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Moments in History

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum has just premiered the fifth video in a series of Vanderbilt Moments in History, How William Vanderbilt Created America’s First International Auto Race,  which introduces viewers to the history of the race.

Photo from Vanderbilt Museum

William K. Vanderbilt II, an early auto-racing enthusiast, set a land-speed record in 1904 of 92.3 miles per hour in a Mercedes on a course in Daytona Beach, Florida. That same year, he launched the Vanderbilt Cup, America’s first international auto race.

The video series is being created by Killian Taylor, archives and records manager: “It might come as a surprise to hear that many of the Long Island roads we drive on today were once part of one of the biggest auto events in the country. The Vanderbilt Cup was the brainchild of Mr. Vanderbilt, who wanted to create a race that would encourage American car manufacturers to make race cars that could compete with their European counterparts.

“The races drew thousands of visitors onto the island each year and paved the way for modern auto racing as we know it today. The Vanderbilt Cup was a one-of-a-kind national event, and it happened right in our backyards.”

Watch these other Vanderbilt Moments in History videos: