Motorcycle Racing

TROG: Gathering to Race Vintage Motorcycles

TROG: Gathering to Race Vintage Motorcycles

TROG: Gathering to Race Vintage Motorcycles

A man in a matching tuxedo-top hat combination delegates racers to their marks on the New Jersey beach. Two motorcyclists take their places on the sand. Their vintage pre-war motorcycles and aren't wearing helmets. At the wave of a checkered flag, they're off. Welcome to The Race of Gentlemen.

The Race of Gentlemen, called TROG for short, is an annual event where vintage car and motorcycle owners meet on the beaches of New Jersey and, starting this year, California to race. It's a vintage-only type of deal which means your Ducati crotch-rocket doesn't qualify.

The race isn't exclusive to hot rods though, that would be ungentlemanly. Though hot rods are the majority of the race, and the reason why it was started in the first place, classic Harleys and Indians are often seen and encouraged to drag race as well. It's fairly loose and has a short list of rules. The only real rule seems to be that the vehicle entering the race must be from the 1930's or earlier. The emphasis is on remaining “period correct” and American made rather than vehicle specs. The founders of the event are looking to celebrate the heritage of American automotive culture and to make the ingenuity that went into building these machines exciting again.

TROG is a different breed than the hot rod car shows typically happening in easy-up clad church parking lots. The difference in idea is that simply showing up with a classic automobile and parking it closest to the hot dog stand isn't enough to make for an exciting event. Instead, TROG focuses on racing the old sleds.

This year, The Race of Gentleman will have a race in Pismo Beach, California, for the first time. They could have organized something in a neighboring east coast state but the organizers found it much more exciting to head West. Racers from both coasts are relishing in the opportunity to march on each others home turf and face-off. The East vs. West coast rivalry took off naturally and when the race comes to California in October it will be the first chance the West coast racers will have to defend their ground. With so many entries, TROG organizers had to cut off entries months in advanve just because they were at capacity so soon.

Stepping onto the beach on race day is like getting sent back in time to the days that these machines were going at the fastest speeds man had yet to travel in an automobile. History is a major element of TROG. Everything is period, down to the old timey camper trailers that you find in the campground to the outfits of participants.

TROG: Gathering to Race Vintage Motorcycles

If you own a prewar motorcycle or hot rod, you might consider entering or at least just going to check it out. As TROG goes into it's fifth year, the races are getting bigger and more competitive, modding vehicles for performance is common so if you do decide to enter make sure that you at least get the wrench out a few times.

You never know what you're going to see when you step on the sands during The Race of Gentlemen. The weekend long festival is a dream for history buffs, motorcycle enthusiasts, and vintage automobile owners alike, blending the three elements into a equally charming and thrilling experience. The next race will be held October 15-16th in Pismo, California.

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