Story and Photos by Dean Larson

Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin is like many other small towns in the state, or any state for that matter. But amongst the small-town bars, restaurants and other businesses, you’ll find evidence of a deep connection to vintage racing. Just a few miles down Highway 67 lies Road America, one of the nation’s treasured and storied race circuits dating back to 1950. The traditions of vintage auto racing are alive and well at Road America, forever shaping this small Wisconsin town.

Since the inception of ReinCarNation magazine, we’ve been travelling to Road America every summer for one of the track’s premier events, the Weathertech International Challenge with Brian Redman. The event is a three-day spectacle of diverse racing groups, including historic Trans Am, Can-Am, Big-Bore Production cars, Pre-War, Indy and more.

Pits, parking and camping areas surround the track’s 4.048-mile circuit, and there’s never a shortage of fascinating cars, trucks and motorcycles on hand. There’s only a few places left in the world where you can closely inspect a million-dollar Can-Am racer in its natural habitat, and drivers and owners are often on hand to entertain your questions on their museum-quality track toys. A standout for me this year, was walking up to roughly 20 Trans-Am racers in the pits, awaiting their upcoming run in the Sunday heat.

Along with other vendors like CTECH, the Academy for the Art of Metal Shaping, Accumoto Motorsport and more, we operated a booth on the track grounds, talking to readers, racers and fans alike. You never know what kind of person may wander through your display at an event like this. One moment you’re chatting with someone about their Grand Sport replica, and the next, an accomplished racing driver of the ’50s and ’60s.

If a full day at the track doesn’t trigger sensory overload, simply make your way to downtown Elkhart for the evening Concours events. Friday’s show consists of a parade of race cars on driving in from the track to be shown on the streets downtown. Hundreds of enthusiasts on the streets make it a tight squeeze, but an up-close look at the race cars is worth the effort. Saturday night’s event is a similar itinerary, with street cars featured instead. There’s always a few interesting entries, and we were fascinated by an aluminum-bodied Ferrari replica and a custom-built Bocar XP-5 recreation.

If you can make the trip, Elkhart Lake and Road America never disappoint. We’ll surly be back next year with a completed example of our aluminum-bodied Troy Indy Special and a few other interesting projects.

Check out www.roadamerica.com for more information and their full calendar of events.