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Discussion Starter #1
Going with my 82 year old father, he was a sports car racing fan back in the 50's, and Elkhart Lake was one of the tracks he never got to. Went online for hotel reservations (trivago.com) and found a one room "cabin" at a campground (really a small park model trailer that looks like it's made of logs, and the campground has 3 swimming pools, a couple stocked fishing ponds, WiFi, restaurant, mini golf and arcade) for $68 a night. Said it sleeps 8, so there must be bunk beds and a fold out couch.

Showed nearby attractions, Road America was .8 miles away. Other options were traditional hotels, more expensive and further away. No brainer.

He asked me which car I thought we should take, their 2002 Highlander Limited (V6, 4 speed auto, AWD, cruise, leather, heated seats, sunroof, JBL sound system- not that we'd be listening to any music on the way up. Although I do dig the bebop jazz) or my Focus ZX3 S (none of the features of the Toyota). I said the Highlander would probably be a better highway car, since it has cruise, more comfortable seats and you're higher up so better visibility but the Focus would get better mileage. He said "Well, the Focus would be more fun to drive." So that settled that.

Only a few weeks away. Can hardly wait!!
 

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Should be a fun time! I want to make it to some races like that someday.
 

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Great time! Vintage doesn't always mean slow (unless they're running 1920s cars or MGAs), because there are usually several F1 cars, Champ cars, GTO/GTP/GTSs, Can Am, and cars like high revving 60s 302 Mustangs and Camaros, 60s to 80s European sports cars, and American big blocks, too. Every now and then there will be a Ferrari V12 and/or V10, maybe a Nissan twin turbo... the main straight is very long and these cars top-out with an Armageddon-like scream at a couple places on this big track. Besides the "special effects" on main straight, make sure you spend a little time at the turn-5 grandstand, some of the better overtaking happens there.

If you get lucky enough to be able to grab a golf cart, do it, you'll spend more time watching and less walking... it's a huge track.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thought about the cart. Also thought about taking along our bicycles (I have a 1975 Schwinn Collegiate, pretty nice barn find, and dad would ride one of their single speed coaster brake ones from when they ran a B&B).

And he and I always look at the track map for the slowest corner, best place to watch passing. We just went to Mid Ohio for their vintage days, and they had Can Am cars that I remember seeing run as a kid in the 70's. That event was Shelby American's 41st national meet so there were a couple of 427 Cobras running (don't care if they were reproductions, a lightweight aluminum body and a huge American V8 is always a good combo), even a Sunbeam Tiger racing (MKI, 260 V8 just like my dad used to have).
 

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You'll love it, I would highly recommend renting a cart if you can. It's a huge place and there are a TON of great spots to watch from including a brand new trail on the inside of the track just after The Kink all the way down through Canada Corner and up the hill to where the old Billy Mitchell bridge was.

Whatever you do be sure to move around, the fall race tends to be a bit more laid back as far as where they'll let you drive your own car. I love the view from the top of the hill where you can see the cars come around turn six and then proceed through The Hurry Downs and into The Carousel.

-Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, I think we're going to get a cart. Brought that up with my dad over dinner (he needs time to process things, and if I brought it up once we got there he would probably take too long to decide, or think it wouldn't be worth it, only to complain later about how much walking he had to do- he's 82, PAD, and somewhat frail).
 

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even a Sunbeam Tiger racing (MKI, 260 V8 just like my dad used to have).
I'd pay just to watch that crazy car run. Very dangerous car in the wrong hands... ask your dad.

Steve's got the best tips, he spends a lot of time at RA. Great to know about the new path. Now that I'm getting healed up, I'll probably go again next year... and get a cart.
 

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I'd pay just to watch that crazy car run. Very dangerous car in the wrong hands... ask your dad.

Steve's got the best tips, he spends a lot of time at RA. Great to know about the new path. Now that I'm getting healed up, I'll probably go again next year... and get a cart.
If you show up and don't have a cart I'll be happy to haul you around a bit. Actually as you know, if you stay on the road around the outside of the track you can drive pretty much anywhere you want to go with your own car, it's just getting inside and into the paddock that's tough (in July anyways).

It would be great to get together again John.

-Steve
 

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Yeah, I think we're going to get a cart. Brought that up with my dad over dinner (he needs time to process things, and if I brought it up once we got there he would probably take too long to decide, or think it wouldn't be worth it, only to complain later about how much walking he had to do- he's 82, PAD, and somewhat frail).
The place really is immense, I used to walk everywhere when I was younger but back then my dad didn't own or haul a golf cart with the race car.

You'll be glad you got one.

-Steve
 

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If you show up and don't have a cart I'll be happy to haul you around a bit. Actually as you know, if you stay on the road around the outside of the track you can drive pretty much anywhere you want to go with your own car, it's just getting inside and into the paddock that's tough (in July anyways).

It would be great to get together again John.

-Steve
Thanks, that sounds great, but I'd rather line-up a cart at the get-go than potentially create use conflicts with you and family. Plus, if I have one, we can see which one is fastest "around the track", LOL.

I'm hoping my cousin doesn't set up our family reunion that weekend, she hits July often. I'll have to make a couple suggestions to her. Looking forward to the G2G (and watching your dad lift the inside front of his Austin, smoking turn 5).
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I'd pay just to watch that crazy car run. Very dangerous car in the wrong hands... ask your dad...
No need, I remember sitting on the package shelf (my brother and I thought it was a backseat) when my dad would get a bit sideways coming out of a corner. My mom would be in the front seat yelling "Bill! Slow down!!"

Low speed power oversteer I believe it's called.

And the Nationwide agent dad had at the time said when my brother was turning 16 that he wouldn't even consider insuring that car with a teen driver in the house. Dad would have had to find a place to store it, since even not giving the teenage son a key didn't mean he wouldn't find a spare set and get in trouble with it.

I was 14, and nearly heartbroken that my dad sold it. As I recall it burned some oil (only had a racing gravel strainer) and the front brakes needed rebuilt, and dad let it go for $2500. Said "It's the only car I ever made money on." He bought it in 1969 for crying out loud, and corrected for inflation he lost money.

A couple weeks later a guy called him to ask him "Can you tell me about this car?" Apparently the guy he'd sold it to had fixed the brakes and curb stoned it- hadn't transferred the title to himself, just sold it (for $7000, my dad asked and was mad, didn't tell the new owner anything about the car- referred him to the Sunbeam dealer that had done work on it) with my dad's title and signature on it.
 

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That IS a tearjerker.

I feel for your dad, but I can understand how he might have felt that he got so many grins and good runs with it that he had "drained it of all value", and getting ANY money for it was just a bonus. That said, I bet it hurt bad to find out he sold it to some dude that just wanted to turn it for quick cash... the dude probably didn't even enjoy driving it.

Sorry you never got to drive it, but then, maybe that's one big reason you are still alive today.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It's actually one of my bucket list cars. I have saved searches on autotraderclassics and other car sites. I still see drivable cars for low $20K. Restorable are under $10K, and ridiculously over-restored are approaching 6 figures.
 

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Another option is to bring in road legal Mopeds, as long as they are licensed the track doesn't have a problem with is and you will have access to all the areas except for the paddock.
Good point, forgot about those.
 
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