Jun 08 2013

FIAT Freakout: The 13 FIATS of the Vanderbilt Cup Races

In celebration of the FIAT Freakout National Convention to be held on July 18-21, 2013 in Hauppauge, all 13 FIATs that participated in the 1904, 1905, 1906 and 1909 Vanderbilt Cup Races are featured in today's post. Only Mercedes with 17 entries  had more participants than FIAT in the the six Vanderbilt Cup Races held on Long Island.



Howard Kroplick

1904 Vanderbilt Cup Race

Paul Sartori at the Massapequa Turn on to Hempstead Turnpike. Finished 16th.

William Wallace at the Westbury starting line on Jericho Turnpike. Finished 18th.

1905 Vanderbilt Cup Race

The 1905 FIAT promotional poster.

Vincenzo Lancia at the starting line in Mineola. Led the entire race until crashing into the Christie with two laps to go. Finished 4th after repairs.

Felice Nazzaro passing the LIRR railroad tracks on Jericho Turnpike in Mineola. Finished 6th.

Emanuel Cedrino taking the turn at the New Hyde Park Turn at Lakeville Road and Jericho Turnpike.  Finished 18th.

Louis Chevrolet driving on I.U. Willets Road in Old Westbury. Finished 10th.

Paul Sartori passing the officials' stand/press box in Mineola. Finished 7th.

1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race

Film of the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race. See #8 FIAT (Felice Nazzaro) at 0:56 seconds and #4 FIAT (Vincenzo Lancia) at 2:20 minutes.

Vincenzo Lancia passing the grandstands on Jericho Turnpike in Westbury.

Felice Nazzaro taking the Hairpin Turn on Wheatley Road in Old Westbury. Finished sixth.

Dr. Aldo Weilschott breaking a gear during the first lap. Finished 17th.

1909 Vanderbilt Cup Race

Lewis Strang at the starting line on the Motor Parkway. Finished 15th.

Eddie Hearne on Old Country Road in Hicksville. Finished 13th.

Eddie Parking taking the turn at Old Country Road in Westbury. Finshed 2nd- along with Lancia's 1906 finish, the best FIAT showing in the races.


Jun 09 2013 Ariejan Bos 11:24 AM

Compilations are always interesting, especially as it is now immediately obvious that Fiat was not present at the 1908 VC. I tried to find out why, because they were present at all major international races of 1908, including the Grand Prize in Savannah. However I didn’t find a single word about this. Is there anybody who knows more?

Jun 09 2013 Alan Clendenen 1:38 PM

Howard:  Thanks for the post on the Vanderbilt FIATs, and the video in fantastic.  It would be fun to have my 1911 chain-drive Tipo “6” at one of these meets, but California is to far away.  Best regards, Alan

Jun 09 2013 Alan Clendenen 1:43 PM

Howard:  One more comment: The FIAT that Louis Chevrolet drove, #16, belonged to William Wallace, as did my 1911.

Jun 09 2013 Thad K 5:50 PM

It would be great to get a FIAT from that era to attend the FreakOut National Convention this July in Happauge, LI.

Jun 09 2013 Ted 10:30 PM

What a fantastic web page,especially coming around that sharp turn,I love it,what driving that was,how those cars made that turn without having many accidents is amazing.

Jun 10 2013 Howard Kroplick 1:28 AM

Ariejan, due to a 1908 dispute between the ACA and the AAA,  the two major sponsoring organizations, most of the international racers competed in the Savannah Grand Prize rather than the Vanderbilt Cup Race.  Eleven of the 17 cars entered in the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Races were American cars.

Jun 10 2013 Ariejan Bos 9:59 AM

Thank you, Howard. When I read your comment, I remembered having read it somewhere. And indeed, John Burns describes it very clearly in his excellent book. Sometimes i just need a little push in the right direction!

Jun 11 2013 Tanya 10:25 AM

The reason some of the Europeans did not participate in the 1908 VC was because the European Automobile Clubs which sanctioned the GP races would not allow them to enter.  The ACA originally had the sanctioning rights to all international racing events for America, meaning American cars entering overseas and international entrants racing in America.  The AC of France and Germany determined that the ACA as the sole governing body of the International racing and set out a rule that if they entered any races in America not sanctioned by the ACA they could not race in the Grand Prix races of Europe.  So we had our first American Grand Prix in Savannah.  This changed later by agreement of the ACA and AAA.  Long story.

Jun 21 2013 Sam 1:53 PM

Thanks, Howard! Great stuff.

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