As many autophiles know, the Bridgehampton area is steeped in racing history. Beginning in 1915,
the Firemen sponsored street races as part of their summer carnival. Those
races ran laps over a circular course that went east on
Main Street, south
Halsey Lane, east
on Paul's Lane, and
to the monument. Homemade and modified cars piloted by local note-worthies like
John Ambrose, Moosie Thompson, Court Rodgers and
Norris Hopping put pressure on visiting racers as they reached speeds of up to
50mph. These early races continued through 1921.
Racing revived in 1949 when Bruce Stevenson,
inspired by the first Watkins Glen race in 1948, organized a similar event in
Bridgehampton. Predominately European racing cars reached speeds in excess of
100mph on a 4.5 mile road course that ran clockwise up
Sagg Main Street
, and back along
. 1953 saw both the last
Bridgehampton race and the end of open road racing in
However, during those 5 years the likes of Briggs Cunningham, Tommy Cole,
George Huntoon, Freddie Wacker,
the Collier brothers, Bob Grossman, John Fitch, television personality Dave Garroway and many others raced at Bridgehampton in the
greatest races of the era.
In 1957 the soon to be world famous Bridge
Race Track opened on 500 acres of open land just north of the village. For over
35 years races of international importance took place on its winding course.
Community pressure from new residents who objected to the noise of the races
eventually led to the track closing. The land, atop an important aquifer,
became the subject of considerable controversy, when purchasers of the old
racetrack submitted plans for 'Golf at the Bridge'. Ironically, many maintain
that the racecourse was a much better environmental use of the land.
In 1993 Jeffrey Vogel and the Bridgehampton
Historical Society organized the first Vintage Sports Car Road Rally to
commemorate and keep alive the hamlet's racing history. Although the high-speed
thrills of the earlier races cannot be recreated, our rally follows the lead of
the great street races of the world.
Mille Miglia, the Tour de France, and
's Targa Florio have all been reborn as timed rallies,
featuring vintage cars.
Today our rally is a non-timed leisurely tour throughout our scenic and historic community. The route uses public roads complete with local traffic and includes stops at historic sites and related trivia questions. Entrants must be skilled in driving and map reading to participate.
Although initially only cars which could have competed in the original Bridgehampton Road Races were eligible, last year, and again this year our invitation extends to cars made before 12-31-1959. If you are interested in participating, please see our "Contact Us" tab.