Before there was Kettle Moraine Preservation & Restoration, there was Riverside Service of Plymouth, Wisconsin. The small gas station/service shop was founded by Rick Dresang in 1974. Rick’s love for sports cars and the pursuit for automotive performance lead him to help numerous drivers in the 1970s, including local drivers Jeff Miller and Don Kopiske.
In the summer of 1975, a team that was racing at Road America for the Formula 5000 race weekend had a wheel bearing on their trailer freeze heading into Plymouth from Elkhart Lake. Dresang often allowed racers to use his shop free of charge on race weekends, and the word spread to this particular team that a garage was open, which was handy considering the size of the storm that was brewing in the area.
Dresang was packing up for the night when he noticed a team pulling in for help. He tossed them the keys to the building and emptied the tip jar so he could go have dinner. When he arrived the next morning, there was $300.00 cash in the jar from the team.
That team: Dan Gurney's All American Racers.
In the coming years, Dresang himself would race snowmobiles, winning multiple championships in his native Wisconsin. He retired in the late 1980s due to family and business commitments, but his son Jacques carried the torch, starting in 1996 racing karts. Six years later, a national karting championship was in-hand, and a stint in SCCA followed. This was surpassed by a Mazda MX-5 Cup Pro Series independent family-run team effort in 2008 with friend Steve Welk and his family. Welk piloted the team's McLaren-orange car to a 5th at Mosport Park among the multi-car teams on the grid.
In 2009, the team, which was then known as UMW, found an ultra-rare 1977 All American Racers Eagle DGF Formula Ford in California. After a year of restoration, the car took to the track at the SCCA Kettle Moraine Regionals, winning one of the two sprint races. The season-ending Fall Sprints Regional event at Blackhawk Farms Fall Sprints proved difficult for the team, losing longtime friend and team member Loyd Haslee to cancer the morning of qualifying. Dresang and the team went 10-10ths for their lost friend, capturing pole position, winning all three heat races and the feature event in a car many had thought was past its prime.
Since 2011, the team primarily focused on vintage open-wheel car racing and restoration, mainly with AAR Eagles as our specialty, though we’ve been known to dabble in other interesting vehicles with proper lineages.
Kettle Moraine Preservation & Restoration was formed in 2014 in an effort to maximize the focus on car research, restoration, preservation and integrity, the last point spotlighting something not always found in the vintage racing scene.
Kettle Moraine Preservation & Restoration is a team dedicated to the integrity and preservation of the history of motorsports, ranging from fully race-ready vintage cars to the trophies they may have won 'in the day.' Our efforts range from preservation to restoration, bringing cars full-circle back to their former glory, but with historical integrity intact.