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1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race
Additional Views:   enlarged  
Driver: Camille JENATZY
artist:   Peter HELCK
Media Size Edition Price 
ORIGINAL -Call 949-443-0500 for details 12" x 19" 1 $0
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1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race
October 6th, 1906: The first motor race ever attended by Peter Helck -- he was just a 13 year-old schoolboy at the time.  This race was also the first event to use the now-popular and distinctive 'checkered flag.'  Camille Jenatzy portrayed here came 5th, behind winner Louis Wagner.

The Vanderbilt Cup was the first major trophy in American auto racing. An international event, it was founded by William K. Vanderbilt II in 1904 and held at a course set out in Nassau County on Long Island, New York.

It was begun in response to a depressing fact: American automobiles were technologically inferior to those built in Europe.  An early and ardent enthusiast for the new technology, 'Willie K' could afford the best cars in the world and he knew they were not made in the United States. He sponsored the Vanderbilt Cup races, he said, because "I felt the United States was far behind other nations."

The Vanderbilt Cup Race was not just a test of race cars, it was an event that would popularize the automobile like no other. Drivers from all over the world fighting for a silver Tiffany cup for nearly 300 miles excited the imaginations of the horse-and-wagon populace.

The 1906 race left a legacy: the first concrete highway in the United States was built after this race left a spectator dead and Vanderbilt was forced to establish a private road. Called the Long Island Motor Parkway, it also was the first highway designed exclusively for automobiles and the first to use overpasses and bridges to eliminate intersections.

This 12“ x 18½“ original is painted in acrylics on 14“ x 20½“ stiff cardboard and signed Helck '64 on the left.
It is dedicated: To Walter Gotschke from his admiring artist friend in America: Peter Helck

Artist Notes:
Peter Helck in a letter to Walter Gotschke in 1963: "I have started a little sketch for you... It shows the first racing car I ever saw in action, Jenatzy's red Mercedes in the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race."

Peter Helck in a letter to Walter Gotschke in 1964: "My sketch shows that sensational old war horse, Camille Jenatzy, driving Robert Graves's 120 Mercedes in early morning practice for the 1906 Vanderbilt."

1906 Gallery
1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race
2008 AACA Fall National Meet at Hershey

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