The Checkered Flag

Alexander Buchan's avatar Alexander Buchan

"The Checkered Flag" is a painted bronze sculpture that preserves an important part of automotive history, the first victory by an American automobile in international competition. The work was created through the lost-wax casting process to provide accuracy and detail. Old Number 16 was the 1906 Locomobile raced by driver George Robertson and “riding mechanician” Glen Etheridge in the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race. Robertson watches a tire and braces for impact as the car flies over a bridge at 100 mph. Etheridge grips a hand pump to keep the engine fueled. Neither wears a seat belt. Robertson used the silk scarf atop his helmet to clean his goggles. The course changes from a wood to a dirt surface, a reminder that the Long Island route is still named Jamaica-Hempstead Plank Road. Emerging from an underpass is the Italian-built Isotta-Fraschini that finished second. The race demonstrated American technology could compete successfully with the best in the world.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 3-D
  • Depth: 9 inches
  • Medium: Bronze
  • Width: 12 inches
  • Year created: 2014
  • Height: 14 inches