100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

1912 Vanderbilt Cup in Wisconsin

The Vanderbilt Cup was started by William Kissam Vanderbilt II who loved races : horse races, yacht races and especially the new automobile races. He would anger citizens and officials alike when he sped furiously through the towns and villages of Long Island, New York. In 1904 Vanderbilt held the first Vanderbilt Cup a race drew the 14 top drivers and their vehicles from across the Atlantic Ocean as well as America. The Vanderbilt Cup was instrumental in improving the technology of the emerging automobile as companies participated and made improvements on the racing model that they incorporate in their commercial vehicles.

In 1912 the Vaderbilt Cup is being held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with drivers driving the best and fastest competition cars of the time. The 8 competitors is the smallest field ever but with the best racers in America : Teddy Tetzlaff, Ralph De Palma, Spencer Wishart and Ralph Mulford. It was supposed the be one of the greatest sporting events of the year but bad weather forced a 2 week delay wiping out the profits for the event.On October 2, 1912 a crowd of 60,000 watched 38 laps of the 299.44 mile race ticked off one-by-one to see Ralph DePalma take the 299-mile road course Vanderbilt Cup in his 90hp Mercedes. Drivers are dissatisfied with the track and it looks like it will be awhile before a race is held in Milwaukee.

1912 Vanderbilt Cup Pit Crew badge

Heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson attending the 1912 Vanderbilt Cup race
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
October 2, 1912

1912 Vanderbilt Cup Race
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
October 2, 1912


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