Sunday, October 13, 2013

THE RACE OF GENTLEMEN, 2013


The four hamlets which comprise the 'Wildwood' beach resort in coastal New Jersey considers itself the 'birthplace of Rock n' Roll', as Bill Haley and the Comets first performed 'Rock around the Clock', considered the first-ever Rock single, at the HofBrau hotel in 1954.  The beach towns have a population of around 5000 permanent residents, which swells to 250,000 in the summer as beach lovers flock to the collection of odd and old-fashioned hotel/motels (200 motels - shades of Frank Zappa) with neon advertising and a strong cool/kitsch factor.  Come September, when the kids start school and the weather cools, the motels stand empty, as do the beaches.  There's a weather window before the nasty stuff really sets in on the East Coast, when the empty beach becomes an attractive nuisance to gearheads, taking on aspects of Pendine Sands in Wales, or pre-1950s Daytona/Ormond beach in Florida.  That is, ripe for speed.

The Oilers car club, spearheaded by Meldon V.R. Stultz III, approached the Greater Wildwood Hotel and Motel Association with the idea of a post-holidays beach race, and the lure of hundreds of off-season room rentals secured the date this year, and the success of the Race of Gentlemen in 2012 ensured a repeat this year on October 4/5/6.  The entries for a bit of beach drag racing were limited to 1920s and 30s cars and motorcycles, and a simple arrangement of pylons and commentator's booth, plus a couple of attractive flaggers, made for a very old-fashioned event, in the aged metal but perhaps more importantly in the spirit of pre-Corporate, amateur motoring competition, which has all but died out in the USA.

My ace photographer on the day, Sasha Valentine of CafeRacerXXX, sent in these fantastic shots of the competition and atmosphere.  Many thanks Sasha!

All photos c.2013 Sasha Valentine!



















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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awesome!!!

Hairy Larry said...

2013 Skiddoo!

Chopper Dave said...

Fabulous

Chopperdave said...

WOW!! I had been wondering where all those Brownie Betar bike swent, stoked to see one out in the world1