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  5. New restaurant will display UW-Madison vehicle team memorabilia

New restaurant will display UW-Madison vehicle team memorabilia

A Baja vehicle is suspended from the ceiling, and a Formula racecar hangs on the wall.
A Baja vehicle is suspended from the ceiling, and a Formula racecar hangs on the wall.

For the past three years, patrons at the motorsports-themed Quaker Steak & Lube in Middleton, Wisconsin, have dined beneath various vehicles donated by the University of Wisconsin-Madison vehicle teams. Now, downtown Madison customers will have the same opportunity when a new branch of the restaurant opens this weekend.

The restaurant will feature two UW-Madison vehicle projects, including the 2007 world championship-winning Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) racecar. The car is suspended on a wall and surrounded by vehicle team photos and memorabilia.

In addition, the team provided an off-road vehicle that won the 2000 and 2001 international Baja SAE competitions. The Baja vehicle, which previously hung in the Middleton location, is suspended from the ceiling near the center of the new restaurant.

Team advisor Glenn Bower sits beneath the Formula racecar.
Team advisor Glenn Bower sits beneath the Formula racecar.

For team advisor Glenn Bower, a mechanical engineering faculty associate, and Quaker Steak & Lube owner Scott Acker, the relationship is mutually beneficial.

"I don't have the space to store vehicles from previous competitions, and I would hate to destroy them," says Bower. "For alumni coming back to town, it's great for me to say, 'hey, your vehicle is displayed.' Alumni love it, and it's great visibility for the current teams."

Various team photos surround the Formula racecar.
Various team photos surround the Formula racecar.

Acker says hanging projects from the vehicle teams was a natural decision. "This totally fits the Lube. We always try to connect locally, and this celebrates the university. The students worked hard on these," he says.

The new restaurant will open to the public at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 17, and is located at 222 West Gorham St. in Madison.

More information about the vehicle teams is available at http://www.vehicles.wisc.edu/

Sandra Knisely
7/16/2010