up the Black Beast’s 690-cubic inch engine and make several runs on the demonstration course.

In addition, the celebrations will have a sampling from the extensive BMW motorcycle museum of Peter Nettescheim in Huntington that will include the oldest existing BMW motorcycle in the world, the 1923 R32.  Peter’s collection is the subject of another book, The Art of BMW: 85 Years of Motorcycling Excellence.

The event will include live interviews with the car owners, as well as timed demonstration runs for cars with a racing heritage (dodging hay bales on the museum’s service roads). The Rallye Auto Group is presenting the event.

The entry fee is just $10 per car and the gates open at 9 a.m. for spectators. Families are invited to picnic and explore the museum grounds while experiencing automotive history in action. Food service is available at the Museum restaurant.

The museum’s art collection may be viewed for a fee of $10. The entrance to the museum grounds is on the north side of Northern Boulevard, one half mile west of Glen Cove Road.

For more information, contact Guy Frost at 621-2745.

—By Joe Scotchie