View Full Version : First Race on Long Island

Dwight Clock
01-15-2007, 09:53 PM
I was doing some research and came across a fact I was totally unaware of. I had always thought that the earliest racing on Long Island was the Vanderbilt Cup beginning around 1908. It turns out that there was an earlier event. On April 14, 1900 there was a race on a one mile oval layed out on the beach in Babylon! Few details exist but there could not have been more than a couple of cars in the event and, in fact, was probably a match race of some sort. Imagine trying that now!

The Bullfather
01-15-2007, 10:12 PM
What about the wooden race tracks? What time were they about?1932 or before?

Dwight Clock
01-15-2007, 11:28 PM
The board tracks appeared first around 1914 in Chicago followed by Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn in 1915. The heyday for these type tracks was 1919 to about 1929. They were way too fast for the day and very dangerous. For example the 1.25 mile board track in Altoona, Pa. saw a lap speed of 136 mph in 1926, an incredible speed for the day and type of car (Indy car of the day). Three Indy 500 champions - Howdy Wilcox (1919), Joe Boyer (co-winner 1924), and Ray Keech (1929) all lost their lives at Altoona.

W. J.
01-16-2007, 10:58 AM
1900! On the beach in Babylon? I guess it had to be a match race. I'd guees it would have been hard to come up with more than 2 cars capable of running on the beach at that point in history, LOL!!!

Dwight Clock
01-16-2007, 02:18 PM
Witchin8 came up with the fact that on that day (April 14 1900) there was a race on the streets. Springfield, Queens to Babylon, 25 miles each way. I am guessing that whatever happened on the beach that day was run somehow in conjunction with that event. Thanks to Witchin8 for the added info. :cheers: