Vanderbilt Cup, 1904

Vanderbilt Cup, 1904

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
William K. Vanderbilt, Jr. and AAA established America’s first international auto race in 1904. Held annually on Long Island’s public roads, the race was aimed at improving the performance of American automobiles. The trophy, a silver cup made by Tiffany, is inscribed with the winning entries and an image of Vanderbilt in his Mercedes race car. After a spectator fatality in 1906, Vanderbilt constructed the first highway designed for automobiles, the Long Island Motor Parkway, where races resumed in 1908. After more fatalities, the race relocated to Georgia, Wisconsin, and California. Vanderbilt donated the cup to the Smithsonian in 1934.
Currently on loan
Object Name
date made
Tiffany & Co.
overall: 23 in x 20 in; 58.42 cm x 50.8 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of William K. Vanderbilt, Jr.
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
Sports & Leisure
Road Transportation
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


I live in NW Indiana and in 1909 the first Midwestern Vanderbuilt type race was sponsored by the Chicago Automobile Club. The original two race days were Friday, June 18th and Saturday, June 20th. The trophy was donated by IRA COBE who sponsored the events. The Cobe Cup is in a vault at the Motor Speedway in Indianapolis. Louis Chevrolet wan that race. The other race that weekend was for the Indiana Trophy and was won by Joe Matson. We have yet to find the Indiana Trophy. Since the 1976 the local car clubs rerun the 23.1 mile route in collectable cars. I will be driving my 1929 Model A Ford Town Sedan (STOCK) .

Note: Comment submission is temporarily unavailable while we make improvements to the site. We apologize for the interruption. If you have a question relating to the museum's collections, please first check our Collections FAQ. If you require a personal response, please use our Contact page.