Mar 21 2016

Mystery Foto #12 Solved: A Memorable Moment at Krug’s Corner at the 1906 American Elimination Trial

This weekend's Mystery Foto documented a surprising, memorable moment at Krug's Corner in Mineola.

Mystery Foto questions:

  • Identify the race and the date of the photo. Note: Previous descriptions of this photo are incorrect!

A real close look at this weekend's Mystery Foto corrects previous descriptions concerning its date and race. The race shown in the photo is the 1906 American Elimination Trial to determine the five American entrants held on September 22, 1906.  The key to solving the mystery is the large wire fence at this section of the course built for the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race but absent from the 1906 American Elimination Trial.

  • What was surprisng and memorable about this moment captured in the photo?

The surprising and memorable moment was seeing the referee William K. Vanderbilt Jr. driving his 1903 Mercedes during the race.

  • Who are the two people in the race car?

Willie K. and Dr. Louis Lanehart, the chief surgeon for the 1906  American Elimination Trial and the Vanderbilt Cup Race.

  • Identify the race car.

1903 Mercedes owned by William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. Likely, the same Mercedes that broke the one-mile land speed record in January 1904.

Congrats and kudos to Art Kleiner (see Kleiner's Korner) for  solving this trick Mystery Foto!


Howard Kroplick


William K. Vanderbilt Jr. and Dr. Louis Lanehart in the 1903 Mercedes which set the lone-mile land speed record at the 1904 Ormond-Daytona Automobile Races.

1906 American Elimination Trial, September 22, 1906 at Krug's Corner

Krug's Corner during the 1906 American Elimination Trial. It is likely that reports of crowds on the course resulted in Willie K. checking this area in his Mercedes.

Note: The absence of a wire fence at Kru's Corner.

1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race, October 6, 1906

Note: The wire fence on both sides of the course.

Kleiner's Korner (Submitted by Art Kleiner)

The New York Times, September 24, 1905

The New York Times, September 23, 1906

The New York Times, September 23, 1906


Mar 19 2016 Greg O. 8:14 AM

A second go around with this one from 3 years ago!

My answers from then should suffice;

-The location
Jericho Turnpike and Willis Avenue in Mineola

-The race
1906 Elimination Trial or Cup Race (they drove through and cleared the track for both)

-The car
Vanderbilt’s 1903 Mercedes that broke the one-mile land speed record

-The two people in the car
Willie K and Dr. Louis Lanehart


Mar 19 2016 frank femenias 10:27 PM

This mystery photo was presented before. It still looks like President Teddy Roosevelt (VCR Chief Surgeon, Dr. Louis Lanehart) being driven by Willie K, as he’s burning rubber at Krugs Corner (Jericho Tpke and Willis Ave). They’re in Willie K’s personal 1903 Mercedes and heading east on Jericho Tpke, checking crowd conditions around the 1906 VCR circuit. Could that be 13 year old Peter Helck?!?! That would be some find Howard! Memorable, because the boy is memorizing all the race images to depict on his famous paintings for decades to come. I could smell the aroma from Rodizio Restaurant hovering over this intersection, good Portuguese restaurant for ‘all you can eat’ meat lovers (100 years later). Alright, I’m anxious AGAIN waiting for this week’s answers.

Mar 19 2016 Chuck Rudy 10:31 PM

The photo was the 1906 race when an alarm was sounded by a driver of the crowd crowding the course and masses going to be killed, Willie K and surgeon Louis Lanehart took to the course for a visual inspection and course clearance.  Willie K had entered the 1906 race then abruptly withdrew bowing to pressure from American car manufacturers…..according to my reading it simply had a bit to do with him driving a foreign car, which would work against his reasoning for the race.  So he was no doubt ready for a drive regardless.  That car was a Mercedes, and that was probably Willie K’s only lap on the racing track of a Vanderbilt Cup race.

Mar 20 2016 S. Berliner, III 1:10 AM

Hey!  This was #15 of 13 May 2013!  No fair repeating!  I’ll have to send you a good one.  Sam, III

Mar 20 2016 Steve Lucas 8:54 PM

I think the photo was taken on October 6, 1906 during the third Vanderbilt Cup Race with Willie K. driving his 1903 Mercedes along with Dr. Louis Lanehart as the passenger. However, I don’t think it was during the first lap as previously thought by many but rather during the 6th. lap when Elliot F. Shepard, in his Hotchkiss racer, ran into spectator Curt Grunner slightly east of the photo. Since Lanehart was Chief Surgeon for the race, I think Willie K. may have been bringing him to the scene of the accident in an attempt to help Grunner.

Mar 21 2016 Art K. 11:53 AM

Identify the race and the date of the photo. Note: Previous descriptions of this photo are incorrect!
Um.  Let’s make the race the 1906 Elimination Trial and the date Sept. 22, 1906.

What was surprising and memorable about this moment captured in the photo?
Not really sure except maybe the huge crowd coming out for this pre Cup race.  And the fact that they aren’t on the roadway itself.

Who are the two people in the race car?
Willie K. and race surgeon, Dr. Louis Lanehart.

Identify the race car.  Willie K.‘s “90” 1903 Mercedes.

Mar 22 2016 Ted 1:33 AM

Wow,what pictures of those cars sliding around that corner. I couldn’t answer this mystery,was having trouble with computer,which affected my iPad. But I would have had some kind of an answer,it’s a well known racing area

Mar 22 2016 frank femenias 8:47 PM

Good catch on the fence. The boy standing on the curve during the elimination race was in the line of fire

Mar 24 2016 frank femenias 12:44 AM

Ted: Is it VA or FL? I like how you’re checking out all the areas in between. Hope you land where you’d want to stay. i’m thinking the same but don’t know how south to go. Relocating is not easy.

Mar 25 2016 Ted 12:30 AM

In answer to Frank Femenias. It’s another move to Florida,much better than where I am now,a lot more activities. It’s The Villages,you should check it out,it’s the place to be,a well liked place to live. We were there for four days just looking to rent,came across a good deal and grabbed it and to top it off it’s a house for about the same price we’re paying now for an apartment,it was now or never,also with the option to renew up to 5yrs. This wasn’t through the real estate,it’s a private owner wanting to move to a bigger house and rent this one and we happened to be there at the right time. What luck was that,never expected it. Move in date is June2. Second move in one year,that’s it for me,I’m staying put now.

Mar 28 2016 frank femenias 12:06 AM

Ted, sounds like an irresistible deal. A location near the shore may be important for you. If this place is, GO FOR IT! Lots of moving but I think it’s worth it in the end. GOOD LUCK.

Mar 28 2016 Ted 12:43 PM

Thanks Frank.As I said,we went for it,gave downpaymemt,move in is June2nd. This move will be well worth in the end as you said and I do need lots of luck

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