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JAGM at Put-In-Bay, Ohil

There was a small group of JAGM members who traveled to Put-in-Bay for the Road Race Reunion and Sports Car Races. Mike Bailey and Kris Whise, Chris and Griz Holbrook, Bob Matejek, and some friends were there to represent JAGM.


The road race was held on the village streets from 1952 to 1959 and again in 1963. During one of the last races there was an accident with the race cars on the street that ended up with some spectators getting injured. Coincidentally, Dick Harms happened to be present at that race and accident. He even managed to pick up a piece of the damaged car off the ground. He was a celebrity when he returned to the Island 45 years later. There has been a reunion of the historic races going on for quite some time now.


The race was moved from the village streets to the airport for a more controlled environment. The reunion has been moved to mid-September to get away from the crowded summer party conditions. The sports car races are part of a circuit of Vintage Car Races, generally 4-cylinder and less than 3.0 L displacement. There are many classes of vintage cars. Due to the relatively small number of cars on the course, and the care that the owners of the historic cars take, there is not much tight wheel-to-wheel racing going on.


During the lunch break in the races, classic and sporty cars are allowed to run the racecourse. Mike and Kris have done it many times. One passenger in a maroon XJS was white-knuckled and hanging on for dear life as her husband was out having the time of his life. The Race Reunion brings a lot of people back to the Island after Labor Day. Everyone is similarly minded, coming for the race reunion, new vintage races, and having a good time.


It is a relatively small Island but still plenty to see and do including wineries, cave tours, and the Benson Ford ShipHouse. Cars are not needed on the island. There are plenty of golf carts to rent.


Mike Bailey participated in valve cover racing. Unfortunately, he did not fare as well as he had in the past. There are some videos and more photos of the time on the island on the JAGM website. I hope to see many more of you there next year.


Bob Matejek

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