It's really the last place you would ever expect to find a race course. Put-in-Bay, Ohio, is located in the middle of Lake Erie, and is more famous worldwide for a somewhat minor naval battle during the War of 1812. However, from 1952 to 1959 (and once in 1963), it was the home of the Put-in-Bay Road Races.
South Bass Island, on which Put-in-Bay is located, is just under two and a half square miles of land. Out of this limited space, the original organizers carved out of public roads a roughly 3 mile bent rectangle shaped circuit. As the track was very rough, entrants were limited to cars under 2 liters displacement (1.5 liters for dedicated sports racers). Many would race with much less than that.
The first year was literally a washout, with rain stopping the race on lap 4. 30 cars participated that year, and the only direction to go was up. The 1953 field was mostly MGs (the first race was a stock MG race), with just under 40 entrants. By 1959, there were five races with large grids, populated by a huge variety of the most famous sports cars of the day; Fiat, Lotus, Porsche, Alfa Romeo, Triumph, Morgan, and the old hand MG all fill out the races.
The final race in 1963 had around 100 cars entered, some entries being turned away. The course was modified to avoid downtown, but that didn't avoid controversy as the races came to an end due to a heavy crash involving one of the racers. Luckily, nobody was severely injured, but the Put-in-Bay Road Races had come to an end.
For the next nearly four and a half decades, the island remained quiet; no races were held, until in 2009, Put-in-Bay saw the start of a new era of races, but with a familiar twist. The races are now held on the island's airport, but with historic cars from that amazing era of racing. 80 cars participated in the 2013 edition, including roughly 40 entered for the races. While the street circuit at Put-in-Bay may be dead, the races live on for another generation of Jalops.