Astor Cup Program Cover, 1915


A reader of this blog recently approached me about a terrific historical artifact she has - an excellent condition copy of the cover of the souvenir program for the 1915 Astor Cup at the Sheepshead Bay board track. The cup was named after Vincent Astor, the son of John Jacob Astor IV of the extraordinarily wealthy Astor family. It is interesting to note that the initial president of the Sheepshead Bay Speedway was Carl Fisher, founder and first president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Arthur Newby, another of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's founding fathers, also served on the Sheepshead board of directors. Even though the program cover is dated October 2, 1915, the race was postponed due to rain and did not actually run until October 9. Tragedy struck even before the race when two-time Vanderbilt Cup champion and Indianapolis 500 veteran Harry Grant was severely burned in a practice run. He would lose his life the day before the race. Stutz driver Gil Anderson won the 300 mile contest. Note that the artist of the program cover was Peter Helck, far and away the most prominent artist of this genre.
1915 Astor Cup Program Cover