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Vintage race cars celebrated at Indy 500

At left, Marmon Wasp, the car that won

At left, Marmon Wasp, the car that won the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911. At right is the 1909 Alco-6 racer, known as the Black Beast. It also ran in the first Indy 500. It is currently owned by Howard Kroplick of East Hills. Credit: Howard Kroplick

We are doing a story for Sunday's paper on the 1909 Alco-6 racer, known as the Black Beast. It is owned by Howard Kroplick, of East Hills, and the car ran in the very first Indianapolis 500 in 1911. One hundred years later, five cars from that original race will take a parade lap around the Brickyard.

The Marmon Wasp, pictured above left, with the Black Beast, courtesy of Kroplick, won the inaugural race and will also participate in the pre-race ceremony.

"It's going to be amazing, after all of these years, to have these cars back on the track in Indianapolis with 300,000 people watching," said Kroplick. "And one hour later, on the same track, you will have modern race cars with all the latest technology."

Check Sunday's newspaper and for more on this story.

The Black Beast also won the 1909 and 1910 Vanderbilt Cup Race on Long Island. Here's a little more about the Vanderbilt Cup Race.

"The Cup races were the first of their kind in this country," said Stephanie Gress, director of curatorial affairs at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum. "It ran fromfrom 1904 to 1910, but not in 1907. There was a lot of controversy because safety was constantly questioned. The safety of the parkway and the safety of the cars themselves. The spectators would stand dangerously close to the cars careening around the race cousre."

According to Gress, some Long Island residents put up signs that read: "Chain your dog and lock up your fowl."


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