Cameron Argetsinger

Before World War Two, professional street races, contests on circuits laid out on public roads, had grown in popularity in America in places like Bridgehampton Connecticut, and on Long Island. But shortly after Pearl Harbor all motor racing in America was put on hold. After the war, a young Cornell law student began an effort that would bring road racing back to America.

‘Uniquely New York’ is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Links:
Path Through History
WSKG’s Path Through History
Schuyler County Historical Society

Photos Courtesy of:
Schuyler County Historical Society
International Motor Racing Research Library
Library of Congress

International Motor Racing Research Center

Located in a town where American motor racing holds court, The International Motor Racing Research Center, on Decatur Street in the Village of Watkins Glen, houses an impressive collection of automotive history and memorabilia.

The center opened its doors to the public in 1999, and today continues its mission to be a world-class leader in the collection and preservation of motor racing heritage. Housed in a two-story brick building, the research center’s collection contains thousands of books, manuscripts, periodicals, and visual works from the history of both amateur and professional motor racing. Whether for the casual visitor or the ardent student of motor sports, the International Motor Racing Research Center offers a wonderful opportunity to learn while having fun along New York’s Path Through History. Photos Courtesy of:
International Motor Racing Research Library

Watkins Glen Grand Prix

It was here, after World War II, in the village of Watkins Glen, that Cornell University Law student and auto-racing enthusiast Cameron Argetsinger envisioned an extravagant European style car race in the heart of Schuyler County. During the war, the rationing of gas and rubber had virtually put a stop to car racing in America, but with the end of the war, Argetsinger saw the opportunity to turn his vision into a reality.

On October 2nd 1948, the very first Watkins Glen Grand Prix ran through these very streets and over the next five years the race drew crowds as large as 200 thousand spectators. In 1952, a tragic accident prompted the race to move from the village streets to a permanent raceway that eventually opened in 1956. In 1961, Formula 1 racing came to the Glen and continued here until 1980.

Northeast Classic Car Museum

Located in Norwich, the Northeast Classic Car Museum first opened in 1997 with an exhibit of 50 vintage automobiles. The collection consisted of cars primarily manufactured by the Franklin Automobile Company of Syracuse, and each had been meticulously restored by local owner and collector George Staley.

Today, thanks to generous donations, the collection has grown to over 160 vintage automobiles and fills five connected buildings. A carpeted walkway leads visitors through several themed exhibits where classic car models like the Franklin, the Pierce Arrow, Auburn, Maxwell, Delorean, and others great guests as they explore the museum. The Northeast Classic Car Museum, where sculpted hood ornaments, streamlined art deco styles, space-age tail fins and lots of chrome, bring fond memories and a new appreciation for automotive design on New York’s “Path Through History.”