Dec 26 2016

Mystery Foto #52 Solved: Old 16 at the 1946 VMCCA Jubilee Anniversary at the Mineola Fair Grounds


The Heck Family Collection provided one more challenge in the final Mystery Foto of the year.

Mystery Foto questions:

  • Identify the competition, the race track and the date of the photo.

Veteran Motor Car Club of America 50th Anniversary Jubilee Anniversary at the Mineola Fair Grounds held on June 8, 1946.   Although the fair grounds were actually located within Garden City, it was known as the Mineola Fair likely due to its proximity to the Mineola LIRR station.

  • Identify the race car on the right, its driver and mechanician.

Old 16 Locomobile, winner of the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race, driven by Joe Tracy with Jerry Helck as the mechanician.

  • What is on the site of the race track today?

The Nassau County Court complex.

Congrats to Tim Ivers, Dick Gorman, Chuck Rudy, Greg O. and Ariejan Bos (see Bos' Bonus) for correctly identifying Old 16 at the 1946 VMCCA Jubilee Anniversary at the Mineola Fair Grounds. Kudos to Tim Ivers, Dick Gorman,  and Greg O. for recognizing the Nassau County Court complex location as the site for the Mineola Fair Grounds.

Enjoy,

Howard Kroplick


Closeups 1946 VMCCA Jubliee Anniversary at the Mineola Fair Grounds

Joe Tracy and Jerry Helck on the curve at the Mineola Fair Grounds.


1946 Long Island Old Car Club Film


Courtesy of Walter McCarthy and the Long Island Old Car Club, highlights of the Jubilee were captured in this 4-minute film posted on VanderbiltCupRaces.com in 2009


From the Helck Family Collection

Jubilee ad

Official program cover artwork by Peter Helck.


Then: 1866

The Fair Grounds when it opened in 1866.


Then: 1930s

Looking east with Old Country Road on the right.


Then: April 24, 1942

The Mineola Fair Grounds, south of Old Country Road and west of Washington Avenue in Garden City.


Today

The Nassau County Court complex has been on the site of the Mineola Fair Grounds since the early 1950s. Note the proximity to the route of the Long Island Motor Parkway (green line).


Bos' Bonus (Submitted by Ariejan Bos)



Comments

Dec 23 2016 Tim Ivers 9:23 PM

In June 1946 the American Car Club 50th anniversary event was held at the old
Mineola fairgrounds.  Old Number 16 is pictured and the driver was Joe Tracy with
young Jerry Helck the mechanician. The fairgrounds are now just a memory, replaced
by the current Nassau County Supreme Court.  I had seen midget autos race on this dirt
track around 1948. My “seat” was a tree limb on the far turn outside the fence.

Dec 24 2016 Dick Gorman 2:53 PM

Mystery Foto #52…......The competition was the Automotive Golden Jubilee at Mineola Fairgrounds on June 8, 1946.
The race car on the right is the Old 16 Locomobile driven by Joe Tracy with Jerry Helck as his mechanician.
Today, on the site of the Mineola Fairgrounds, we find The Nassau County Court complex.

Dec 25 2016 Chuck Rudy 9:00 PM

The race is from 1946 of the VMCAA 50th anniversary celebration at the Mineola Fairgrounds dirt track.  The driver was 75 year old Joe Tracey, the mechanician was…..Jerry Helck(?) in the #16 Locomobile, and the car on the left *may be* the Breese Racer.

Not being terribly familiar with the landscape I am guessing this was the oval which backed up to the S/F line of the Vanderbilt Cup Race (though I could be wrong and notice there is another oval from aerials nearby).

What is on there today?  First guess would be a Walmart, but I’d hope at least it’s an open field or park at least…..so that is a hope, not a guess.

A short film of the race.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udTbxEVDS2w

Dec 26 2016 Greg O. 3:59 PM

The holiday took all my time up this weekend, so all I’ve got is that it looks to be Old 16 on the right, most likely with Joe Tracy at the wheel. Since the parked cars look to be from the late 40’s, this is probably well after 1941/2 when Peter Helck took ownership and more frequently exhibited the car with Tracy and Robertson driving.

Dec 26 2016 Greg O. 5:07 PM

Solved! My updated answers;

Identify the competition, the race track and the date of the photo.
Veteran Motor Car Club of America 50th Anniversary Jubliee Anniversary at the Mineola Fair Grounds-June 8th 1946

Identify the race car on the right, its driver and mechanician.
Joe Tracy & Jerry Helck

What is on the site of the race track today?
Nassau County Courthouse

Dec 26 2016 Howard Kroplick 9:52 PM

From:

From Ariejan Bos:

It took me a great effort to find out on which track the cars were racing, in which I succeeded finally by finding on the internet this tiny picture of the Mineola Fair race course. Only to find out next that all information about the event was on your website! Anyway:

This event was on June 8, 1946, but probably not because of the 50th Anniversary of the Veteran Motor Car Club of America, which was founded in 1938. 50 years of American automotive history (1896-1946) seems to be more likely.

The races were held at the Mineola race track and we see Locomobile Old No.16 with Joe Tracy at the wheel and Peter Helck’s son Jerry as his ‘mechanician’ (well, that’s my guess). The car on the left is the 1911 Breese Special, which won this race by the way.

I have no idea what has replaced race track, but I have two assumptions: 1. houses; or 2. golf course.

Too late to wish everybody a Merry Christmas, but in time to wish you all a happy and healthy New Year grin

Dec 27 2016 Ted 11:23 AM

What a memorable race that was.Enjoying all these oldies but goodies,can never get enough of it

Jan 01 2017 Tom 12:13 PM

Love the film!  Nice seeing those “modern” 1940’s cars also.  Shows perspective.

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