It’s officially summer time, and when mentioned many of us immediately have thoughts of being outside, sunny skies, the Jersey Shore, and ice cold corona’s… of course. Here in the North East part of the country many of us take this time to clear the moth balls and cobwebs off our rides and let them see the light of the day for the first time of the year. Some take that a step further and hit their first local show or meet, but others realize the real opportunity this time has to offer: go racing.
For me June 4th and 5th does bring about thoughts of The Shore, but not because I’m looking to go surfing, it’s because “The Race Of Gentlemen” comes to Wildwood, NJ. More than just a show, “The Race Of Gentleman, or TROG, unleashes some old school, kickass, greaser inspired drag racing along the sands of one of the most well-known beaches in the Dirty Jerz.
Now in it’s fourth year running, this event was arguably the best one yet and unlike anything else I have ever attended. From the time you arrive in Wildwood until you see the lights fade in your rear view its nonstop flat heads, Harleys, Indians, Rootbeer, and PBR… which is the precise concoction needed for a weekend you might not completely remember, but definitely won’t forget.
As you step foot on the sand you also step back in time as most of the custom cars are built to meet pre-1952 specs or built in a similar appropriate style. It’s not limited to just the cars either, everyone attending does their best impression of post WWII era garb which really ads to the whole experience. If it wasn’t for all of the iPhone no one would know what year it was, let alone century.
Once past the gate you’ll find a mecca of all that is holy in the world of hot rodding. Theirs old school t shirts, magazines, snacks and burgers, a place to pick up some new open headers for the custom your working on, or the “Wall of Death” which features two motorcycle riders riding sideways along a wall at speed.
But if that’s all a bit much it’s okay because dead center of the grounds is the “Libations” bar, which quenches your thirst with Not Your Fathers Root Beer/Ginger Ale, PBR, and Sailor Jerry Mixed drinks from morning ‘til night.
When you finally make it past all of that you’ll find what you came for, the racing. Setup along the water’s edge is an impromptu drag strip complete with start/finish lines, grand stands, and a tower for announcing.
Cars and bikes take turns running two at a time down the sand all day and while the event is for fun no one leaves anything on the track, they go for broke, literally.
At the conclusion of the racing on Saturday we ventured into the pits to find a few different photo shoots going on, some a little more action packed than the others!
After all the shooting we packed up our gear and found a hotel to clean up at before heading back to the sand for the night time beach party and bond fire held in the same location.
Wildwood is probably the perfect location for all of the shenanigans to happen. The crowd there is great and I met more people involved in other car cultures than just hot rodding but everyone is equally welcoming. Finally, the boardwalk and beach town itself has an old school feel to it as well that makes the whole experience perfectly seamless.
Photos & Words: Adam Fair