Photos and story by Dean Larson

We’re painfully aware that Wisconsin is not necessarily the best place to base an automotive publication. We don’t have Mulholland Drive, Route 66 or the Tail of the Dragon, and a good part of our state is buried in snow half the year.

But that’s not to say we don’t have a few hidden gems here in America’s Dairyland. Nestled in the eastern edge of the state is the small town of Elkhart Lake, near the historic racing circuit Road America.

Back in the 1940s and ’50s, Elkhart Lake became a famous destination for its road races, which took place on public roadways around Elkhart Lake. Following tragedy at Watkins Glen in 1952, racing on public highways was put down at the federal level, which temporarily halted racing in Elkhart Lake. Just two years later, a private road course was opened in September of 1955 thanks to the efforts of highway engineer Clif Tufte and other influential citizens.

The 4.048-mile road course features 14 turns, and remains virtually the same as when it hosted its first SCCA event on September 10, 1955. The track holds 425 events annually, attracting some 800,000 visitors and generating more than $100 million each year. But the flagship event for Road America and Elkhart Lake, is the Weathertech International Challenge with Brian Redman. The event features over 400 cars, from Historic CAN-AM to Trans Am, and Pre-War to open wheel formula classes.

Every year, we trek down to Elkhart Lake for the event to grab photos, find stories and watch some great racing. Our booth was in the same spot as years past, just down from the paddock by the always-interesting corner five. Next door, was Scarab Motorsports, who hosted a Meister Brauser/Scarab reunion over the weekend. Chatting with these guys is always an honor, especially driver Don Divine, who has just about the best stories to tell.

Other than a storm which shut down racing for a couple hours on Saturday, the event was a blast, and we lost our voices talking with race fans over the weekend. It’s great getting to know peoples’ stories, and recognizing faces from years prior.

We had a few special custom vehicles in our booth for the event, including the original 1959 Troy Roadster and the new Troy Indy Special continuation car. The cars took home an award at the street car concours on Saturday night, and gathered quite a crowd all weekend. But you’ll have to check out the next issue for the full story there, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, enjoy this gratuitous photo dump.