Inspired by hot rodders of yore, The Race of Gentlemen (TROG) was born in 2012 when hot rod enthusiasts Mel Stultz and Bobby Green stumbled across Robert Genat’s The Birth of Hot Rodding: The Story of the Dry Lakes Era, which contains photos from the Oilers hot rod club, formed in Carlsbad, California, in 1947. Inspired, the pair reached out to surviving Oilers member Jim Nelson, and from that meeting the Oilers club was reborn, with a mission to preserve the rich traditions of beach racing in the post-war hot rodding era.
The Oilers held their first beach race in 2012 on New Jersey’s Allenhurst and Loch Arbour beaches. Restricted to hot rods with bodies 1935 or older and running gear 1953 or older, TROG also welcomed motorcycles, which are restricted to 1947 and older. 2016 saw the move south to Wildwood Beach and a major jump in attendance, drawing more vintage two-wheelers than ever (see Somer Hooker’s story). This year also sees the addition of a second, West Coast TROG, scheduled for Oct. 14-16, 2016, in Pismo Beach, California, about 15 miles south of San Luis Obispo.
The West Coast event follows the same format as New Jersey, with a Night of the Troglodytes pre-party on Friday (plus a West Coast-only pre-1950 vintage trailer show) before racing kicks off on Saturday, continuing on Sunday. Definitely an event to witness. MC