The fight for Bridgehampton Raceway may be over,
but historic racing is alive and well on Long Island with the celebration
the Vanderbilt Cup Races
The following was forwarded to us by one of the Bridgehampton Racing Heritage
Group's advocate, Guy Frost. For nearly a decade, Mr. Frost has faced insurmountable
odds battling the economic and political forces to save Bridgehampton Raceway
for future generations to enjoy. Regrettably, the uphill battle has come to
an end with the group moving on to initiate another
of Long Island's racing heritages, the Vanderbilt Cup.
From Guy Frost, Executive Director Bridgehampton Racing Heritage Group:
All good things come to an end... The fight to reopen Bridgehampton Racetrack
is over. However, the quest continues to support the history
and future motorsports in the NY/Long Island area. To that end we are
working on a new venture around the historic Vanderbilt Centennial Group.
BRHG (Bridgehampton Racing Heritage Group) has been licking wounds since we
lost our lawsuit against Southampton Town, but we're flaring up like the proverbial
Phoenix. October 2004 marked the 100th anniversary of "Willie K." Vanderbilt's
first Cup Race right here on Long Island, so we have now become the Vanderbilt
But first the bad news. We had our day in court and were assigned a
Suffolk County judge who was nearing retirement. His Honor simply
dismissed our plea to save "the Bridge" as an historic site. He suggested we
return to the Town Board for relief, as if we hadn't been camped out in town
hall for the past 10 years. Alas, BRHG is now over $10,000.00 in the
red and we have given up for the time being.
Ironically, County Executives Tom Suozzi and Steve Levy had voiced their
interest in celebrating Vanderbilt's contribution to American motoring.
We suggested a parade of antique cars on the 1904 Vanderbilt Cup circuit
and a day of time trials for cars with a racing heritage on the roadways
encircling Nassau County's Mitchel Athletic Fields.
So the first Vanderbilt Cup
Centennial was duly celebrated in October of 2004. A 26 mile parade of antique
cars guided Nassau's police motorcycle squad plus some 50 sports cars racing
around the public highways a mere 20 miles from Manhattan were truly sights
to behold. Extensive press coverage of this historic celebration of 100 years
of motor vehicle development brought big smiles to the political faces.
2005, the 2nd Vanderbilt Cup celebration promises to be an unforgettable event
spanning Long Island. We'll have an autocross day for cars and karts with a
concours display of historic automobiles on Saturday, September 17th. On Sunday,
the time trial cars will again take to the streets and the antique cars will
rerun the 1905 Cup route followed by a rallye to Suffolk County's Vanderbilt
Museum and beyond.
Given short notice and conflicting events last year, participation
from as far away as Boston and Baltimore bodes well for 2005. Indeed, Nassau
County officials have expressed a keen interest in including full-blown
professional racing at the Nassau Coliseum-Mitchel Field Complex in coming
But let's face facts. We are in desparate need of seed money to promote
and grow these events. We need investors, sponsors and participants of
all sorts if we really want to bring motorsports back to the metropolitan
area. If you have an email and want future updates, please respond to Guy
L. Frost at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can help today by contacting Guy for:
1969 Bridgehampton Can-Am Poster with
Gotchse's painting (thanks to A.Q.) $60
John Fitch's Signature Retrospective
Bridgehampton's 25th Anniversary Journal $25
2004 Vanderbilt Cup Centennial Journal $10
We hope to have these available online for purchase soon.
We hope to see you at the Vanderbilt Centennial event on
2005. Guy Frost, Executive Director Bridgehampton Racing Heritage Group
5 Sinclair Martin Drive
Roslyn, NY 11576
Take a look back at additional Vanderbilt Cup Race maps, pictures and more at:
Vanderbilt Cup Races