Feb 07 2015

Exclusive: Glenn Ethridge in the Isotta Fraschini that Won the 1908 Briarcliff Trophy Stock Car Race

A relative of Glenn Ethridge, the mechanician of the winner of the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race Old 16, has forwarded this photo and requesting assistance:

Zach Peelman: "My family has been doing genealogical research. We've recently discovered that Glenn Edward Ethridge, my great-great-grandmother's cousin, was the mechanician that helped drive the "Old 16" Locomobile to a 1st place finish in the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup (which, as I understand it, was an important occasion in American automobile industry history).

What led to this discovery was a postcard sent by Glenn Ethridge at 9:30 am on August 17, 1908 from New York City to Glenn's uncle (my 3rd great-grandfather) Edgar Ethridge, just a short time before his win at the Vanderbilt Cup. Though the postcard itself doesn't appear to be from a Vanderbilt Cup race, I was wondering if you could provide any clues as to what event it would have been raced in.  In it Glenn is seated in a race car (#4 from the looks of it). It appears that the letters "IF" (though I can't be sure) appear just above the radiator. The handwritten caption reads "A winner of two big races, this car will do 86 miles a hour. I am a driving it. G.E. [Glenn Ethridge]."

Any help you could provide in identifying the car or the event it was in would be greatly appreciated. I love the website by the way. It is through your website that we were able to figure out that Glenn was in the 1908 race."

Zach, I believe the photo shows Glenn Ethridge sitting in the Isotta  Fraschini that won both the 1908 Savannah Challenge (March 19, 1908) and the First Briarcliff Trophy Stock Car Race (April 24, 1908). Details are below.


Howard Kroplick

The location for the photo is currently unknown. Two huge elephant gargoyles surrounded the garage entrance. Can anyone identify this unique buidling?

Glenn Ethridge in a #4 Isotta Fraschini. The photo was made into a postcard and mailed by Ethridge on August 17, 1908.

Glenn Ethridge's written messge was key to identifying the racer: "A winner of two big races, this car will do 86 miles a hour. I am a driving it. G.E."

A Google search indicated that Glenn Ethridge did not drive an Isotta in 1908.

A car that fit Ethridge's description was an Isotta Fraschini owned by John H. Tyson and driven to victories by Lewis Strang in both the 1908 Savannah Challenge and the 1908 Briarcliff Trophy Stock Car Race.

1908 Savannah Challenge (March 19,1908)

The #2 Isotta driven by Strang finished first, averaging 53.8 mph.

First Briarcliff Trophy Stock Car Race (April 24, 1908)

The #4 Isotta driven by Strang also finished first on the Briarcliff course in Westchester, New York . The 240-mile race is considered the first international race for stock cars.

Note the #4 of Strang's racer exactly matches the #4 of Ethridge's car.

In May 1909, Glenn Ethridge was the driver of Tyson's Isotta in a Bridgeport Hill Climb. During the climb, the Isotta lost a wheel injuring several spectators.


Oct 29 2018 Elaine Massena 1:09 PM

The “unique” building pictured above with Glenn Ethridge was the Mammoth Garage, in White Plains, NY on Mamaroneck Ave.  Three large woolly mammoth heads adorned the front of the large garage.  Later, it became a Cadillac dealer and they were taken down.  This garage was home to George Jacob Grossman’s GJG’s built between 1909 and 1915.

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