Valve Cover Racer Demonstrates Creative Flair

Valve Cover Racer

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Put in Bay Road RacesPut-in-Bay Road Race Heritage Society holds an exciting series of racing and associated activities.  One of the highlights is the valve cover races held at The Goat restaurant.  This year it is scheduled for Tuesday evening, 25 September 2018, at 6:30pm.

Steven Nemec  built two cars to enter in the competition open to everyone, not only registered racing participants.  His “cars” are a tribute to the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.  The first is a tribute to “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, a top competitor in NHRA drag racing.  The second is loosely based on a 1960’s animated cartoon called “Wacky Racers.  It depicts the only female racer in the show:  Penelope Pitstop.

NHRA drag racing

Penelope Pitstop

Classic Road Racers Arrive on Monday

Put in Bay RacingPut-in-Bay Road Races begin the celebration of the 10th annual event on Monday, 24 September 2018.  This spectacular round of racing offers two days of racing on a challenging airport circuit.  The competition is organized by the Put-in-Bay Road Race Heritage Society.
PIBRR celebrates sixty years of Austin Healey Bugeye Sprites and seventy years of Porsche with a low-key event at Put-in-Bay on Ohio’s South Bass Island.  Sports cars raced the island streets in the 1950s and ‘60s, as seen in this clip from the Nemec Collection.



Put-in-Bay Road Races Honor Sports Car Racing Tradition

Put in Bay Road RacesPut-in-Bay Road Races begin the celebration of the 10th annual event on Monday, 24 September 2018.  This spectacular round of racing, organized by the Put-in-Bay Road Race Heritage Society, offers two days of racing for pre-1973 production cars up to 3.0L, sports racers up to 1.5L, plus vintage Formula Vee, F-Jr, and F-Ford on a challenging airport circuit.
Put in Bay Road Races
PIBRR celebrates sixty years of Austin Healey Bugeye Sprites and seventy years of Porsche with a low-key event at Put-in-Bay on Ohio’s South Bass Island.  Sports cars raced the island streets in the 1950s and ‘60s.
Entry options included racing and non-racing vintage sports cars plus a “Great Lakes Vintage Challenge” for D-H production cars entering both the 2018 Waterford Hills Vintage Race and Put-in-Bay event.  Plus original course touring, special social events, car show, rocker cover races, and guest stories.  Past entrants say there is more guaranteed enjoyment than any other vintage racing event.

Put in Bay Road Races

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Put in Bay sports car racesPur in Bay Road Racing

2018 Sports Car Races Scheduled for September

Approaching its 10th year, the annual Put-in-Bay Sports Car Races and Reunion event has a revised date pattern for 2018.  Previously held in late August, the 2018 event has moved to late September (Sept. 24 – 27) with racing to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 25 and 26, 2018. 

Put in Bay Racing

Kurt Neimeyer ‘s 1958 Alfa Giulietta raced by Kurt’s father back in the day!

Put-in-Bay Ohio 12-28-17 — The 2018 Put-in-Bay Sports Car Races will honor 60 years of the intrepid Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite (introduced in 1958) and Porsche which in 2018 will be celebrating 70 years of building some of the most desirable cars ever conceived.  Strong turnouts for racing and road-going examples of both marques are anticipated as well the usual array of vintage sports cars such as Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Austin Mini, MG, Lotus, Morgan, Triumph and others plus a growing gaggle of vintage open wheel cars.

Put in Bay Road Races

Joey Bojalad’s Elva Mk VI took “King of the Rock” honors for the third consecutive year.

Following a record entry for the 2017 event — where owner-drivers of more than 100 race cars and some 60 street cars came to play — organizers are expecting a comparable turnout in 2018 despite the date change.  “Bugeye Sprites were highly represented in the original ’58 and later races at Put-in-Bay and a variety of Porsches were significant competitors at the original races,” said event founder and race director Jack Woehrle. “Both marques represent their own brand of durability and

competitiveness, so we think it’s quite fitting to honor them for our 10th annual event.”

Put in Bay Racing

Tim Suddard’s 1957 Triumph TR3

The modern-day Put-in-Bay sports car races began with a small reunion in 2009.  That event marked the beginning of an effort to celebrate the history of small-bore sports car races that were held from 1952 to 1959 and once in 1963 at historic Put-in-Bay.  The event has steadily grown and evolved into a substantial annual sports car happening focused around vintage races at the Put-in-Bay Airport featuring the same types of cars that raced on the island “back in the day.”

Put in Bay Road Races

1950 view of Turn 4 by Stu Kerr

Uniquely offering entry options for both racing and non-racing participants, today’s Put-in-Bay Sports Car Races generally welcome vintage race prepared pre-1973 production cars up to 3 liters engine displacement, sports racers up to 1.5 liters and vintage Formula Vees, Formula Juniors and Formula Fords.  Entry exceptions are not uncommon, so interested racers of cars outside the normal entry guidelines should reach out to Jack Woehrle (contact information below).  There is also a limited quantity of non-racing entry options for pre-’64 “Heritage” sports cars and for post-’63 “Guest” street cars.

