Oct 12 2010

Film Part II- VMCCA 1942 Antique Auto Derby “Races”

Bob Sposato and Robert Richer have provided an amazing film of the Antique Auto Derby held at the Fairfield County Hunt Club in Westport, Connecticut on July 25, 1942. The event was organized by the Veteran Motor Car Club of America (VMCCA) for the benefit of United China Relief. Part I featured the Concours d'Elegance of "50 of America's First Cars". This 3-minute film features several of the "races" held at the Derby:

Race of Electric Automobiles (0:13 to 1:28)

From left to right:

#28 Baker Electric owned and driven by Roy Larsen

#27 1913 Rausch & Lang Electric owned and driven by Chester LaRoche

#26 1904 Waverly Electric owned and driven by Ira Warner

#24 Columbus Electric owned and driven by Mrs. James Melton

Race of Two-Cylinder Automobiles (1:44 to 2:07) including:

#8 1909 Maxwell owned and driven by Ralph Weeks

#9 1903 Ford owned and driven by J.B. Van Sciver, Jr.

#15 1907 Fuller owned by James Melton

Paul Webb and his Esquire magazine Mountain Boys in a Ford Model T Chasing "Hitler" (2:07 to 2:18)

Racing Cars in the Obstacle Race (2:19 to 2:50) including:

#18 1913 Mercedes owned by James Melton and driven by Ralph DePalma

#10 1913 Lozier Runabout owned & driven by R.B. Blood

#42 1914 Mercer owned and driven by Sam Baily

#45 1914 Stutz Bearcat owned and driven by John Fetterolf

Links to related posts on VanderbiltCupRaces.com:

Film- VMCCA 1942 Antique Auto Derby “50 of America’s First Cars


Oct 17 2010 Howard Kroplick 8:07 PM

From Karen T:


First, thank you for the weekly emails from your website, we enjoy them. My daughter Elizabeth enjoyed the book she has that you wrote about the Vanderbilt Cup, you were kind enough to autograph it for her, thank you! Her love of old cars keeps growing. Now it includes old bicycles, she has two she’s currently restoring…

I’d like to make a special request regarding the Hunt Club videos you have. There are several generous people whom I know who were instrumental in its production. The video wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for their efforts, and I’d like to publicly thank them.

Originally, Bill Pate acquired a VHS tape of raw footage of the Hunt Club event from J B Van Sciver. After Bill’s passing, his brother, Carlton O. Pate, loaned the VHS tape to David Reed, who offered to have the contents of the tape professionally digitally edited and put on DVD’s, at his own expense. Carlton agreed. This was no easy task, and not inexpensive! It included the addition of music and the incorporation of the original program from the show. George Dragone generously loaned an original program for the production, which was fantastic. It really helped to make the video what is today. David Reed then loaned a copy of the DVD to Bob Sposato and said he could make some copies for himself and some friends. Without their efforts, we wouldn’t have it!

Thank you Howard for your consideration. Have a great day, and thanks again for your website…

Karen T

Oct 18 2010 Huntley H. Perry 6:37 PM

I’m amazed that such an event was held 8 months after the attack on Pearl Harbor! We were deep in war then. Probably had gas rationing by then.

I grew up in nearby Bridgeport, CT, where I was an airplane spotter for several years. Back in those days we didn’t have early warning radar, so we had a Ground Observer Corps, or Aircraft Warning Corps (AWS). There were observation posts all along the seacoast. Our observation post was atop the Bridgeport City Trust Company, and called in reports of aircraft to a ploting room at Headquartes, I Fighter Command, Mitchel Field, NY. Most of the spotters were ladies, elderly gentlemen. and a few young kids like myself. One of the ladies reported a “flying submarine”, which turned out to be a blimp! The AWS was disbanded May 27, 1944.

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