During the past century, the auto industry has grown and thrived on the development of advanced technology. Each new generation of road-going cars has to be more powerful, more efficient, and more exciting in order to be successful. While that makes sense, it also means that previous generations of vehicles can become forgotten by the masses fairly quickly and, with enough passing time, even by car enthusiasts themselves. TROG is committed to preserving such history.
A TROG-ing Good Time
Just when the Golden Era of American hot rod racing seemed to be all but forgotten, an enthusiastic gearhead put together The Race of Gentlemen, better known as TROG—beach races held in New Jersey and California for 1934 and older cars powered by engines made up until 1948, and 1949-1953 Ford flatheads.
Hot rodder and Oilers Car Club president Mel Stultz organized the first TROG event in 2012 at the Allenhurst and Loch Arbour beach in central New Jersey. Stultz, an owner of numerous pre-WWII vehicles, set out to “recreate automobile and motorcycle racing from the club’s golden era and to reinvent the typical stagnant car show as a living, breathing, dynamic weekend.” Indeed, there’s a demand for classic hot rod racing action, as the original attendance of 2,500-3,000 people in Jersey grew to 10,000-12,000 in California in just five short years.
What’s the Skinny?
So, what are spectators showing up to see? There are two classes: Non-Competition and Competition. As the names state, the former values fun over winning, with the latter adopting a first-place-or-bust mindset. The Non-Competition class is broken down into Grudge Match and Exhibition runs, while Competition class consists of three categories: 4 Bangers, V8s, and the Heritage Class. Heritage is reserved for pre-1920 cars and the 4 Banger and V8 classes are for those specific engine types. All competitors must have their headlights removed and tires that are period correct. White wall tires, however, aren’t allowed. And for attendees who prefer two wheels instead of four, there’s a motorcycle class for 1947 and older bikes.
The passion of the event organizers really shines through in the details, for their enthusiasm and commitment to the preservation of historical accuracy is admirable. They even go to great lengths to make the event feel as much like a classic beach race as possible. That means everything at the venue looks retro and none of the cars competing in the event can even sport modern vinyl graphics. As the event evolves and attendees continue to arrive earlier, Stultz is collaborating with local businesses to infuse TROG with new, action-packed happenings even earlier in the week, including family-friendly activities.
An Extra Special TROG Event
“Do not miss your chance to see these fine men flog their jaw-dropping machines on the sand, just like in days gone by. Come one, come all to watch in awe as they roar at the shore!”
“This year, the race will benefit from one big external event—the phase of the moon, which means racing will get the best moon-and-tide forecast it has ever had. The moon and its effect on the tides are critical to TROG because the race track on the beach at Wildwood, New Jersey, is only usable at low tide. Thanks to a fixed date, that means some years there can be more racing than others—this is one such year,” said David Conwill, author of Good Moon Rising: A Favorable Outlook for TROG 2018.
This is the kind of event that everyone needs to experience at least once. Witness a classic display of competition and sportsmanship. And as the tagline says, “Come one, come all to watch in awe…”
T.R.O.G. Wildwood, New Jersey
June 8th, 9th, 10th 201