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‘Black Beast’ at Great Neck AutoFest

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 – 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 chairman 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.”

Kroplick is a resident of East Hills and the author of two books on auto racing in Long Island. The racer was recently featured on the grounds at the Nassau County Museum of Art.

Manufactured in Providence, RI, the Alco-6 Racer weighs 3,300 pounds, holds a 6-cylinder engine, 100 horsepower 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.

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