Reader’s Mystery Photo


Cindy sent in this photo belonging to a friend of hers looking for more information. The caption gives the vital details—“Wagner in 100 HP Darracq making a last turn at Krug’s Corner in the Vanderbilt Cup Race”. Well, that should make it easy enough. Minneola, New York’s Krug Hotel marked the 11th turn of the Vanderbilt Circuit in a few of the races. But which Vanderbilt was it? (I know that the circuit changed frequently so someone more knowledgeable on the Vanderbilt races might be able to pinpoint the year just based on the corner naming)

Louis Wagner competed in the 1905 and 1906 races for the Darracq team. He also had a handful of races in Europe with Darracq: He had class wins in 1903 and 1905 at the Circuit des Ardennes Race and Belgium; placed third among voiturettes at the deadly Paris-Madrid Race; and competed in the 1907 Targa Florio. It was the Targa that finally brought Wagner’s long relationship with Darracq to an end. After working as a mechanic for the maker in his teens and racing them in his twenties, Darracq claimed that the differential failure during the 1907 Targa was Wagner’s fault and he abruptly left the team.

Getting back to the photo though, even though we don’t clearly see the large #10s that adorned the grill of the 1906 car, this looks very like the Darracq that he won the 1906 Vanderbilt with alongside riding mechanician Louis Vivet.

What do you think… Did I get it right?

As always, VanderbiltCupRaces.com is your source for endless bits on the series, including this much more complete bio of Louis Wagner.

DISCUSS (7 Comments)

  1. Rick

    I think you nailed it. Here’s some more photos: http://www.vanderbiltcupraces.com/blog/article/then_now_krugs_corner_in_mineola/ I like the spectators sitting on the roof of the hotel … almost like Monaco.

  2. Howard Kroplick

    Thanks to the reference to VanderbiltCupRaces.com !

    The car is the #10 Darracq that was driven by Louis Wagner to victory in the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race:

    http://www.vanderbiltcupraces.com/cars/car/darracq_10_19061

    The Darracq can be seen in this rare film of the race:

    http://www.vanderbiltcupraces.com/blog/article/1906_vanderbilt_cup_race_video

    Finally, the Darracq was making the turn nknown as Krug’s Corner at Willis Avenue and Jericho Turnpike in Mineola:
    http://www.vanderbiltcupraces.com/blog/tag/tag/krug's+hotel

    Enjoy,

    Howard Kroplick

  3. Cindy Meitle

    Thank you Harlo, Howard and Rick! Another discussion: Where does a vintage image like this belong if not in the Vanderbilt Mansion museum archives? Is there a racing museum dedicated to the Vanderbilt Cup Races and is there someone I can connect with who acquires such artifacts?

  4. Howard Kroplick

    Hard to believe but there is no automobile museum on Long Island.

    I do have an archive of over 18,0000 images of the Vanderbilt Cup Races. Many of them have been posted on my website:

    http://www.vanderbiltcupraces.com/photos

  5. Dave Seyse

    Please don’t ever forget that there is the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen New York. Wonderful collections there and they are always raising funds for a major expansion in the near future.

  6. Cindy Meitle

    Sounds like Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen, New York could easily evolve into a museum of cars, images and literature with the right support from the car community!

  7. Dave Seyse

    They welcome donations of photos, slides, race programs—-virtually anything related to American automobile racing. A great source of information for historians or just plain car folks. Have you checked out their website?

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