Put-in-Bay Road Races Reunion: A Tribute to Some of Put-in-Bay’s Coolest History
The village of Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island has a unbelievable amount of unique and interesting history. Of course there’s Commodore Perry and his brave crew’s triumph over the British in the Battle of Lake Erie…hard to forget that one. Dr. Lee deForest’s first ship-to-shore broadcast, which ironically enough, contained yachting race results and the eventual coining of the term “radio.” And then there’s the Put-in-Bay Road Races.
Imagine standing in anticipation in the grass in DeRivera Park across from The Roundhouse some 60-65 years ago, dangerously close to the curb because you wanted to catch a close glimpse of your favorite sports car, only to see it for a brief moment because it whizzed by at 140 mph. 140 mph! That’s insanely fast, especially when you consider that the normally quiet roads of Put-in-Bay only see traffic around 25-35 mph. Small, quick European cars with thrill-seeking drivers weaved through the small streets of South Bass Island, trading paint and places in route to a precious victory.
But how cool is that? The type of tight quartered, high-speed public road racing that’s been outlawed in Ohio today, used to not only exist at Put-in-Bay, but thrived. Triumphs, MG’s and a drove of other small sports cars gathered in large numbers, fiercely competing for the lauded island title. From 1952 to 1959 and once in 1963, this historical non-SCAA sanctioned competition plotted 100 nimble drivers against each other on the 3.1 mile course that weaved through our small Victorian village. Pretty large race for such a small island.
Now thankfully we can relive this awesome history once again through the Put-in-Bay Road Races Reunion. In an effort to preserve and capture the essence of the storied race, those familiar and nostalgic exhaust notes will once again echo out across the warm waters of Lake Erie on August 29th – 31st.
For a 8th consecutive year, the actual race will take place on a closed airport track, pitting sub-2 liter engined sportsters against one another. The tradition will be thoroughly honored with all sorts of other race related activities as well. Social gatherings, a vintage car show, original course/track touring, honored guest stories and more guaranteed fun that any other vintage racing event around.
Plus, have you ever been to a car race that you get to watch for free? So bring a lawn chair, get set up at the airport and watch history zoom around right in front of you Visit www.pibroadrace.com for more information.