The HRC 60th Anniversary Kettle Call Rally was run on Saturday morning with a scheduled start time of 9:30 AM. Rally teams competed in three classes. The Historic Class for pre 1953 sports cars included several cars that had actually raced in the original 1950-52 Open Road races. The Vintage Class included cars from 1953 thru 1975 and the Modern Class included cars from 1976 and newer.
The morning of the Rally brought gray skies and pouring down rain. Despite the weather, forty five entries showed up for the 8:00 AM check in and Continental Breakfast in the Siebkens main dining room.
As the start time neared and the rain began to let up, rally officials were notified that a power line was down near the start of the rally route and there was no way around it. In response, the start time was moved to 10:00 AM. By then the downed lines had been cleared and the rally cars were belatedly launched onto the route.
The last car had barely crossed the starting line when word came that one of the roads at the eleven mile mark had been closed due to a propane tank leak. Rally officials raced to the site and began rerouting cars, bi-passing the blocked road and restarting on the other side.
It soon became apparent that a number of cars had gotten through the stoppage before the road was closed so it was decided that all cars would be stopped at the Black Dog Bistro in Rhine Center, the midway point of the rally.
The result was a “party” unlike anything the Black Dog Bistro had ever seen before. Nearly 100 rally participants jammed into a space meant for half that number and everybody enjoying the moment. Owner Cindy Becker passed out her homemade cookies (they disappeared in a flash) and refreshments were enjoyed by all.
Rally Master, Bill Hall, soon had matters well in hand, tachometers were zeroed and the Rally was restarted. With no further interruptions the balance of the Rally came off without a hitch. Despite the weather and the interruptions, everyone seemed to have had a grand time; A tribute to the indomitable spirit of automotive enthusiasts and their love for the sport.
The Rally concluded with a sumptuous buffet luncheon at the Osthoff Resort overlooking the front lawn where the Car Show was being staged. While Rally teams dined, Rally officials tallied the results to determine the winners by class; no small task given the delays and restarts.
The Awards Ceremony was held at 4:00 pm on the Osthoff lawn where elegantly crafted high quality lead crystal trophies were awarded.
The Trophy for the best score in the Historic Class went to Roger Morrison and navigator Alice Preston in the ex Brooks Stevens Jaguar XK120. The Vintage Class Trophy went to Tom and Pam Heinrich in a 1967 Jaguar XKE. The Modern Class trophy went to Jeff and Mary Goelzer driving a 2008 Corvette.
Two Special Recognition trophies were also awarded to teams that had not finished first in any class.
The Kettle Call Spirit Award given to the rally team that seemed to exemplify the true spirit of the Kettle Call Rally was awarded to Tod and navigator Wendy Willson driving a pristine Jaguar XK120M, a top down rain or shine British car in what seemed like typical British weather.
The HRC Heritage Award given to the owner of the car that seemed to best capture the heritage of the original Elkhart Lake open road races went to Jim Fuchs and daughter Charlene driving a Ferrari 166MM.
Perhaps the most unusual entry was the Korean era U.S. Army Jeep of HRC Director Clyde Morter with Charlie Brumder celebrating his birthday as navigator. Unfortunately they failed to sign and identify their car in their route instructions and received “no score. Could they have actually won? Would they have actually won? We will never know!
A very special thank you to our Rally Sponsors
Courtesy of Walter Vollrath
Rautmann/Schills Real Estate. Inc.
Carolyn Leynse, Realtor
The Black Dog Bistro
“The Friendliest Place in Town”