Oct 28 2017

Updated (11/3/17): The Course for the Long Island Automobile Club’s 1902 100-Mile Endurance Test

On April 26, 1902, the Brooklyn-based Long Island Automobile Club ran the second "One-Hundred Mile Endurance Test on Long Island." In tonight's post, the program's description of the 100-mile course in Queens and Nassau County is featured. Note that many of the turns are not described by the names of the roads but rather structures such as buildings, mills and the Roslyn clock tower.


Howard Kroplick

Course Map

The 100-mile course was made up of 14 controls (where automobiles stopped and were evaluated) and four stations for steam automobiles.

Updated: 11/3/2017: Femenias' Findings (Submitted by Frank Femenias)

Gentlemen, start your engines! I’ve plotted the 100 mile (94.4 Google miles) 1902 Reliability Course using Howard’s full view map. This one was tricky. The map didn’t produce precise accuracy for exact RoW but was close enough to determine the route. Also, some roads no longer exist. I believe it’s correct but this is open for debate.
I believe my 16-year-old minivan can do this but would rather see the Black Beast roaring through the LI villages instead.
Have fun guys. See below close-ups.

Jamaica to Little Neck

Manhasset to Glen Cove

Locust Valley to Massapequa. Broadway and Massapequa-Hicksville Road would also be part of the 1904 Vanderbilt Cup Race course.

Freeport to Valley Stream

Springfield to Jamaica

Course Description

Inspecting the course. Wallace Grant, president of the L.I.A.C., on the rear seat. A.R. Pardington and a chauffeur in the front seat. The photo was taken by H.B. Fullerton who laid out the course. Pardington, future general manager of the Motor Parkway, was on the racing committee. Fullerton was the PR person for the L.I.R.R. (Director of Development).

Update (10/30/17): As commented by Frank Femenias, the chauffeur was likely Louis Chevrolet.

Courtesy of Sam Berliner III.

Courtesy of Sam Berliner III.

Surveying the course at the steepest grade (8%) on Roslyn Hill.

The Roslyn Clock Tower

A poreclain Long Island Automobile Club road sign


Oct 29 2017 S. Berliner, III 1:33 PM

This is one of the best such posts yet; love it!  I’m just old enough to remember riding most of these roads pre-WWII, when the area was still largely bucolic.  Some still is.  O. K., Frank F., I’d appreciate one of your masterful modern-day overlays, please; I did get a wee bit off course (deliberate pun) here and there..  Keep ‘em coming, Howard!  Sam, III

Oct 29 2017 mark schaier 2:06 PM

Like the article especially the course going thru my neighborhood of Oyster Bay, In the Course Description describing whose is in the car, the photo taken by W.B. Fullerton, should it be H.B. Fullerton? Had done work for L.I.R.R.? Also the chauffeur look to be Louis Chevrolet, is it possible??

Howard Kroplick

Mark, good catch!

Oct 29 2017 frank femenias 10:40 PM

Amazing finds Howard, I wouldn’t know where to begin.

It really looks like Louis Chevrolet and A.R. Pardington in the front seats! I would bet my train collection on that assumption. 

FANTASTIC Roslyn clock tower photo, as it still stands today! The house to the left (east) of the tower still stands as well, at least the east half of it. The west half was converted into a larger structure accommodating the theatre today.

The house on the right of tower still stands intact as well with some modifications over the years.

This village preserves its integrity that one can feel passing through it.

Wish more LI villages were like this.

Howard Kroplick

Frank, Great eye! A.R. Pardington is definitely the passenger. He was a member of the L.I.A.C. racing committee.

And that may be Louis Chevrolet!  In 1900 Chevrolet immigrated to Montreal to ply his skills in the North American automobile industry. After a stint as a chauffeur, he moved to New York to work for de Dion. By 1902 he began working at New York Fiat importer Hollander and Tangeman and may have been hired out for the inspection of the course.

Oct 30 2017 mark schaier 10:43 AM

The car is a Mors, the hood, 1902?, model ?

Oct 30 2017 S. Berliner, III 2:10 PM

I dunno about Louis; not with THAT brush.  Every photo I can find of him (dozens) shows a consistently bushier, shorter-width mustache.  Not likely to be brothers Gaston or Arthur either for the same reason.  Sam, III

Oct 30 2017 mark schaier 10:01 PM

Sam and all, go on google search ‘Louis Chevrolet’ click ‘MORE PHOTOS’ and scroll through until you see Chevrolet wearing a cap with pointy ends mustache sitting behind of steering wheel, compare. Howard, I will send you the enlarge printout, you have the original ? 1902 photo showing him as chauffeur, and you compare and let us know.

Oct 31 2017 S. Berliner, III 8:05 PM

I haven’t seen Mark’s example yet but I found a pic early on that I’d overlooked, of Louis holding an engine (Fronty Chev?) AND of all three brothers that clearly show me wrong (HORRORS!) and several that match Mark’s description.  Not much question now.  I’m sending the noted pix to Howard.  Sam, III

Nov 03 2017 frank femenias 11:01 PM

Sorry Howard, the jpeg photo I sent is tough to read. A clearer view of the route is available in Google Earth. Anyone can give me a ring if interested in the kml file.
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