Jun 24 2019

Mystery Foto #25 Solved: Lancia Taking a Manhasset Turn at the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race

This weekend's Mystery Foto featured a prominent driver taking a turn.

Mystery Foto questions:

  • Identify the location of the Mystery Foto and the orientation of the photographer.

The curve at ​Manhasset Hill (Spinney Hill)at North Hempstead Turnpike. Photographer was looking east.

  • Identify the Vanderbilt Cup Race, the race car, its driver and mechanician 

​1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race, #4 FIAT driven driven by Vincenzo Lancia and mechanician  Battista Alissa (Ajassa)

  • What services did the building on the right provide?


  • How many men in the Mystery Foto are not wearing a hat or cap?

​Zero or one!

Comments (9)

Congrats to  Tim Ivers, Steve Lucas, Greg O., Art Kleiner, Frank Femenias and Robert Saunders for identifying Lancia's #4 FIAT at Manhasset Hill.

Kudos to Sam Berliner III for finding a person not wearing a hat or cap (see below Comment).


Howard Kroplick


Manhasset Location

View looking east. Blacksmith shop can be seen on the left.

The Automobile, October 11, 1906

Link to the article. Courtesy of Robert Pavone.

Evening World, October 6, 1906


Jun 22 2019 Tim Ivers 3:49 PM

Looking east at Spinney Hill during the 1906 race.
Blacksmith shop at the corner.
Vincenzo lanzia driver, Alissa the mechanician
No man without head covering

Jun 22 2019 Steve Lucas 10:59 PM

The photographer is facing east (maybe slightly northeast) on Northern Blvd. at Valley Road in Manhasset as Vincenzo Lancia in the #4 FIAT is about to go west up Spinney Hill in the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race. Lancia’s mechanician was Ajassa Batista (or possibly Batista Ajassa). I think I read somewhere that the building served as the local jail at the time. As near as I can tell, it looks like everyone is wearing some kind of head covering.

Jun 23 2019 Ron Ridolph 11:24 AM

Driver:  Vincenzo Lanca and Mechanician Battista Ajassa.  Car is a Fiat.

Jun 23 2019 S. Berliner, III 1:06 PM

No clues (as usual - although I’ve seen the pic before), and it’s a very-pixellated image, but one person (man?) clearly is bare-headed!  You can even see the part in his/her hair.  Sam, III

Jun 23 2019 Greg O. 3:13 PM

Need to see Painless Parker for my wisdom tooth….

#4 Fiat driven by Vincenzo Lancia, rounding Northern Boulevard and Valley Road in the 1906 VCR. The building on the right was a jail.

I don’t think I can spot anyone that’s not wearing any head coverings!

Jun 24 2019 Art Kleiner 6:55 AM

Identify the location of the Mystery Foto and the orientation of the photographer.
Manhasset Hill on North Hempstead Turnpike.  Car is coming up hill and going west, so I would say the photographer is looking east. 

Identify the Vanderbilt Cup Race, the race car, its driver and mechanician
1906 VCR, FIAT, Vincenzo Lancia

What services did the building on the right provide?  Communications back to race officials pertaining to race progress

How many men in the Mystery Foto are not wearing a hat or cap?  I would say all.

Jun 24 2019 frank femenias 8:39 AM

The Fiat #4 (120hp) driven by Vincenzo Lancia (crowd favorite) alongside mechanician Battista Ajassa during the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race on Long Island. This racer finished 2nd and taking a left turn where?. Hope to be back for more.

Jun 24 2019 Robert Saunders 11:42 AM

I’d say this is the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race with Fiat #4 being driven by Vincenzo Lancia. His mechanician was Battista Ajassa.  This is the stretch heading west into Manhasset Hill. (Today that would be the intersection of Northern Boulevard and East Shore Road/Community Drive.) The photographer is likely on the west side of the road looking east. The shop is most likely the blacksmith shop. Wasn’t a young boy killed at this intersection that year? Oh, no one is without a hat.

Jun 24 2019 Rich 4:37 PM

Forget about the men.  Although a bit fuzzy, it looks like there’s 1 woman among the spectators.  Also, is that dust that gives the vehicle a white appearance?

Jun 24 2019 Robert Hoffmann 10:59 PM

1906 Telephone Station Manhasset Hill

Jun 25 2019 michael labarbera 9:26 AM

The newspaper article doesn’t finish the story about poor little Johnny’s fate…..

Jun 25 2019 Robert Saunders 10:10 AM

I saw that guy w/o a hat that Sam spotted, but I chose to ignore him for some reason.  Sorry spectator-from-the-past.

Jun 26 2019 S. Berliner, III 2:43 PM

All this got me curious (after all these years).  Extrapolating from USGS Topo Maps, Spinney Hill starts at ~25’ above sea level at the turn by Marshall’s Pond-cum-Whitney Lake and rises westerly to ~205’ at the point where Spinney Hill Drive from the southeast meets No. Blvd. some 500’ east of So. Middle Neck-cum-Lakeville Rd.  That is a 180’ rise in ~4,000’ horizontally along the road for an *AVERAGE* 4½% grade.  In those 1906 “crates”, no less (sorry, Howard).  Yeeks!  By the way, I have driven every single “new” or new car I have ever owned, 1939 and up, even my current little FIAT, up Spinney Hill as soon as I got it, just to see, so I really know that grade well.  Sam, III

Jun 29 2019 Tom 8:11 PM

Wonder what the charge was for the telephone call, and local or long distance?

Jun 30 2019 Bob Allen 9:31 PM

Interesting.  That blacksmith shop was owned and operated by my great grandfather Schneider.  It continued to operate (I was told) until the early 50’s by my father’s uncle.  I was born in 1950 so I have no recollection of it.  Dad ended up with a few old tools from the place and I ended up with a 16 lb. sledge hammer from my father.
I wonder if Johnny Brooks (the boy that was run over by one of the cars) was a relation, since my middle name is Brooks.  I never really understood why my folks named me Brooks; going through our family tree there was a Brooks who was a stone mason in Great Neck (in the mid-1800’s as I recall) who married an Allen or whose daughter married an Allen.  But apparently my folks just like the name and didn’t have very clear feelings about Brooks.
So thank you Howard and friends for all this interesting material you put out.
Robert Brooks Allen - Bob

Howard Kroplick

Bob, that is so neat!

Jul 01 2019 S. Berliner, III 11:54 AM

O. K.  I well remember using crank phones and party lines out on the East End and upstate and in New England but I sure have no idea how one paid for a call pre-plastic, before coin-op. public phones were commonplace.  Anyone?  Mayhap the LIMP or Willie K. paid for that system.  Sam, III

Jul 05 2019 Brian D McCarthy 4:08 PM

Agreed. Your recollection’s and others are always deeply appreciated, Bob! Thought my 12 pound sledgehammer was a beast, extra 4 lbs makes a BIG difference.

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