Watkins Glen 1948

Even though this scan isn’t particularly well done, you can still see the charm in this circuit map from Watkin Glen’s 1948 layout.

Every purpose-built racing course has a few named features: Eau Rouge or Corkscrew or Karussel. None of these, though, will ever be as charming as “School House Corner” or “Archy Smith Corner” or “White House S”. There’s something.. I don’t know.. adorable about these street course featured named after the farmer who’s house marks a turn.

Beyond that, I just love this illustration style. As I browse old maps of all varieties, I’m always impressed with how these maps draw the viewer in to the experience and provoke daydreams of strolling down these illustrated streets.

They may not be as accurate or informative as today’s more utilitarian map aesthetic, but they sure are a more notable artistic achievement.

DISCUSS (2 Comments)

  1. Mike Jacobsen

    Harlo: Agreed! And not all modern maps are truly accurate. Those quaint corner names often came about as the result of an accident at an early running of the event, as Milliken’s Corner for Bill Milliken’s flip of his Bugatti. BTW, Eau Rouge at Spa is not part of a purpose-built race course–this is (or was–I’m not sure about today but I drove it in the ’70s) public roadway that after decades of race use has been modified with widening, berms, etc.; the film “Grand Prix” shows what is used to be like.

  2. Michae Bauer

    I’ve driven the Original Glen Circuit many times, and much of it is still the same. The road surfaces have changed from gravel to pavement in places, but much more is intact than, say, Spa or Reims. Even the Nurburgring Nordschliefe has had much of it’s original character removed (although it’s still an aw inspiring drive!). The original Glen road circuit is remarkably intact. Thanks for posting the map! You brought back some great memories!

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