Tag Archives: Empire City Track
*Update I * Many thanks to Alan Ballard who has identified this as the Breeze Point track near Philadelphia and not a NYC area track. Thanks to Alan’s information along his photo below seen just below, we may now be able to id the participants.
The caption with the photo states: Point Breeze Mile Dirt Track 9/1911. Looking from the infield across the track to the hotel.
*Update II * After looking over trade journals from 1910 and 1911, the last year the track was in operation, it seems likely that the top photo was a race meet held on August 8, 1910 as it is the only meeting were mention of a Knox can be found. It belonged to Barney Oldfield and he also brought along his Blitzen Benz. Oldfield won the 10-mile race and the six-hour endurance race in his Knox. He also set a new track record with his Blitzen, bettering DePalma’s one minute, one second record set in the Fiat Cyclone, at one minute even.
This is quite an interesting line up for what appears to be a match race either at the Empire City track just north of New York City or possibly at the Brighton Beach track. Hopefully one of our readers can identify the club house in the background and identify the track. This is a E. A. Waterman photo, by the photography firm which was based in Brooklyn, that photo-graphed many of the early races in the NYC Metro area.
The cars left to right are a Benz, Knox and at the right the Simplex Zip an The Old Motor favorite.
Joe Tracy and his riding mechanic-acrobat, are shown posing for the camera above at the Empire City track in their 1902 Panhard 40 h.p. racer during a 1903 race meet. The dare devil appears to be holding onto the gas cap and a strap or rope to demonstrate early weight transfer tricks to keep the racer from “turning turtle” as they used to say in the turns.
Below we see him tucked in and both are crouched down, trying to get out of the wind stream and pickup a little speed. The Panhard is captioned as belonging to Mr. Blair in the Peter Helck Collection photo. Courtesy of Racemaker Press.
The events at the Empire City track, which was located just north of New York City, were among the earliest of race meets in this country. The photo above shows Charles Wridge-way posing aboard his Peerless racing car. Note the early racing low restriction exhaust, they just took the entire system off including the exhaust manifold !
Below we see Barney Oldfield on the left with the famous Ford 999 and Wridgeway again this time aboard a Peerless, but this car appears to be just a stripped down production model. Both were competitors of Joe Tracy who we showed recently and who was also at this very same meet with a Panhard. We will show Tracy next time when we revisit these early racers. Peter Helck collection photos, courtesy of Racemaker Press.