Ready to race on the New Jersey shore | Andy Reid photos
According to its website, The Race Of Gentlemen is “a living history event, celebrating America’s Racing & Hot Rodding heritage. Annually held on the beaches of the Jersey shore.”
This description is a basic idea of The Race Of Gentleman but in no way describes the breadth of this amazing event. The Race Of Gentlemen, or T.R.O.G., is nothing less that a Goodwood-style event for the vintage hot rodder and vintage American motorcycle enthusiast, whether a competitor or a spectator.
Holding this event in Wildwood, New Jersey, is in itself a stroke of genius. When you drive into Wildwood, it is as if you took a time machine back to 1955. The entire town is a vintage throwback of 1950s America with kitschy hotels, diners and stores in abundance. The town and all its vintage appeal help make this event as great as it is.
We arrived on Saturday afternoon and were bombarded by the sounds and sights of hot rods and vintage Harley-Davidson, Indian and Henderson motorcycles. Wherever you looked, there were more of these incredible vehicles.
Compound that with the hordes of people dressed in the best hot rod style, and you knew that you were in for something special indeed.
The event begins Friday. Each night through Sunday there are parties at the many hotels, culminating with a party with live music and a bonfire on the beach.
Saturday and Sunday are taken up with the racing, which is held on the beach in the spirit of the old Ormond Beach speed trials
The cars and motorcycles that are eligible are as follows:
Bodies; American Made 1934 and older
4 bangers and V8 Flathead
Running gear 1953 and older
American, 1947 and older
No Fenders No Headlights
As you can guess, the racers are fabulous, and many have prior Bonneville history as well.
Another point of difference from other events is that competitors and spectators are asked to attend in vintage-style attire. Most did and this only added to the allure of the event and really made you feel as if you took a step back through time.
The founders of The Race of Gentlemen call their event “The greatest race on earth,” and we heartily agree with this statement.
Photos by Andy Reid