Thursday, 28 August 2008
The Vanderbilt Cup Races
Prismacolor pencil on Neenah Classic Laid stock
© Paul Chenard 2008
Gary Faules Collection
The Vanderbilt Cup races were the brainchild of millionaire sportsman William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. in an effort to bring European style road racing to America.
Modeled in the Gordon Bennett races, the first race took place on Long Island, New York in 1904. Though it was a bit disorganized, it was a huge success. This led to a series of successful, well attended races every year until 1916. They were also run in Savannah (Georgia), Milwaukee (Wisconsin), and Santa Monica and San Francisco (California).
The Vanderbilt Cup races returned off and on, in various forms, in 1936 and 1937, in 1960, and from 1996 to 2007 but these were nothing like those early pioneer days.
My friend Gary Faules of California's Best, Inc. has written extensively on the Vanderbilt Cup races; check out his great stories: