by Docair Jerry Malkes
Every GNYR meeting seems to get better and better with guest speakers and interesting show items. This month was no exception. First Ellyn Okvist informed us about a pleasant Sunday Drive in the Country. This trek would be from Bay Shore to Ronkonkoma with interesting stops along the way.
Howard Kroplick discussed the Long Island Motor Parkway, the Vanderbilt Cup Races of LI, interesting motor-o-bilia and fabulous races and racers of that era. Howard owns a 1966 Shelby Mustang GT-350-H, The incredible 1909 Alco Black Beast Racer, and the historic Chrysler’s Chrysler built for Walter P. Chrysler. A most interesting and humorous slide show was presented with Howard’s lecture.
Attention was given to “Willie K” Vanderbilt Jr., the Great Grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt and heir to a railroad fortune. He covered the races and different Vanderbilt Cup Courses of that time. Howard also covered the magnificent “Black Beast” that I have seen many times. I’m still waiting for my ride in that vehicle…Howard are you listening??????
Mr. Kroplick also covered the significance of the races. If I may borrow from his lecture, these include: First international auto race held in the U.S.. This promoted the use of automobile responsibility for the beginning of improvements in design and construction of American cars and parkways. This established the need for protected auto race tracks and professional race drivers. This was the largest United States Sporting events ever held. At the conclusion of the meeting coffee and “designer” pastries were offered.