Racing's Early Days Are Celebrated at 'The Race of Gentlemen' in New Jersey

The Race of Gentlemen
The Race of Gentlemen | © RAVDesigns / Flickr
Photo of Michael LoRé
Sports Editor4 June 2018

The Race of Gentlemen is an annual event celebrating the early days of racing, held on the beaches of Wildwood, New Jersey. Affectionately referred to as TROG, the festival highlights pre- and post-war automobiles and motorcycles in events including a chopper party, car show, bonfire, and, of course, drag races.

A host of sounds that emanate from the beach signify summer: children laughing, waves crashing, seagulls squawking, boats whizzing by. But for one weekend each year, they’re all drowned out by the roar of car and motorcycle engines.

Begun in 2012, The Race of Gentlemen is a multi-day celebration that honors the glory days of racing. Held annually on the beaches of Wildwood, N.J., more than 100 cars (pre-1934) and motorcycles (pre-1947) equipped with accurate parts from that time period speed down the sand with the ocean as a backdrop in drag races.

TROG was founded by Mel Stultz and 10 members of the Oilers Car and Motorcycle Club, which was created in 1947 by five men returning from serving in World War II.

“We pick the fastest, baddest, coolest bikes all across the world,” Stultz told Rolling Stone.

The Race of Gentlemen | © RAVDesigns / Flickr

The event begins with a pre-race chopper show and party called the “Night of the Troglodytes” held at the Binns Motor Inn (Atlantic Avenue). Drag races on the beach off East Schellenger Avenue are held Saturday and Sunday, beginning when the tide rolls out and concluding once it returns. Gates open at 10 a.m.

“Customs by the Sea,” an exhibition showcasing pre-1952 custom cars, and a bonfire beach party Saturday night (8 p.m. to midnight) with live music, food trucks, and bar tents complement the daily races.

Participants don’t only race like they’re in the past, but they also dress the part as well.

The 2018 Race of Gentlemen is from June 8–10 in Wildwood, N.J.

The Race of Gentlemen | © RAVDesigns / Flickr
The Race of Gentlemen | © RAVDesigns / Flickr
The Race of Gentlemen | © RAVDesigns / Flickr