Tentative 2018 General Schedule of Events for Registered Participants*Put in Bay Racing

Monday, September 24:  Arrival day for most participants (although some will likely arrive Sunday or earlier).  Registration, race-car tech inspection, afternoon car show and tour of the original course, early-evening wine and cheese reception and “recollections roundtable” presentation.

Tuesday, September 25: Track orientation for racers followed by practice sessions and group-race qualifying.  Lunch-break track touring. Early evening rocker cover races at The Goat restaurant.

Wednesday, September 26: Two rounds of group races, official opening ceremonies, track touring, and Put-in-Bay Cup race.  Food, drink and awards follow at Joe’s Bar.

Thursday, September 27: Farewell morning brunch and departure.

*Spectating at many Put-in-Bay Road Races events is free to the public including the races themselves, the car show, viewing the original course tour, and the rocker cover races (which anyone including non-participants can enter). 


Put-in-Bay is a nostalgic enclave on South Bass Island, a short ferry ride off the shore of Lake Erie near Sandusky, Ohio. A resort community little changed from the ‘50s, it is one of the few places in North America where post-war sports cars raced through towns and countryside on public roads and where those roads exist today virtually unchanged.

For more information see (2018 event registration, should be available by mid-January) and feel free to join us on our facebook page.


The Put-in-Bay Sports Car Races are supported by presenting sponsor American Modern Insurance Group, the Lake Erie Shores & Islands tourism bureau, The Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce and many other supporting sponsors and program advertisers.  Contemporary photos by Daniel Mainzer!

Contact information:

Event Coordinator, Media Contact: Manley Ford  manley776 “at” / 734 502 2435

Race Director: Jack Woehrle: jackwoehrle “at” /  803 463 5388

Car Show Coordinator: Rich Hahn: putinbaytr3 “at” /  216 226 2323

Advertising and Sponsorship:  Kurt Niemeyer ktrg65 “at” / 513 304 1177

Put-in-Bay Road Races Provides Race Data and Photographs

Put in Bay Road RacesPut in Bay Road RacesClick on the 2017 logo to the left to access a media dropbox where you will find the PIBRRR 2017 Official (post-event) Press Release, plus Race Results (for races 1 and 2 for all four race groups and the finale “Put-in-Bay Cup” Race); other event results; nearly 50 photos for you to choose from by our official photographer, Daniel Mainzer; and a list of captions for the photos (by number) identifying the driver and car, as well as other pertinent information.

American Modern Stands Behind Dedicated Racers

Put in Bay RacingIn spite of light rain during the feature races of the Put-in-Bay Road Race Heritage Society, drivers donned safety equipment, fired up the motors, and accelerated briskly around the race course at Put-in-Bay Airport (3w2).  Such perseverance is indicative oAmerican Modern Insurance Put in Bayf the steady and strong characters involved in heritage motor racing.  According to Rick Drewry, title sponsor representative from American Modern Insurance, “There is cross-country interest in vintage racing because innovators bring ingenuity to the track.”  Many of the automobiles begin with stock

Put in Bay Racing

1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta owned by Edward Merhar

equipment and are modified to improve power, traction, gearing, and suspension.  “The suspension is what puts the power on the ground,” said Drewry, who claims to be more of an aficionado now than when he was introduced to racing by his father.  He is a car builder/racer in a drag racing league, and his work for American Modern Insurance has highlighted the value behind what people can do at different levels with varying budgets.  “The common denominator among racing enthusiasts,” he announced, “is passion and camaraderie!”

Insurance valuation for racing cars is a complex mixture of facts and subjectivity.  Drewry, who personally oversees claims issues across the United States (often for high-profile ventures), reports “quality of build, race history, documented paper trail, and market & pedigree are critical factors.”  Connections to the likes of Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, A.J. Foyt, or Mario Andretti, regardless of the car’s other data, can elevate the vehicle’s value considerably.  Collector cars, restorations, and race cars are a safe market for insurance because of the unique elements identifying each automobile, explained Drewry.  “These cars won’t be chopped or made available for re-sale by thieves. The meticulous care given by owners is what allows American Modern to offer personalized attention to clients.”Put in Bay RacingPut in Bay RacingPut in Bay Racing












Put in Bay Racing

Put in Bay EMSMuch deserved appreciation goes to Put-in-Bay EMS and Volunteer Fire Department members who were on scene to provide safety awareness and emergency assistance.  Additional event images below reveal the scope of automobile history provided by the Road Race Heritage Society.  The closing event, on Wednesday, 30 August, will be the Car Show held across the street from the Perry Monument from 9am to 11:30am.Put in Bay RacingPut in Bay RacingPut in Bay RacingPut in Bay RacingPut in Bay RacingPut in Bay Racing

Put in Bay Racing