A team from Element 79 spent Tuesday night and Wednesday in Wisconsin as part of an ongoing new business pitch process, including an overnight stay at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake, WI. This charming town exudes a well-kept vintage vacation lake feeling. Driving in, I noticed a roadside marker for something called “Briggs Bend.” Then another for “Ted’s Turn.” Later I found “Werner’s Wend”–obviously, all this alliteration separated these signs from the typically dry postings that mark places of historical semi-signifigance (“Millard Fillmore kept a goat pen here“).
Taking the long route and poking around a bit revealed the area around Elkhart Lake enjoyed a huge burst of popularity as a site for road racing during the boom years for sportscars after WWII. During those pre-litigious times, Le Mans style open road racing filled that rolling Wisconsin countryside with the sound of high-revving engines and squeeling tires. These days, that action is consigned to on-track racing at the still remarkable four miles of twists and turns at Road America: “Road Racing at It’s Best!“
Racing history, captured on small signs along country roads, in a hamlet west of Sheboygan… If you’re not fascinated by America, you’re just not paying attention.
By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79